What to bear in mind when installing battery storage

What’s the cost of a battery storage system?

Depending on the model and the size of the system, battery storage systems normally cost between £2000-£3500 to install. It’s a lot of money and you’ll want to make sure your system is worth it and that it will eventually pay for itself in savings to your energy bills.

The main thing to take into account when installing battery storage is the energy savings you’ll make from using your own stored electricity rather than importing it from the National Grid. Clearly, it could save you a lot of money on your bills if you generated most of your energy yourself in the summer.

As it stands, you will also get the Feed-in Tariff ‘export’ payments, whether or not you keep or export the electricity you are generating. These are given for what the government guesses you don’t use yourself and therefore send to the grid. At the moment, the Government has no way of knowing how much you export, so it calculates the amount by halving your generation reading.

The invention of ‘time of use‘ tariffs could bring a new age for battery storage systems. Rather than just using them with home renewables, in theory you could have a standalone battery system to benefit from cheap electricity rates. Time of use tariffs offer very cheap electricity at certain off-peak times, in order to help balance demand. It should be possible to charge your batteries during these hours and use the electricity whenever you want it. If you had a large enough battery system to meet all the needs of your household, it could mean you’d never have to pay more than 4p per hour (rather than 12p) for your electricity!

Things to ask your installer when installing battery storage

INSTALLATION

    • Do you need permission from anyone before you install it? Your Distribution Network Operator will require notification of the battery storage system install. You may also need to notify Ofgem, or your local council.
    • Are there any special considerations to bear in mind? Your battery may need to go on the ground floor because it is heavy, for instance. It may also need ventilation.
    • Does it have an energy monitor, so you can see how much of your self-generated energy you are using, as much as how much you generate?

HOW IT WORKS

    • How exactly does your system work? You don’t need to get too technical, but it’s wise to have an idea of the different elements of your system and what they do.
    • Will the battery ever need to be charged from the mains? Say, for example, you’ve had a sunny afternoon but the battery is only partly charged and the weather forecast for tomorrow isn’t good. Your battery may require mains electricity to top it up and complete the charge cycle, to maintain its efficiency. It can be bad for the health of the battery to stay at a low voltage for an extended period of time. This electricity will obviously cost you a bit of money, so you don’t want to be surprised when your bills comes through.
    • Will the battery work with your existing solar diverter?
    • Will it operate during a power cut? Some models won’t.

REPLACEMENT/DISPOSAL

    • What is the predicted lifetime of the battery? How many charges will your battery withstand/roughly how many years does this equate to?
    • Is your system under any guarantees?
    • How will you know when it’s time to replace them?
    • How can you safely dispose of the battery/will you need to pay to recycle it?
    • How much will a replacement battery cost? The battery will – more likely than not – need replacing at least once over the lifetime of the solar PV panels.
    • Can you replace your battery with a model from a different manufacturer?

Installing battery storage

Interested in having a battery storage system installed in your home? We have scoured the country for the best tradespeople, so that we can make sure we only recommend those we really trust. You can find one of these on our easy to use local installer map.

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