As energy prices continue to soar, UK homeowners are looking for ways to significantly reduce their electricity and energy costs permanently. Solar battery storage is a reliable, emerging, and exciting technology that has been gaining popularity year on year as it can potentially lower your energy bill.
In this article, we’ll be looking at:
- How much solar battery storage costs
- What affects the cost of solar battery storage
- How to save money on solar battery storage
- How to know if solar battery storage is right for you
- How to choose a solar battery storage system
- What’s involved in installing a solar battery storage system
If you’re wanting to transition to a cleaner energy source and think that solar power could be the way forward for you, keep reading to find out the most cost-effective way of having your solar battery storage installed.
How Much Does Solar Battery Storage Cost?
There’s more than just one type of solar battery storage – and depending on their storage capacity, charge and discharge rate and life cycles, their prices can range from £1,700 up to £11,510 and beyond.
|MANUFACTURER||ESTIMATED COST||STORAGE CAPACITY||USEABLE CAPACITY||CHARGE AND DISCHARGE RATE||LIFECYCLES UNDER WARRANTY||MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY|
|Enphase||From £1,700||1.2 kWh||1.2 kWh||960 wH||7,300||10 years|
|SolaX||From £1,920 to £4,000||4.5 to 6.3 kWh||4.3 to 6.0 kWh||N/A||6,000||5 to 10 years|
|Moixa||From £2,950 to £3,450||2 to 4.8 kWh||Up to 3.8 kWh||Up to 2.4 kWh||6,000||10 years|
|Powervault||From £3,230||8.2 kWh||8.2 kWh||Up to 5.5 kWh||6,000||10 years|
|Varta||From £3,730 to £9,300||3.3 to 6.5 kWh||2.9 to 5.8 kWh||N/A||10,000||7 to 10 years|
|Duracell||From £4,500 to £5,000||3.3 kWh||3 kWh||N/A||N/A||10 years|
|Solis/Puredrive Hybrid||From £5,250||5 kWh||4.5 kWh||3.68 kWh||10,000||10 years|
|Solid/BYD Hybrid||From £5,300||7.0 kWh||5.6 kWh||3.0 kWh||2,842||10 years|
|Puredrive||From £5,520 to £7,200||5 to 10 kWh||4.5 to 9 kWh||Up to 5 kWh||10,000||10 years|
|Samsung||From £5,500||3.6 kWh||3.24 kWh||N/A||6,000||5 years|
|LG||From £5,550||3.3 to 6.5 kWh||Up to 5.9 kWh||N/A||6,000||Up to 10 years|
|Nissan||From £5,550||4.2 to 6 kWh||3.6 to 4.2 kWh||N/A||N/A||5 to 10 years|
|Tesla||From £6,200 to £10,500||13.5 kWh||13.5 kWh||5 kWh||Unlimited||10 years|
|SolarEdge||From £7,250||10.3 kWh||9.7 kWh||5.0 kWh||Unlimited||10 years|
|Sonnen||From £7,450 to £11,510||11 to 22 kWh||10 to 20 kWh||4.6 kWh||10,000||10 years|
Prices last reviewed in November 2022.
Solar battery storage prices vary greatly, dependent upon the capacity of the storage unit itself. Enphase offers the lowest-priced model, offering just 1.2kWh of storage, at a price of £1,700 – while Tesla offers larger systems of 13.5kWh for anywhere between £6,200 to £10,500 – it’s worth keeping in mind that the average household will use around 8kWh of electricity per day, to put these numbers into context.
While there is a maximum storage capacity in these batteries, there is also the ‘usable capacity’ – this is because batteries lose energy over time with continual use – so when picking your battery storage it’s important that you ensure there is enough power there to keep your house up and running, even after years of use.
Most solar batteries will come with a warranty as standard. Most units won’t need much maintenance over their lifetime, so the length of the warranty period can signal to you how long you can expect your product to work without a hitch – the longer the warranty period, the better the initial investment is, as you won’t have to replace them as quickly as other models.
On top of the base prices, you’ll have to factor in the cost of installation. Hiring your electrician to fit your new solar battery storage system may add between £500 and £1,500 to the total, depending on the complexity of the installation.
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What Affects the Cost of Solar Battery Storage?
