Tesla Powerwall is becoming increasingly popular in Australia and more people are starting to see why following a blackout in a Sydney suburb during a heatwave.

Australia is currently suffering from a serious heatwave resulting in every household cranking up their air conditioning.

That created trouble for people in Sydney’s eastern suburbs last week as a problem at a power substation resulted in a blackout at 45,000 properties.

Carl Prins’ house is a neighborhood that was affected by the blackout, but he says that he didn’t even realize that they had lost grid power because his Tesla Powerwall 2 went into ‘backup mode’.

He told local news The Sydney Morning Herald:

“I didn’t initially realise the power had gone out but then I got a text notification from the app to say that it was now in backup mode,”

His family was able to use power stored in the Tesla home battery pack and stay cool:

“We would have had to get in the car and go to Westfield [shopping centre] or the library to stay cool. […] You can certainly watch TV and leave on one or two airconditioners; it is just about how much power you have left in the battery because it drains out obviously like your iPhone,”

Australia has the highest penetration of residential solar in the world, but even households with solar systems were affected by the blackout.

Prins noted:

“Most people don’t realise if the grid goes out solar gets turned off too; it is a safety issue,”

Now more people, like Prins, are looking to combine their solar systems with a home battery pack.

It’s estimated that there are over 200,000 residential solar systems in Australia about 20,000 of them have home battery pack installation at this point.

Several companies, including Tesla, are looking to accelerate the adoption.

The effort is particularly significant in South Australia where the government is offering significant discounts for the deployment of 40,000 home battery packs and Tesla is trying to build its Powerwall-powered 50,000 homes virtual power plant.

While backup power in case of an outage is an attractive feature, many are installing them for financial reasons.

Energy storage capacity helps optimize the use of their home solar power.

In Prins’ case, he says that his power bills went from about $4000 a year to $600 since he combined a solar system and a Tesla Powerwall.

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