15 Reasons You Should Get Battery Storage

15 Reasons You Should Get Battery Storage

Are you interested in lowering your electricity bills? How about using more renewable energy and gaining independence from suppliers?

Home battery storage is one sustainable option that’s growing in popularity. And there are good reasons for this.

Previously battery storage was inaccessible for most due high costs and a lack of awareness around the topic. But residential battery storage is now firmly here as part of the sustainable home solution. This article will explain all you need to know about the benefits of residential battery storage.  

What do we mean by battery storage?

Residential battery storage is a home energy storage system. It consists of a battery (or batteries) that store electrical energy for later use. Batteries can either collect and save energy from renewable sources like solar panels or import it from the grid during off-peak hours.

The most common type of storage battery used in home storage systems is lithium-ion. These batteries are known for their high energy density (not taking up too much space for the energy they can store), long lifespan and low maintenance requirements. Lithium-ion batteries are also efficient and reliable, plus the technology is getting better all of the time.

Battery storage systems are often installed at the same time as solar panels. However, they can be installed with or without a solar panel connection

When paired with solar panels, the batteries store excess energy generated during the day for use during peak hours or when the sun isn’t shining. However, even without solar panels, battery storage can still provide significant benefits by allowing homeowners to store energy from the grid during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower. 

Benefits of home battery storage

Home battery storage systems offer a range of brilliant benefits that make them an attractive investment for homeowners. 

We’ve written about the specific benefits of solar battery storage, but let’s take a look at the top reasons why you should consider installing a battery storage system overall.

1. Lower electricity bills

One of the most significant advantages of home battery storage is the potential to lower your electricity bills. 

By storing energy from the grid during off-peak hours when rates are lower and using that stored energy during peak hours when rates are higher, you can significantly reduce your energy costs. This works even if you don’t have a solar PV connection, as you can still take advantage of cheaper off-peak energy rates when on the right time-of-use tariff. 

When a storage battery is connected to solar PVs, you’ll be importing even less electricity from the grid over the course of a year. It’s thought that solar plus battery storage can save up to 70% on annual electricity bills. 

2. Maximise consumption of your own energy

If you have solar panels installed on your home, a battery storage system can help you maximise the consumption of your own generated energy. Overall, it’ll greatly increase the efficiency of your renewable system. 

With a battery, instead of sending excess solar energy to the grid, you can store it in your batteries for later use. This is a much more cost effective and energy efficient way to go about your energy use. 

If you export excess solar to the grid, you’ll be paid significantly less than what it’ll cost for you to buy it back, although just how much will depend on your tariff. Rates vary widely, from 35p per kWh with Octopus’ Intelligent Flux tariff to just 2p per kWh with Utility Warehouse’s standard tariff.

3. Store cheap energy

A storage battery gives you access to cheaper energy. This is because you can charge it up during periods of low demand when electricity prices are lower.

For example, by charging your battery overnight when grid demand and prices are lower, you can then use the stored energy during peak hours throughout the day when electricity prices are higher. It’s a type of energy arbitrage but it’ll save you plenty of money on your energy bills.

Check your tariff though. If you’re on a fixed rate, the unit price of electricity will be the same for you. What you want is a time-of-use or off-peak tariff. They’re sometimes known as smart tariffs, Economy 7 or Economy 10. Lots of names we know, but the main thing is that the unit price of electricity is cheaper at night than it is during the day. For example, Octopus Energy offers a range of smart tariffs, allowing you to access much cheaper electricity (around 7.5p per kWh) at night. 

4. Reduce reliance on the grid

With the continued rising cost of electricity and gas, reducing your reliance on the grid is becoming more important than ever. 

By installing a home battery storage system, you can become more energy independent and protect yourself from the impact of price increases and potential power disruptions. With your own stored energy, you’ll have a reliable backup power source and greater control over your energy use.

Whilst battery storage may not fully enable off-grid living, it can significantly reduce your reliance on grid electricity. For those seeking a more self-sufficient lifestyle or living in remote areas with limited access, a battery storage system combined with renewable energy sources like solar panels can provide a reliable and sustainable power solution. 

5. Contribute to a cleaner environment

By investing in a home battery storage system, you can significantly reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, which still power around 40% of the national grid. 

When paired with renewable energy sources like solar panels, battery storage allows you to maximise your use of clean energy and minimise your carbon footprint. 

Additionally, when your battery reaches the end of its life, it can and should be recycled, further reducing its environmental impact and ensuring that valuable materials are reused rather than ending up in landfills. Yes, batteries and solar panels require mineral mining and manufacturing, but they are a better alternative than non-renewable systems. 

6. Price of storage batteries is dropping

The cost of lithium-ion batteries, the most common type of storage battery, has dropped significantly in recent years. Since 2019 alone, prices have dropped by around 13%. Over the last 30 years, the price of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by an astonishing 97%.

This makes home battery storage systems more accessible than ever. Prices are expected to drop further still.

Additionally, small government incentives, such as the 0% VAT rate on battery storage systems, further help with the affordability of this technology.