As we can see in the price comparison table above, there are a few ways in which prices for solar battery storage can rise and fall. Here are the main areas to look out for if you’re wanting to be as cost-effective as possible.
The Battery Capacity (kWh)
The solar battery capacity is how much energy the unit can store for future use. Solar panels alone create energy, whereas batteries can store that energy for use when you need it, such as in the evenings when the sun has set.
Typically, the higher the battery’s capacity, the higher the price of the solar battery unit itself. Capacities range from 1.2kWh to 16kWh – as we can see from the comparison table, prices can start at £1,700 for a 1.2kWh storage unit, while larger capacities of 13.5kWh can command costs of £10,500+.
A solar battery storage system cycle is just like the battery cycle on your mobile phone. For solar battery storage systems, a cycle is a complete discharge of the batteries followed by a complete charge.
If your battery discharges by 50% and then you recharge it again, this counts as half a cycle. Some manufacturers provide an unlimited cycle guarantee, but most give a figure, and this number can range between 1,800 and 10,000 cycles.
It’s important to take note of this when buying your storage unit as this will effectively tell you how much juice you can get out of your system before it’s time to replace the units. The ‘usable capacity’ will show the likely output available from the battery after repeated charges and discharges over time.
To put this into context, Varta offers 10,000 lifecycles under warranty for their £9,300 6.5kWh battery – versus SolaX with 6,000 lifecycles under warranty for a £4,000 6.3kWh battery.
The Depth of Discharge
The depth of discharge is how we measure the output of a battery relative to its capacity. As batteries are used, their ability to hold charge decreases and the depth of discharge helps us to calculate the remaining charge hold.
This is important to bear in mind when looking at your battery’s original purchase statistics, as the full energy storage will be depleted over years of use.
The Charging and Discharging Rate
The solar battery charging and discharging rate is the full capacity of the battery compared to the time it takes to charge to that storage, which will give you the charging and discharging rate.
The Battery Material
The chemistry of the battery is something you’ll need to consider.
Lead acid is the cheapest solar battery storage option, at around £2,000 for 4kWh of storage. They have the longest history and are reliable.
They do however have a shorter lifespan in general, and a lower depth of discharge, meaning you’ll need to replace the batteries more often than other types – but they are recyclable.
Lithium ion batteries don’t need much maintenance to keep running, have a longer life cycle – 4,000 versus a lead acid battery life cycle of around 1,800 – and can hold more energy than lead acid batteries.
For all these pros, they do come with a higher price point – around £4,000 for the same 4kWh storage. They also carry a higher fire risk, which is why they must be installed properly and by a professional to reduce this risk.
Also known as Ni-Cd, these batteries are durable and can work at extreme temperatures, unlike some other variants. They are banned in some countries as the cadmium is toxic, making them not the best choice for everyone – what’s more, they are more expensive than lead acid battery types.
Boasting a long life and low self-discharge rate is the nickel-metal hydride battery. Able to charge and discharge at temperatures below 0°C and above 60°C, they are good options for harsh weather conditions.
For more information on this battery type, see this press release from Panasonic.
Whether You Choose Flow Batteries
Flow batteries are one of the newer types of technology, and they last the longest – up to 30 years. Partnered with this fact is a predictably higher price point due to the technology used.
These are also touted as being ‘clean energy’, as some battery types cannot be safely disposed of after use or recycled.
Whether You Choose Saltwater Batteries
You may also be offered a saltwater solar battery storage system – however, please be aware that, although this is a promising technology, it is relatively untested in the home.
For more information on this battery type, take a look at this news report.
Where You Choose AC or DC Coupling
AC or DC relates to alternating or direct coupling. AC has the current flowing rapidly backwards and forwards, while DC is a one-directional current flow.
AC coupling is more expensive than DC because you’ll need a separate inverter or charger to use the power collected. AC can be used to collect off-peak electricity, though, something which DC batteries cannot do.
If You Require Smart Monitoring
Smart monitoring is something you may already do at home, which is to keep track of your daily energy use and spend via a monitor or display in your home.
These models can start at £100, and run into the £1,000s, depending on the type of technology you opt for and the depth of controls.
