BUSINESS: To take Australian solar battery storage installation company Solar SG into its next growth phase, a new chairman and chief executive officer have been appointed.
Rod Woolley has been appointed the new chairman, and Donna Freer has taken on the CEO role.
The company, which provides batteries and solar systems to the bulk of the residential market, started in 2014 and now employs around 80 in offices in South Australia, Victoria and NSW. The company wants to open offices in other states and potentially overseas locations as well.
Ms Freer also told The Fifth Estate that the company also wants to move into the microgrid space in the future, as well as into R&D to develop new products and services.
The company jumped on the home battery opportunity when feed in tariffs started dropping off across the country. As people started earning less for their surplus solar, Ms Freer said many became “really responsive to the idea of storing energy for when they need it.”
She said that many customers want to escape the constant price increases in the energy market, especially retirees.
Battery prices range from $5000 to $6000. At the lower end, there’s a modular option called Hive Solar Batteries that allows customers to add more storage over time. Its batteries are manufactured in China, with some assembly done in Australia.
Ms Freer said the payback period for home batteries is now down to around five or six years, with customers expected to get 75 per cent off their electricity bills prior to having a battery, with the aim to get bills down 100 per cent.