The Renewable Energy Company
SOLAR BATTERY STORAGE
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WHAT IS ENERGY STORAGE AND HOW DOES IT WORK
Home energy storage systems store generated electricity or heat, so that you can use the energy when you need it.
Electricity can be stored in electrical batteries, or it can be converted into heat and stored in a heat battery. Heat can also be stored in heat batteries or in thermal storage, such as a hot water cylinder.
Energy storage can be useful for people who generate their own renewable energy, as it allows them to use more of their low carbon energy.
BATTERY STORAGE (FOR ELECTRICTY)
Electrical batteries help you make the most of renewable electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, a wind turbine or a hydroelectricity system. For example, electricity generated during the day by solar PV panels could be stored in an electric battery for you to use for boiling the kettle or watching TV in the evening when your solar PV panels are no longer generating electricity.
The battery size and its cost will depend on your current energy use and the size of any generation technologies you have installed. You may also want to plan around future electricity use if you are intending to purchase an electric vehicle (EV) or heat your home with a heat pump.
What are the benefits of battery storage?
As well as storing the electricity generated by your home renewable technology, a battery can also be used to store electricity bought from the grid at cheaper times of the day, with new smart dynamic tariffs that vary in price throughout the day. This can reduce your reliance on more expensive electricity during peak periods, with some tariffs even allowing you to ‘sell back’ during those periods. Look at our electricity tariffs page for more information.
Most electricity storage systems offer smart management, allowing you to track energy usage online.
Will installing a battery save me money?
If you have a renewable technology, installing a battery will save you money on your electricity bills, as you will rely less on electricity from the grid. You need to weigh the potential savings against the cost of installation, and how long the battery will last. Battery technology is constantly evolving, and it is expected that batteries will last longer as the technology improves.
When you speak to an installer, ask them to quantify any predictions on lifespan and cost savings, to make sure you understand fully before signing any contracts.
Will installing a battery affect my Feed-in Tariff payments?
If you currently receive FIT payments for an existing renewable electricity system, and you add an electricity storage system, then your generation payments should be unaffected. Before you go ahead, check with your FIT supplier that the storage installation does not affect your eligibility.
If your export payments are currently ‘deemed’ at 50% of generation, this will not change with the addition of storage, even though actual exports will be reduced. However, if you get a smart meter fitted this will operate as an export meter. All your export payments from then on should be based on actual metered export, and these payments will reduce if you add storage.