Apart from storing solar energy are there any other financial benefits of installing a battery system?
Key points –
- Future incoming changes in consumer electricity tariffs will open up opportunities for maximising the value that your battery can provide.
- Choosing to cycle your battery for time-shifting energy consumption patterns might make you money but could wear your battery faster – so do some maths if this is a concern for you, your design engineer/surveyor should be able to easily help with this.
The Energy Companies and Grid wants you to cut down using power at peak times and spread the load more, as it were. To assist your decision-making process, they are introducing tariffs that build on the old Economy 7 and economy 10 options with more price variation over the day.
This is designed to encourage you NOT to use power at certain times and reward you for shifting your usage patterns to those of low grid demand. With certain battery systems there is the ability to charge from a night rate which can be very cheap (or even free for short periods) as well as the daytime solar production. You then use that energy in the evening when electricity is much more expensive, effectively harvesting that difference in tariffs through your battery.
Other additional financial considerations are that you are reducing your exposure to future price rises of electricity. As ever there are expected increases in costs; over the last 10 years a standard domestic electricity tariff has risen by around 60% and there are predictions of up to 37% over the next 3 to 5 years. You must remember that a battery is a tool, just having energy stored in it is of no use – that earns you nothing (unless the battery was always intended only of an emergency backup supply on which case money was never the primary issue). It is only by charging cheap and discharging when the grid is more expensive to purchase from that you save/earn money. The more you cycle the battery this way then the more income you earn effectively.
Written by John Rowlatt