Whether You Require a Battery Backup
Technology can fail, and batteries can drain or not recharge as planned. Having a backup battery can save you from plunging into darkness if your existing store fails.
How Can I Save Money on a Solar Battery Storage System?
Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of your solar power project. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple solar battery installers near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.
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Knowing how to select the right solar battery for your home can be confusing, with so many variations and outputs and other figures. It’s best to always consult closely with a professional electrician to help select the right one for you and your circumstances.
Not every solar battery storage system is the same, so before opting for your battery you should know how much electricity your household consumes, so you can choose a battery with the right output.
A good rule of thumb when selecting a system, other than the advice you get from your installer, is that the more electrical items you have in constant or near-constant use, the higher the power output number on your solar battery storage system should be.
Ideally, purchase a solar battery at the same time as your photovoltaic (PV) panels. Storage batteries purchased alongside panels are only subject to 5 per cent VAT, whereas batteries retrofitted after installation are subject to 20 per cent VAT.
Solar panels are a proven saver for hundreds of thousands of British households, cutting billions of electricity bills every year. The addition of a solar battery storage system will increase the level of savings you’ll make, eventually having the chance to pay for itself.
When you sell electricity that you’ve produced to the National Grid, you do get paid on it but at a far lower rate than you purchase energy from your supplier. By preventing that energy from being distributed, you will enjoy the electricity for yourself at no cost.
Is a Solar Battery Storage System Right for Me?
Changing your energy system to something completely new can be challenging. Let’s take a look at the key advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
|Investment in your future, helping to reduce energy bills||Large space is required for the solar batteries|
|Small amount of maintenance needed over lifetime which you can do yourself||Solar batteries are heavy, so your storage place needs to be able to cope with this|
|Environmentally friendly power option||Expensive up-front costs|
|Backup energy reserves||May struggle to operate during extremely cold or hot conditions|
When you’re selecting which solar battery storage system is right for your home, the price will be an important consideration. Purchasing a system is an investment that is designed to pay you back over several years with energy bill savings.
In terms of your time, your solar battery storage system will need maintenance (albeit quite a low level) so that it continues to work as you want it to. There may be no monetary charge to this self-maintenance but there will be a small cost in time to you.
Solar energy has better green credentials than other traditional forms of fuel for your home, making it a sound environmental investment for the future. What’s more, battery storage can kick in when the sun goes down, meaning you don’t end up without lights in the evenings when your solar panels can’t function.
Looking at the disadvantages, solar battery storage systems are large additions to your home and you’ll need to create space for one. Units generally weigh from 50kg (equivalent to a bale of hay) to 200kg (equivalent to a gorilla!). Of course, how much the solar battery charging system you end up choosing weighs depends on the unit you choose to best fit your needs, the available space in your home, and the requirements you have for the equipment.
As we’ve shown, the cost to install solar battery storage can be high depending on the type you opt for. To quantify this, you need to consider the energy bill savings over time to see what your payback would be.
How Do I Choose a Solar Battery Storage System?
It can be confusing switching to a new heating system, and you’re likely to have a few questions for the professionals to ensure you’re getting the right model and output for your needs.
You should start with your budget – how much are you willing to spend? Remember to consider the potential savings in your energy bills throughout the years, as well as any payments you might receive from the Smart Export Guarantee, which can help to temper the initial up-front cost – by using this calculator, you can calculate the estimated payments you could receive.
Thinking about potential power failure is important to ensure you’re safeguarded in such an event. Decide if you’re planning on using the solar batteries for power outage situations, or if they’re being used for long-term energy use.
Knowing how much storage you’ll need can be tricky; after a few years or months of using the system you’ll have a greater idea of the kind of power you need. It’s worth knowing if you can add more batteries at a later stage, so consider this before making any purchases.
You should also ask your supplier how efficient the system is, and how much stored energy can be used. Understanding how quickly the batteries charge and discharge can also be useful to help you gauge your usage.
You’ll want to make sure you’ve accounted for the space required to store the solar batteries. Some batteries are compact and can be stored inside, such as under your staircase, whilst lead batteries and larger systems can only be stored outside in a weatherproof structure.
When it comes to maintenance, it’s important that you understand the operations and get to grips with the interface you’ll have to use. Finally, you’ll want to check if there is a manufacturer’s warranty, and for how long – and then at the end of the lifecycle, know how you can safely dispose of the system in recycling facilities.
