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Storing energy in a solar battery - all you need to know

Posted by Clare Whitehall on May 31, 2024

With many of us looking for ways to save on our monthly energy bills, and contribute to a greener future - solar energy has become a popular choice for many homeowners. 

Solar energy is recognised as one of the most effective forms of renewable energy generation

However, one of its drawbacks is that it only generates clean energy during daylight hours - with no electricity being generated after the sun goes down when you might need it the most.

That's where solar battery storage systems come in – allowing you to store the energy your solar panels generate during the day, so you can use it whenever you need it. 

In this article, we'll explore how solar battery storage works, and how it can help you make the most of your solar panel system.


Understanding the basics of battery storage

At a basic level, energy storage is all about capturing the electricity generated by your solar panels during the day and saving it in a battery for later use. 

Understanding the basics of battery storage in your solar panel

But the benefits of battery storage don't stop there. 

What many people don't realise is that you can also use your battery to store electricity bought from the national grid during off-peak hours when prices are lower. You can then use this electricity during peak hours when energy prices are higher.

To take this to the next level -  if your battery storage solution has smart management features, you can even take advantage of smart dynamic tariffs (also known as ‘time-of-use tariffs), which offer different electricity prices throughout the day based on demand. 

This enables you to purchase energy from the grid to charge your battery when prices are at their lowest and switch to battery power when rates increase. 

Using this clever approach to purchasing and storing electricity can dramatically reduce your dependence on the national grid during peak hours when energy is most expensive and bring significant cost savings to your household energy bills.

How much money can I save with battery storage? 


This is a very difficult question to answer, as a lot depends on your household energy usage, the efficiency and output of your solar panels, and the storage capacity of your battery. 

What we can say, with absolute confidence, is that including battery storage in your solar panel system can significantly increase its efficiency and lead to greater cost savings than a system without a battery. 

To put this in context, a standard solar panel installation without battery storage will typically cover around 30%-50% of your overall household energy needs. With battery storage installed, your system is more likely to cover 80-100% of your electricity usage. 

However, installing battery storage does add to the upfront costs of your solar panel installation, with the average cost of a battery ranging between £1200 and £6000 based on their size and capacity.

So it requires a lot of careful thought before deciding on whether battery storage is right for you. 

When you’re weighing up the costs and benefits of battery storage, it’s important to look at your future potential energy usage - not just the electricity you’re using right now.

For example, if you’re likely to be purchasing an electric car in the next few years, the additional electricity usage that will come from this is likely to have a major influence on your decision over whether to maximise the efficiency of your solar panel installation with battery storage. 

For the majority of customers that evaluate the long-term cost savings against the initial upfront cost of battery storage, opting for a battery makes commercial sense. But every situation is different, and it’s important to have an open conversation with your solar panel installer to make sure it’s the right solution for you. 


How long will my solar battery last?

Another thing to consider when you’re thinking about investing in a solar battery storage system is how long the batteries will last. 

The good news is that solar battery technology has come a long way in recent years, and modern lithium-ion batteries are built to last for up to 15 years with the right care.

However, it's important to remember that how long your solar battery actually lasts will depend on a few things, like the quality of the battery, how often you’re going to discharge the battery, the temperature of the environment where you keep your battery and how well you maintain them. 

When you're considering a solar battery storage system, make sure to ask your installer about how long the batteries are expected to last and what kind of warranties or guarantees come with them. 

Also, ask about what kind of maintenance is likely to be needed to keep your batteries in top shape and extend their longevity. 


Will installing a battery affect payments from the Feed-in Tariff? 


If you currently receive payments through the legacy Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme for the excess energy generated by your solar panels, you might be concerned about whether the installation of battery storage will impact your payments.

To put your mind at rest, the good news is that adding battery storage to your solar panel system shouldn't affect your payments. 

However, it's always a good idea to double-check with your solar panel installation partner to make sure that installing a battery won't impact your eligibility for FIT or the Smart Export Guarantee

If your FIT export payments are currently estimated, adding a battery storage system won't change your payment amounts - even if your actual exports to the grid decrease. 

However, if you install a smart meter, it will track your actual exports, and your export payments will be based on that data - so this may impact the payments you receive. 


Talk to an expert about the best battery storage solutions for your needs

Solar energy is becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners that are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy bills. 

And for anyone looking to improve the efficiency and cost savings of their solar installation, battery storage is often a wise choice. 

However, every household is different - and there are a lot of considerations to take into account when you’re deciding whether battery storage is right for you. 

Before you make any decision, speak to a solar panel installation partner you can trust - who can listen to your needs and requirements and advise on the right solar panel system for your home. 

At Projects4Roofing, we’ve been managing roofing projects for more than a decade, and we’re proud of our customer testimonials and Which? Trusted Trader status. 

So, if you’re looking for some advice on your solar panel installation, get in touch with Projects4Roofing today!


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Topics: Building regulations, Solar energy, Solar panels, Solar panel installation

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