7. Lifespan of 10-15 years

Home battery storage systems are designed to provide long-lasting benefits, with many batteries having a lifespan of 10-15 years. Almost all good batteries have a warranty of at least 10 years. 

Compared to solar panels, batteries generally have a shorter payback time, meaning you can see a quicker return on your investment. After the payback period, which can be as short as 5 or 6 years depending on your energy usage and the size of your system, you can continue to enjoy the benefits of your battery storage system for up to a decade or more. Read more of our thoughts on battery payback time here. 

The slight issue here is that the lifespan of a storage battery is generally half the time of solar panels, which can last 25-30 years.  

8. Little to no maintenance

One of the most appealing aspects of home battery storage systems is that they require little to no maintenance once installed. 

Unlike older storage battery technologies, like lead-acid, modern systems are largely maintenance-free throughout their lifespan. The sealed batteries automatically run charge and discharge cycles without the need for fluid top-ups or capacity testing. 

This means that once your system is professionally installed, you’re generally all set. It’s always good practice to inspect your battery every so often for signs of wear and tear and leakages. 

9. Can be retrofitted into solar panel systems 

One significant advantage of battery energy storage systems is their ability to be integrated into existing solar panel setups. Homes that already have PV arrays installed can still benefit from adding batteries without the need to replace or modify the panels. 

This allows homeowners to continue generating a return on their solar investment whilst giving the renewable energy system an upgrade. Installing an AC-coupled battery is the most cost-effective and least disruptive way to achieve this, as they make use of the existing solar inverter and connect the battery system to your home, panels and grid via a separate inverter. Read up on what are battery energy storage systems for more information. 

10. Pair with other smart home technologies

Our homes are becoming smarter and more energy efficient all of the time. 

By connecting your battery system to smart thermostats, appliances and energy monitoring devices, you can optimise your energy use and automatically prioritise the use of stored energy during peak hours. 

11. Support the grid during peak demand

With a home battery storage system, you can have a slightly bigger impact on the wider grid. 

During times of peak demand, when the grid is under stress, your battery system can help alleviate this pressure by supplying stored energy instead of drawing from the grid. This reduces the strain on the grid infrastructure and helps prevent potential power cuts.

Overall, you’ll be contributing to a more resilient and distributed energy system.

12. Enhance the value of your home

According to a survey by Eon Energy, three-quarters of potential buyers prefer properties with sustainable systems over those without. For a buyer, it gives a property a sense of future-proofing without the hassle of installing the system themselves. 

As Adam Horton, CEO of property agency Hortons, says, “It absolutely improves saleability. Large numbers of buyers are interested in the eco credentials of homes now, so there will be more people than ever that see solar panels and batteries as a huge selling point.” 

As a homeowner, you can expect your investment in a battery storage system to pay for itself when you come to sell, providing an additional benefit on top of the savings and advantages you experience whilst living in the home.

13. Provide backup during power cuts

Your own battery storage system is a reliable source of backup electricity during power outages. Although largely infrequent by most standards, a battery reduces your vulnerability to grid interruptions, giving you greater control and more peace of mind. 

A backup battery will allow you to continue running your lights, fridge and other critical appliances, even when the main grid is down.

14. Don’t take up a lot of space

The physical size of a residential battery system typically compares to a thin suitcase or a tall fridge freezer unit.

The actual dimensions will vary from a battery to battery model but a standard 6kWh system usually measures:

  • Height: 65cm – 120cm
  • Width: 45cm – 85cm
  • Depth: 12cm – 30cm

You’ll need to consider not only the battery itself but also the control box, inverter(s) and necessary clearances for heat dissipation, safety and maintenance access. As a general rule, the battery inverter and batteries should be located within 1m of each other, and adequate space should be provided for switches, fuse boxes and cables.

Read more on ‘how big are battery storage systems’ here.

15. Prepare for future energy trends

The world is shifting towards cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions. It’s happening slower than some people would like, but it’s happening. 

In the coming years, it’s likely that every home will be equipped with battery storage, solar PVs and some form of electric heat pump. Or at least they should be. 

By investing in a solar storage system now, you can future-proof your home and stay ahead of the curve. Many battery systems, such as the Huawei Luna battery and Tesla Powerwall, allow you to add to your existing infrastructure to increase storage capacity. 

Embracing battery storage now positions you to take full advantage of upcoming developments in the energy sector, ensuring that your home remains efficient, sustainable and compatible with future energy trends and government policies.

About the author 

Ben Hardman

Ben is a professional writer and the creator of sustainable living website TinyEco.com.
It's here where he helps people to reduce their environmental impact through simple, everyday choices. Away from the laptop, Ben loves spending time in the natural environment with his young family and Murphy the cocker spaniel.

Experience:
First Class BSc Biology degree (environmental and climate change focus)
Six years of working and writing in the environmental sector, including two years working at an international sustainability consultancy
Written for Ethical Consumer magazine, My Mother Tree, Unsustainable Magazine, Happy Eco News, Emission Index, PeakDistrict.org
Commented in The Independent, The Guardian, GreenMatch. Also featured on Radio 1's environmental special 'Minute of Me'

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