Counting The Watts And Pounds: Are Solar Batteries Worth It In The UK?

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Solar batteries can cost a significant amount of money which leaves a lot of people wondering whether they’re even worth the investment. The very word ‘solar’ indicates that solar panel systems need the sun to work. Since the UK is hardly the sunniest place on the planet, this might have put you off buying a solar battery or even investing in a solar panel system in the first instance.

So, what’s the reality? Are solar batteries worth it in the UK and will you make a return on your investment?

How Much Are Solar Batteries?

The cheapest solar batteries start at around £3500 but they can soar in price to well over £12,000.

However, price should not be what determines which solar battery you buy as the more powerful they get and the bigger the storage capacity, the more expensive the battery.

Therefore, it’s vital that you purchase the right-sized solar battery if you want it to work properly with your existing solar panels. I’ve written a guide on this that you can check out here.

For the purposes of this guide, I’m going to base the price of a solar battery on what you’d pay on average for a battery for a three-bedroom UK house. This is reported to sit in the region of £4500.

How Much Will Solar Batteries Save On Your Energy Bills?

Did you know that as much as 50% of the energy generated by your solar panels is never used? With a solar battery, you can store this power and use it at a later date which is great news for your energy bills as you’ll become less reliant on the grid.

How much you save will depend on many factors including how much power your home demands, its size, the size of your solar panels and batteries and many other things.

That said, according to the experts, the average UK home could stand to save around £642 in energy bills purely by installing a solar battery.

This total is made up not only of the money you’ll save on not paying an energy provider but also from selling energy back to the grid.

Not many homeowners are aware that any unused power from your solar panels can be sold back to the grid. But it is worth noting that not all energy providers will pay for this power if it has been stored in a solar battery. So, before you go down this route, it’s worth finding out what’s available to you.

How Long Will It Take To Earn My Investment Back?

A solar battery has an expected life span of between ten and fifteen years. Some may even last two decades when they are well-maintained and used correctly. In any case, most manufacturers offer at least a 10-year warranty so you can rest safe in the knowledge that you won’t need to fork out again any time soon.

So, let’s say that you have your battery for ten years and are saving on average, around £600 each year. That’s a total saving of £6000 over the 10-year lifespan of your battery which more than covers the UK average cost of buying the battery in the first place.

Naturally, every situation will be different so it’s important to do the calculations for your property to see if you will make your investment back and how long it will take.

Is There Enough Sun In The UK To Warrant Buying Solar Batteries?

When you think of some of the best-performing countries in terms of solar power like India, and the United States, you realise that most of these locations have far many more hours of annual sunshine than the UK.

Let’s face it, it rains more often than not and even when it’s dry, cloudy skies are a much more familiar sight than sunny ones. So, this leaves you wondering whether solar batteries are even suitable for our climate and weather conditions.

The good news is that solar panels are designed to work even when they’re not exposed to direct sunlight. Yes, they’re going to perform optimally when positioned in the full sun of the Spanish summer but the UK receives more than enough daylight to power a solar panel system.

This may surprise you but, according to research, the equator only receives an extra 40% of sunlight compared to the UK; I bet you thought that figure would be much higher!

So it seems that solar panels and their associated batteries are just as viable a source of energy than anywhere else in the world.

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