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Last updated: 2 April 2024

Solar Battery Storage in the UK: A Complete 2024 Guide

Solar Battery Storage in the UK
  • Solar batteries ensure that you can store excess energy generated during peak sunlight hours for later use.
  • The average solar battery system for a 3-bedroom house ranges from £3,500 to £5,000 and could potentially save around £810 annually on electricity bills.
  • Pairing your solar panels with a solar battery system can reduce energy bills and grid dependence, with the UK government removing VAT on battery energy storage systems from February 1, 2024.

Solar batteries are set to play a pivotal role in the green transition by effectively storing solar energy, enabling its use for lighting homes during daylight hours and supplying power during darker periods, particularly in regions such as the UK.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to solar battery storage in the UK, covering what it is and how it works, solar battery prices, advantages and disadvantages, and the different grants for solar batteries available in the UK. Keep reading to find out more and gain the necessary insight before making a final decision.

Has this sparked your interest in batteries for solar panels? Researching and contacting reputable solar energy professionals one by one can take hours if not days of your precious time. To simplify this often time-consuming task, here at GreenMatch, we can connect you with up to four certified solar experts by simply completing our short 30-second online form.

This service not only saves time but also ensures access to expert advice and competitive pricing options without any obligation to commit. Get started by simply clicking the button below:

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What is a solar battery and how does it work?

Solar battery storage systems are designed to allow homeowners to store the excess energy generated by solar panels during peak periods of sunlight and provide a steady supply of electricity during the short and cloudy days that are typical during winter in the UK.

Furthermore, you might be wondering, “How exactly do solar batteries work?” Well, the way solar batteries operate depends on how your solar panels are connected to the storage system, which can be done through direct current (DC) coupling or alternating current (AC) coupling.

Solar Battery Day and Night
1 2 3

Solar panels produce DC electricity, which needs to be converted to AC electricity for use in home appliances. To store this energy, solar batteries can only store DC electricity. The conversion point depends on whether the battery is DC or AC coupled, impacting the overall efficiency and setup complexity of the system.

Converting AC electricity from the grid into DC electricity for storage in batteries is a cost-effective strategy, especially during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower. This approach optimises energy usage and savings by utilising cheaper grid electricity for storage.

Consider a hybrid inverter as a versatile solution that can efficiently convert both DC and AC electricity, simplifying your home’s energy infrastructure. When choosing between AC-coupled and DC-coupled battery storage systems, evaluating factors like efficiency and installation complexity is crucial.

Consult with a reputable solar installer who can provide valuable insights and guidance to make an informed decision tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Instead of spending hours of your time looking for experts by yourself, simplify your solar journey by filling out our quick form to receive up to 4 free and non-binding quotes from local installers, enabling you to compare prices hassle-free and make a well-informed choice.

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Why use a solar panel battery in the UK?

Choosing batteries for solar panels can be a great addition to making the most out of your solar panels. Among them, we can find the following:

  • Batteries for solar panels provide a reliable backup in case of power shortages.
  • By using solar battery storage systems, you can reduce your reliance on the grid.
  • Charging a solar battery using electricity from the grid without the need for solar panels is entirely possible, becoming an interesting alternative for those households in rural areas with no stable power system or a high chance of blackouts.

What are the pros and cons of solar batteries?

Pros and cons of solar batteries

Solar batteries offer a host of advantages, such as energy independence. By allowing you to store surplus energy generated by your solar panels, solar batteries provide a reliable power source even when the sun takes a break. 

Here’s a breakdown of the benefits that solar panel batteries bring to the table in the UK:

  • Increased efficiency: Combining your solar panel system with a solar battery storage system enables you to optimise the solar energy generated by your panels by storing it for later use on days when the sun isn’t shining.
  • Independence from the grid: Solar batteries can provide a valuable backup during power cuts and fluctuating energy prices by storing the excess energy produced by your solar panels.
  • Eco-friendliness: By reducing your reliance on the national grid and storing electricity for later use, you can significantly decrease your dependence on polluting sources of energy like fossil fuel-generated electricity.
  • Reduced energy bills: Batteries can cut your energy bill by 70% when paired with efficient solar panels. While some reliance on traditional methods may be necessary based on your home and usage, you can still expect a notable decrease in energy expenses.

