Whether it’s an Enphase battery or a glass teapot with a removable infuser, a critical question you’ll have for every product you’re shopping for is this: how much does it cost?
Well, in the case of an Enphase IQ Battery 5P for your new or existing solar array: it depends.
Can’t say for certain what that glass teapot with a removable infuser might set you back.
A simple Google search will return a variety of prices for an Enphase IQ Battery 5P. All of them advertise a lower price than what we charge at Penrith Solar Centre. Why is that?
Installation costs and additional components. Plain and simple.
The low costs you see on other websites are for the battery price alone and don’t include installation or the cost of the IQ Controller.
The Enphase IQ Battery 5P will range from as low as $6,300 (them, not including installation costs and the cost of additional components) to around $8,000 (us, all-inclusive), and as high as $10,999 (us, all-inclusive when adding to an existing solar system).
In this article, you’ll learn about the factors that contribute to calculating the cost of an Enphase battery.
- How Much Does an Enphase IQ Battery 5P Cost at Penrith Solar Centre?
- Why Does the Cost of an Enphase IQ Battery 5P Vary?
- How Many Enphase Batteries Do You Need?
- Enphase IQ Battery 5P and Energy Consumption Patterns
- Additional Considerations While Shopping for Quotes
By the end of your time here, you’ll be a confident shopper who knows what questions to ask a solar provider and why.
What Does an Enphase IQ Battery 5P Cost at Penrith Solar Centre?
- $8,000 – 9,000 (when installed with a new solar system) + $6,000 (per additional battery)
- $10,999 (when adding to an existing solar array) + $6,000 (per additional battery)
So why is there a range of prices for a single 5kWh battery?
Well, the short answer is that the cost of this battery varies because your cost of electricity varies. Read on to find out what that cryptic sentence means.
Why Does the Cost of an Enphase IQ Battery 5P Vary?
As we mentioned in the introduction, the cost of the Enphase IQ Battery 5P varies, sometimes wildly, from competitor to competitor.
The price difference comes down to the cost of additional components and installation costs you need to get your system up and running.
Cost of Additional Components: The cost of adding an Enphase battery to an existing system is higher because more technology is needed to get the system up and running. If you’re adding an Enphase battery to an already installed solar system, it’s going to cost more than bundling a battery with a solar system together.
When you install an Enphase microinverter solar system, there is a $1,200 piece of equipment called an electrical distribution board (we get ours from a company called iBoards, located right here in Australia). This piece of equipment houses the Enphase IQ Gateway, which monitors the electricity harvested by the solar panels and delivered to the main switchboard. This information is sent to the Enphase Enlighten app to help you monitor and maintain your system. The iBoard is manufactured by iBoards, but it contains Enphase tech, the IQ Gateway.
The iBoard is necessary when you install an Enphase microinverter solar system on your roof without a battery.
When installing an Enphase IQ Battery 5P to an existing Enphase solar system, the iBoard needs to be ripped out and replaced with a piece of technology called the Enphase IQ Controller.
The IQ Controller makes it possible for the Enphase battery to “talk” to the solar panels on the roof and with the electrical grid. It directs traffic, so to speak, for the system.
The IQ Controller houses everything the iBoard houses, including the IQ Gateway. The IQ Controller is home to a Smart Switch, the IQ Gateway, and circuit protection. The IQ Controller knows when there’s a disruption from the grid and seamlessly swaps from grid to battery backup power.
The cost of the IQ Controller when purchased alone can range from $2,273.70 to 3,100.
At Penrith Solar Centre, we offer the IQ Controller as a $2,000 line item that’s included in the cost of your Enphase IQ Battery 5P. That’s one reason why our price for the Enphase IQ Battery 5P is so much higher than our competition.
Cost of Installation: The cost of the installation is a major factor in pricing Enphase batteries.
At Penrith Solar Centre, the cost of installation is fixed at $2,500 per day and factored into your total cost for the battery.
When all the components of a solar system, including the battery, are installed together, it costs less because it’s all done at once. When you add a battery later, you’re paying for installation costs for an additional day of labour. It costs more to get a crew to your home for another day of work, which includes removing the iBoard and replacing it with an IQ Controller.
Penrith Solar Centre is an in-house, top-to-bottom, full-service solar installer. We take care of you from initial enquiry to powering up your newly installed solar system. I’m mentioning it here because it’s unusual in this industry; the costs are all-inclusive. One price covers everything you need. Not just the equipment, but the installation as well.
How Many Enphase Batteries Do You Need?
Your energy consumption patterns determine the cost of your system, the cost of how many batteries you install, and when you install them. The total price for each household will be different for each household because each household’s needs are unique.
How much electricity you need? Before we get into that, we’re going to get into some vocabulary that the solar industry uses when discussing batteries.
Enphase batteries are stackable. This is an industry term that describes connecting two or more solar batteries together to optimise energy storage for your needs.
In Australia, there’s only one Enphase battery available: the Enphase IQ Battery 5P. It’s a 5kWh battery.
Two batteries will give you 10kWh, three will be 15kWh, and you can probably guess what stacking four together will get you.
You need to think in terms of kilowatts and kilowatt hours when you’re shopping for a solar battery. It’s the unit of measurement for the cost of electricity.
When discussing the size of a solar battery, the term capacity is used to explain how much electricity a battery can store. Therefore, the capacity of the Enphase IQ Battery 5P is 5kWh.
The capacity of a battery is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). This is a measurement of how much energy can be stored in the battery.
Energy and power are not interchangeable terms when it comes to discussing electricity, though many writers of solar panels often do this. Power is electricity in motion, like water flowing through a hose. Energy is electricity when it’s stored up, like water in a bucket.
