When buying solar or batteries, most people would like to have an idea about how much money they would save with different capacity sizes before they go through with the purchase. Beam Energy has come out with a free, easy-to-install ‘smart meter’ and mobile app that promises just that.
Installing solar or batteries is never a straightforward calculation. A number of variables come into play, such as how much electricity you use, when you use it, your electricity tariff, location and solar resource. In the solar industry we currently try to estimate these numbers from a quarterly bill or use averages collected from other households.
Given that most people would probably not buy clothing based on such roundabout estimates as ‘the average size for your age’, it’s even more unlikely that they would invest thousands into batteries unless they had data to show them that it would save them money in the long run.
The video below explains how the Beam device works:
We here at Beam Energy have found that Australians are often under-investing in solar because people are not 100% sure they will realise the savings. The Beam device helps households to get around this problem by monitoring a customer’s actual electricity consumption and using solar measurements from a nearby weather station. By doing so, the customer can easily work out the best solar system size and the amount of savings it is likely to deliver. Users also experiment with the data themselves through the Beam app. They can change the system size up or down, add batteries and then see the results. This allows them to take their time and get comfortable enough to make a confident decision.
Electricity produced by rooftop solar now costs between 5-7 cents/kWh compared to 20-30c/kWh for power bought from the grid. An investment in solar in many cases will provide a return of over 20% – significantly more than most people currently get in their savings or offset account.
Electricity prices have been forecast to increase by 30% (again) in the next few months. This means that solar is only going to make more sense going forward. Increasing your home’s energy independence with solar is a great way to insulate yourself against these rising costs, and the Beam device and app is a great place to start.
Energy independence is now easier than ever. Even if you don’t ‘go all in’ and install batteries right now, you can use the Beam device to make sure that you install enough solar for when you do get batteries.
Beam is currently taking registrations at www.beamenergy.solar. Beam devices will be available from mid 2017.