However, solar batteries do have their drawbacks, including:

  • High upfront cost: In the UK, solar batteries can range from £2,500 to £10,000, making them unaffordable for many homeowners with limited financial resources.
  • Weather dependency: Like solar panels, the effectiveness of solar batteries is influenced by weather conditions.
  • Limited lifespan: Solar batteries tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to solar panels. You may need to invest in two solar batteries during the typical 25-year lifespan of solar panels.

If you’ve been wondering “Do solar panels increase home value?”, the reduced energy bills, increased home value, and lower carbon emissions are significant benefits of solar batteries that are worth considering.

However, the initial cost can be significant, and storage capacity may not meet high energy demands.

Consulting with a solar professional is recommended to understand the benefits for your home. To easily compare quotes from local installers without the hassle of comparing and calling installers one by one yourself, simply fill out a quick form and receive up to 4 free quotes from trusted professionals in our network. Click below to get started with no obligation to accept any quotes.

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How much does home battery storage cost?

Currently, the most popular solar batteries cost between £2,500 and £10,000. These prices vary widely due to factors such as differences in capacity, battery type, and chemical composition. You can learn more about prices and the criteria from our picks for the best battery for solar panels.

Although there have been some fluctuations in cost, the overall trend of solar battery prices is decreasing. This is a similar situation to when photovoltaic systems were new. 

As technology improves and solar batteries increase in popularity, the costs will naturally decline. Therefore, these current prices are predicted to decrease further.

Below is a table of some of the most popular batteries available on the market with an estimation of what they cost in 2024:

Solar battery savings
Solar panel systemSolar battery size requiredAverage costs of solar battery systemAnnual savings
3kW6kWh – 7kWh£5,000 – £8,000£555
4kW9kWh – 10kWh£8,000 – £9,500£810
5kW11kWh – 12kWh£9,000 – £10,000£855
6kW13kWh – 14kWh£10,000+£1,230

It is worth noting that the savings figures shown above are based on solar panel savings on electricity bills and Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) income.

Even though the initial price of batteries for solar panels can be high, a plus is that they require little to no maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about any potential future costs. 

The prices in the table above are simply an estimation and don’t take installation costs or potential solar inverter costs into account. Installation costs can vary depending on factors such as the size of your battery and whether it’s AC- or DC-coupled.

Setting up your solar battery storage system together with your solar panels has a positive impact on the total cost to install solar panels and a solar battery.

The prices of solar batteries vary based on multiple factors, including the brand. For example, if you’re curious how much a 10kW solar battery would cost you, you’ll need to decide on its chemical composition and manufacturer first.

Good to Know!

Typically, a 10kW solar battery in the UK is expected to cost around £5,000 but you will also need to factor in labour and installation costs.

This is when a professional installer could weigh in. They can offer you up-to-date information regarding solar battery prices and the costs of their installation services. This way, you can rest assured that you are not overspending on your new solar battery storage system. 

You can click the button below to compare quotes from up to 4 solar installers in your area. With our simple form, it only takes 30 seconds to request free, no-obligation quotes to find the best deal for your home.

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Are there grants available for solar batteries for homes?

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

Solar Battery Grants in the UK: Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) in the UK, launched in January 2020, encourages homeowners to install solar panels. Participants with solar batteries can earn money by selling excess electricity back to the grid. SEG offers competitive rates (1p to 20p per kWh) from various licensees. 

Homes with solar panels under 5MW need a smart meter. For example, a 4kW system could save £810 annually at 5.5p per kWh.

0% VAT

Solar Battery Grants in the UK: 0% VAT

Starting February 1st, 2024, the UK government extended the 0% VAT scheme to cover solar battery storage systems. This includes new installations of solar panels and batteries, retrofitting batteries into existing solar setups, and standalone battery storage systems connected to the grid.

Previously, VAT relief only applied to solar batteries installed with new solar panels. This expansion aims to make solar energy more attractive to homeowners and increase its adoption. This initiative is scheduled to run until March 31, 2027.

Home Energy Scotland Loan

Solar Battery Grants in the UK: Home Energy Scotland Loan

The Home Energy Scotland Loan, supported by the Scottish Government, helps homeowners finance energy-efficient upgrades. Scottish residents can get loans covering up to 75% of installation costs, with cashback based on project expenses. For solar batteries, this could mean funding your solar panel setup and receiving up to £6,000 through government schemes, reducing the total cost of owning a solar system.

