Making Money From Sunshine: Does A Solar Battery Pay For Itself Over Time?

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If you’re going to buy a solar battery to install with your existing solar panel system then you’re going to need to know whether it’s a good investment.

Solar batteries aren’t cheap but knowing that you could make your money back over the course of its life could make parting with the cash a little more bearable.

How Much Is A Solar Battery?

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume that you already have a solar panel system in place and that we are talking purely about investing in a solar battery.

Now, the cost of this will vary greatly depending on several factors like the size of your property, the power demands and the size and type of your solar panel system.

Before you decide on a solar battery, it’s vital that you choose the correct size and you can find out more about that in my guide here.

As is the case with anything, the larger and more powerful the battery, the more it’s going to cost. The biggest solar batteries have much greater capacity to store energy and a more powerful output and some can cost in the region of £10,000 to £12,500.

On the other end of the scale, the smallest solar batteries might only cost a few grand but, on average, in the UK, you can expect to pay around £4,500 for a battery. This would typically be suited to an average three-bedroomed property.

How Long Do Solar Batteries Last?

The life of a solar battery can be affected by several things including where it is placed, how well maintained it is and the type of battery you’re using, for example, lithium-ion or lead-acid.

Generally speaking, a solar battery will last for between 10 and 20 years with most being supplied with a 5 to 10 year warranty which gives customers excellent peace of mind.

Will My Solar Battery Pay For Itself Over Time?

As long as your solar battery lasts for its entire projected lifetime, there’s a good chance that it will pay for itself. However, that is based on you also getting the most use out of it including selling money back to the grid.

Reports state that the average UK home will save around £642 per year by using a solar panel system with batteries. That figure is based on the following.

Lower Energy Bills

A lot of people install solar panels as a way of reducing their outgoings when it comes to energy. In recent years, the cost of energy has skyrocketed and, while it’s now starting to come back down, it’s still a good idea to save money.

By adding a solar battery to your installation, you will be able to use any excess energy generated by your panels to power your home at night instead of reverting back to the grid.

Since most people use the majority of their electricity in the evenings and at night, this is a wonderful time of day to make the most back on your energy bills. Unless you’re one of the 16% of people in the UK that work from home, you may still end up with quite a sizable electricity bill despite having solar panels, if you don’t have a solar battery.

Sell Money Back To The Grid

As I touched upon earlier, it is possible to sell any unused energy back to the grid under the Smart Export Guarantee.

Without a solar battery, any excess power your system generates will automatically be sent back to the grid. However, when it is stored in a battery, you have an even greater capacity to get paid for this.

One thing I would point out is that there are some energy providers that don’t accept energy if it has been stored in a battery. If this is something you’re keen to do then I’d strongly recommend checking out your options before you commit to anything. 

How Long Will It Take Me To Earn My Investment Back?

It is reported that homeowners can make the money back from their solar panel investment in as little as 7 years. Now consider adding a solar battery into the mix and the greater amount you’ll save on your energy bills by using this, and that time could be decreased.

If UK homes save an average of £642 per year after installing a solar battery, this means you could make the average £4,500 investment back in just a few short years. 

So, Should I Buy A Solar Battery?

If you’re looking to save money and be more sustainable then having solar panels installed on your property is an excellent way to achieve both of these things.

Expanding your installation through the addition of solar batteries is only going to decrease the time it takes to make your investment back and you’ll benefit from a reliable power source.

In short, while solar batteries might require a high initial payout, the advantages are clearly worth it and you will make your money back in energy savings by selling power back to the grid.

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