Got a couple more terms for you, hang in there.
Now that you understand the difference between power and energy, you need to understand the difference between continuous power and peak power.
Continuous power is the power released from the battery for normal, everyday applications. It’s a steady stream of power from the battery to your appliances. Peak power is the ability to juice the system for large appliances that need a little more electricity to get started.
In the case of the Enphase IQ Battery 5P, the energy capacity is 5kWh and the power rating is 3.84 kW of continuous power or peak output power of 7.68 kW (3 seconds) or 6.14 kW (10 seconds).
Because the Enphase battery has a relatively low energy capacity, we recommend stacking two together when purchasing and installing them. This will double the energy capacity up to 10kWh and double the power output for a rating of 7.69kW continuous power or 15.36kW when peak power is needed. We recommend this because the Enphase battery, though one of the best on the market and one we stand behind, has about half the energy and power capacity of other batteries in its class.
When you stack two Enphase IQ Batteries together, it makes it awfully competitive with its competitors. For more information about how the Enphase battery stacks up (sorry, can’t help but make little puns) to other solar batteries, you might want to check out this article titled, Enphase IQ Battery 5P vs Tesla Powerwall 2.
Enphase IQ Battery 5P and Energy Consumption Patterns
Now that you understand all the terms about the battery, you are ready to dive into evaluating your energy consumption patterns. It’s another fancy solar industry phrase that we like to throw around that means how you use electricity in your home.
Any skilled solar installer will thoroughly discuss your energy consumption patterns with you before figuring out the best placement for your solar panels. The same goes for installing an Enphase battery.
How many Enphase batteries you should buy, stack, and install depends on your energy consumption patterns. Which is measured in kilowatts and kilowatt hours. And those numbers will vary from household to household.
Have you spent some time figuring out when you are typically at home and how much electricity you use during that time? The answers to the following questions are part of your energy consumption patterns.
Daily Routine: What does your typical daily routine look like? Are you usually at home when the sun is shining, or does your energy usage peak in the evening? For most people, it’s in the evening.
Appliance Usage: Consider the appliances you use and the times you operate them. Are you running energy-intensive appliances during the day, or do you primarily use them in the evening?
Seasonal Changes: Consider the seasons. Your heating and cooling requirements vary with the weather. For example, you may use air conditioning more in the summer, affecting your electricity consumption differently than in the winter. Also, your lighting preferences will change with the season. You’ll need light after 5pm in the winter.
Seasonal Activities: Think about any seasonal activities that may impact your electricity usage, such as increased use of a pool pump in the summer.
The energy consumption patterns of most households tend to follow a similar pattern. Homes in the Sydney metro area typically use electricity in the morning and in the afternoon/evening hours, as residents often work or attend school in the middle of the day.
When shopping for batteries, you also need to know your energy needs for when your home is “idling.” Idling is when the household is in minimum standby mode. The refrigerator is always running, for example. If you have a swimming pool, that’s going to require constant energy as well.
More batteries will cost you more upfront. If your energy consumption needs are met with more batteries, you’ll be saving money long-term.
Please understand that a battery is not a one-time, fixed-cost commodity. In fact, the biggest mistake that customers make when shopping for a solar battery is treating it like it is.
When you’re pricing batteries for your solar system, you need to calculate the cost in terms of how much money you will save during the life of the battery and solar system. This will change from household to household because everyone’s needs are unique.
When a battery is a part of your solar system, it will affect how efficiently the entire system operates for you. With a battery, your solar system will save more money for you than solar panels working alone. It’s a significant upfront cost, but the payout is bigger in the long run because it reduces your reliance on the electrical grid for energy.
The less you rely on the grid, the lower your bills. And remember, the cost of electricity is rising.
One of our solar experts, Charlie, noting our Enphase Microinverter Warranty
Additional Considerations While Shopping for Quotes
As you go forth into the marketplace, there are a couple of things you need to keep an eye out for from other installers.
A lot of solar systems are installed by Australian subcontractors. You need to consider this when pricing batteries, especially something as sophisticated as an Enphase system. It’s important to choose a battery from a company with offices in Australia, which Enphase has.
It could end up costing you quite a bit to service or replace a battery (or any solar equipment) if the brand you purchase doesn’t have local offices. How can a company without offices in Australia fulfil your warranty claims? How are they going to replace or repair faulty equipment?
Why is that? Warranties. You need a company with customer service in Australia. How are you going to get a malfunctioning battery replaced if it was installed by a subcontractor hired by a corporation on the other side of the world? The battery might cost less upfront, but there’s risk involved in those savings.
Some subcontractors will also add extra charges. Especially in more complicated setups or retrofits. How detailed is your quote? What additional charges are not included in the price of the battery and installation? When you’re dealing with an AC-coupled battery like Enphase, are there any additional pieces of equipment like an IQ Controller included in the cost?
For a detailed examination of in-house installers like Penrith Solar Centre compared to subcontractors, you’ll want to read this unbiased look into that very topic titled, In-house Installers vs. Subcontractors: Which is Better?
Is an Enphase IQ Battery 5P Worth the Cost?
While the cost of adding an Enphase IQ Battery 5 P to an existing solar system or a new one might vary from installer to installer for numerous reasons, there are several factors to consider that affect the price. We understand how complex and confusing it can be. You should now have a better understanding of how those costs are calculated.
At Penrith Solar Center, we want you to get the most out of your money, and the long-term return on investment is something that heavily impacts that upfront cost. The best advice we can give you is this: move slowly and ask lots of questions.
If you’re interested in learning more about what to consider when purchasing a solar battery, you might want to check out this article titled, Enphase IQ Battery 5P Review.