At GreenMatch, we have a large network of qualified solar panel installers across the UK. This means we can easily connect you with up to 4 professional installers in your area so that you can easily compare their prices and choose the best solar panels for your home.

If you want to avoid wasting hours of your time and money on overpriced installation companies, then fill in our 30-second form and receive up to 4 free quotes. Our service is completely free and non-binding, so what are you waiting for? Click the button below to find the best solar panels for your home.

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Solar panel battery storage: What should you consider?

solar panel battery storage factors

Before you compare the specs of various solar batteries, it’s important to understand which specs you should pay close attention to and what exactly they all mean. 

Battery size. A battery’s capacity size is the amount of electricity a battery is able to store. Battery size is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), therefore, it expresses how long a battery will be able to power your home. 

In particular, you should look out for a battery’s “usable capacity”, as this tells you how much of the stored electricity you can actually access.

Power rating. A battery’s power rating is expressed in kilowatts (kW) and tells you how many and what types of appliances you can power at once.

Round-trip efficiency. As mentioned earlier, you can lose energy by converting it from DC to AC electricity and back. Therefore, round-trip efficiency measures how well your battery and inverter convert and store electricity. It specifically tells you the percentage of energy put into the storage that can be retrieved again.

Depth of Discharge (DoD). Over time as batteries are used they lose their ability to hold charge. DoD is a calculation of the remaining charge hold.

This means that the full energy storage capacity the battery has at purchase will deplete over years of use. Therefore, when buying a solar battery it’s generally better to buy a battery with a higher DoD.

Battery life-cycle and warranty. A battery’s life-cycle measures the number of times you can charge and discharge a battery before it loses performance. In regards to the warranty, some manufacturers, like Tesla, provide an unlimited cycle guarantee, however, most give a figure which can range from 1,800 to 10,000 cycles.

What size solar battery do I need?

The appropriate size of solar battery storage in the UK depends on multiple considerations like energy consumption, backup duration, usage patterns, space availability, and budget.

Most UK households consume approximately 8.5kWh to 10kWh of electricity each day. On average, the size solar battery you need in the UK should be suitable for a 2 to 3-person household. Thus, a solar battery with a 10kWh to 20kWh capacity is generally deemed suitable to fulfil their home battery storage requirements. 

Engaging with a professional solar installer is advisable, as they can analyse your energy usage, space availability, and other pertinent factors to provide tailored guidance on the optimal size for your solar battery.

Below is an overview of various solar panel systems and the corresponding sizes of their solar batteries.

Solar battery sizes
Solar panel systemRequired solar battery size
3kW6 – 7kWh
4kW9 – 10kWh
5kW11 – 12kWh
6kW13 – 14kWh
12kW27 – 28kWh

Is a solar battery storage system right for my home?

best solar battery for your home

When deciding on the suitability of a solar battery for your home, it’s crucial to assess its advantages and disadvantages. In the end, the choice to incorporate solar battery storage in the UK relies on your location and climate, individual energy requirements, financial constraints, and the space at your disposal. 

When deciding on a solar battery installation, key factors include capacity (storage amount), efficiency (usable energy), depth of discharge (usable capacity), warranty, initial cost, maintenance, space requirements, location, battery life, and energy needs. By keeping these factors in mind, you can find the best solar battery for your personal needs.

Seeking advice from a professional installer, capable of evaluating your circumstances and offering tailored guidance, could prove advantageous.

You can search for installers and collect the information yourself, but how time-consuming and stressful would that be? Would you know if the installer you spent hours looking for was certified and had all the necessary expertise?

Thankfully, GreenMatch can do the legwork for you. Fill out our 30-second form to obtain up to 4 quotes from our extensive network of vetted solar battery installers.  No hidden fees or obligations to accept any offers. Simply click the button below to receive free quotes to compare.

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FAQ

Bronte McClelland
Written by Bronte McClelland, Writer

Brontë is an experienced writer and editor for GreenMatch. Her passion for sustainability and renewable energy drives her to stay at the forefront of green-energy trends.

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