What’s Involved in Installing a Solar Battery Storage System?
Unless you’re an experienced and qualified electrician, do not try to fit the solar battery storage system yourself. It’s better to bring an independent installer in from the start who can talk to you about what you want from your solar battery storage system.
From your discussion, your installer will help you choose a solar battery storage system with the correct voltage needed to connect it to your existing or future solar panels.
You then have a couple of choices about the solar battery storage system you choose. If you choose the more common DC battery system, it’s best to get them installed at the same time as your solar panels, although an experienced electrician will be able to retrofit your solar battery storage system to any existing panels you have in most cases.
Alternatively, you can choose the AC solar battery storage system. These don’t connect directly to your panels, instead, they connect via your electricity meter. If you choose this option, your installer will also need to fit a second inverter.
The AC option is what installers generally recommend if you want to retrofit your solar battery storage system to your existing solar panels.
How Do I Find and Hire an Installer?
Finding the right solar battery installer can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to tradespeople in your area.
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When you look for a solar battery storage system installer, make sure you choose one registered with the Renewable Energy Consumer Code. You can also use the MCS register of certified installers to find someone suitable in your area.
If you know your neighbours have had similar solar battery storage installed in their home, ask them to see if they’d recommend their supplier. This will not only save you time in searching for a suitable trader, but it will also help you side-step any rogue traders, too.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
As with all home improvement projects, you should get hold of a written quote as soon as possible. Whether the trader has come to you via a recommendation or simply by your own search, you should seek out their experience and previous work to ensure they’re a good fit for you and your needs.
Similarly, looking at previous customer ratings or testimonials can help you understand a trader’s work ethic, as well as any available photographs or videos of their previous projects.
Finally, double-checking a trader has relevant insurance before they get started on your project is a better safe than sorry scenario.
If you already have solar panels and want to optimise the power you’re collecting, installing solar power batteries is the way to go. Here’s what to make sure you check off during your project timeline:
- Find a reputable trader to fit and instal your solar power battery, as well as advise you on what capacity is right for your household
- With the help of your trader, understand what battery material is most fitted to your home
- Take into consideration any maintenance obligations or risks with that type of storage and make sure those are properly mitigated with the help of your professional to advise
- Calculate your energy savings costs to offset the initial payment on installation and purchase price
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need Solar Batteries to Power Solar Panels?
No – you can use solar panels independently from solar batteries (as in choose not to store the energy made if it’s not used within a day).
If you do this, you’ll be reverted to the National Grid for your energy supply when your solar panels aren’t in use.
How Many Solar Batteries Do You Need to Power a House?
EnergySage estimates that the average solar battery is 10 kWh per unit.
If you want to use your battery storage as a contingency if the power grid goes down, one battery will be sufficient, otherwise, they estimate that to be off-grid completely, you’ll need between eight to twelve batteries.
Where Should I Store My Solar Batteries/Can I Store the Solar Batteries in My Loft?
Where you can store your solar batteries depends on the type of battery you opt for, as some have safety reasons which stipulate their location in or around your home.
For full information, look at the manufacturer’s guidelines, and if in doubt, ask your professional installer who will be able to assess the best location for it to be stored.
Can I Store My Solar Batteries Outside?
Again, this depends on the type of battery you choose. If it’s a flooded battery type, you’ll need to store this in a well-ventilated area that’s not inside your home, within a battery box, in your garage or protected shed.
For more information see this page, or refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on proper care and storage.
How Long Does It Take To Install a Solar Battery?
The exact answer depends on how many batteries you need, the type of battery you choose, and whether you’re installing them alongside solar PV panels or retrofitting them into an existing system.
Some solar batteries, such as those made by Varta, can be installed in as little as 1 hour.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
Solar panels can range from £1,800 to over £10,000 depending on the amount you choose and your available roof space.
For full information on solar panel costings, see our dedicated page.
Can I Get a Grant for Free Solar Panels?
How Much Do Solar Roof Tiles Cost?
Can I Charge My Electric Vehicle Using a Solar Battery?
Some manufacturers such as Nissan’s xStorage solar battery can be used to charge your electric vehicle.
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