Having a home solar battery storage system in the UK makes sense. It allows you to be more energy independent, and it puts you in charge of when you use energy in your home, meaning you could potentially store energy when it’s at its cheapest and then use it wisely throughout the day to make the most of it.
Obviously, it makes sense to have home battery storage when you have solar panels because you can then store the excess energy your panels produce throughout the day, and use it when production is lower – such as at night, or when it reduces slightly on an overcast day. But can you get home battery storage without solar panels?
Yes, you can, but there are many benefits and drawbacks to consider before you decide if it’s right for you. Read on below and let ESE guide you through home battery storage systems without solar panels in the UK.
What Is Home Battery Storage (And Why Might You Want It)?
Home battery storage is a way for domestic properties in the UK to store energy to be used later. Many of you will be familiar with this when used in conjunction with renewable energy, such as solar, because it makes sense to have solar panels with a complete home battery storage system to reserve excess energy to be used when you need it and your solar panels aren’t producing as much energy as you need.
But did you know you can use home battery storage to store even energy from the National Grid? You don’t need to be producing the energy at home yourself to store it for later use. You can simply store energy from the National Grid in your home battery storage system. But why would you want to do that?
Benefits Of Having Home Battery Storage Without Solar Panels
There are a range of benefits to using home battery storage, even without solar panels. Let’s take a look at some of them below:
It Can Help Reduce Energy Bills
With energy prices at an unmanageable level for many households, it makes sense to look out for ways to reduce them so you can put yourself back in control of your finances again.
Not many people know that energy isn’t a standard price 24/7. In fact, its prices can change significantly throughout the day. During peak times (such as when most people are at home before and after work) energy will be considerably more expensive than during off-peak times (such as during the night).
With a home battery storage system, you can take advantage of these price differences when it suits you, and set your battery system to charge from the National Grid during off-peak times, when demands for energy are less. This will save you significant money.
Prices for off peak electricity sit at around 14p per kWh according to recent estimates. On peak prices for electricity sit at around 56p per kWh, and standard day rates prices are around 47p per kWh. That means you could be paying around ¼ to ⅓ of the price of electricity by charging during off peak times vs on peak times.
And then, once your battery is fully charged, you can use that to power your home during peak periods so you only use the cheapest electricity possible.
You Can Enjoy Energy Independence
With the option to charge your battery storage when it suits you, you’ll be putting yourself back in control of your home’s energy, allowing you to choose the prices you pay and the way you use energy in your home.
Given that most home battery storage systems will provide around 8-12 hours of energy when fully charged, you could realistically use only your battery-stored-energy throughout the day, and then recharge it at night. This means you might never have to rely on expensive peak electricity rates again.
Better yet, you can control how much energy you use throughout the day, too. Considering your battery will have a set capacity, you could aim to use only that much energy during the day. This obviously saves you money, but it’s a much greener, more mindful way of using electricity in your home as well.
You Have More Energy Security
Power cuts are incredibly irritating, especially if you don’t have backup power in place to keep the essentials running, such as your fridge, freezer, or cooker. Plenty of people rely on fossil fuel powered generators for this task, but that’s not an ideal solution considering their carbon emissions. And plenty more simply don’t have a backup plan at all for when the power goes out.
That’s where a home battery storage system can come in handy. Even when there’s a power cut and the entire Grid in your area is affected, you’ll still be able to use electricity as normal for 8-12 hours. And if the power cut is set to last longer, you can always set up your system to ring fence your most important appliances such as your fridge or freezer, to stretch its capacity even further.
Basically, with home battery storage, you’ll have much better energy security and you won’t be affected by reliability issues with the Grid again.
Durable & Low Maintenance Systems
So many people mistakenly believe that battery storage without solar panels is simply more hassle than it’s worth – but this couldn’t be further from reality. Installing your new battery system couldn’t be simpler, and there’s virtually no regular maintenance required. A yearly review from an expert will ensure everything is in working order, but for the most part they’ll operate in the background without you ever needing to think much about it. That’ll save you more money than you may have first thought, too.
Most batteries come with a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years, so they’re incredibly long-lasting, making them a worthy investment.
Given that battery storage for your home will cost on average around £4,000-£5,000, requires little maintenance, have an excellent lifespan, and the savings you’ll make through energy bills by storing energy when it’s at its cheapest – you can feasibly pay back the upfront cost in just a few years, and then enjoy cheaper energy from then on.
How Does Battery Storage From The Grid Work?
In order to benefit from cheaper rates and make the most of your battery storage system, you’ll likely need to switch to something known as a ‘time of use tariff’ with your energy supplier. These are all called different things with different energy suppliers, but they essentially do the same thing: offer flexible electricity rates which actively encourages you to use electricity during off-peak periods to balance demand on the Grid and help you make significant savings.
Who Offers Time Of Use Tariffs?
Most of the largest energy suppliers in the UK will offer some sort of time of use tariff, even if that’s not what it’s explicitly called. Suppliers such as:
- Octopus Energy
- British Gas
- Scottish Power
all have a version of a time of use tariff you might want to consider switching to if you plan on installing only a home battery storage system – without solar panels.
A Word Of Caution
It’s important to note that you have to use the system smartly to benefit the most from it. Since you’re relying on energy from the Grid provided by your energy supplier, instead of energy produced at home via solar panels, you need to be hyper aware of the prices of electricity at any given time of the day.
By opting for a more flexible time of use tariff, you’ll have to ensure that you’re using most of your electricity during off-peak hours (or using only energy supplied by your home battery storage which has been charged during off-peak hours). Using energy during peak hours could mean you’re paying even more than customers on fixed rate tariffs, meaning you could end up paying more for your electricity than you do right now. This obviously makes investing in home battery storage less worthwhile.
Essentially, what we’re advising is that you only use a home battery storage system in the UK without solar panels when you’re absolutely certain you will stick to off-peak energy usage only. Otherwise, you may be worse off financially.
Is Installing Home Battery Storage With Solar Panels A Better Option?
Almost certainly! Now, we know, we’re a solar panel installation company encouraging you to opt for solar panels with your battery storage, so that’s a little predictable – but it’s also true that you’ll get far more out of your batteries with solar panels than you will without them.
It’s also true that solar panels aren’t for everybody, for a variety of reasons including:
- It’s more expensive to get solar panels AND batteries, than it is to simply install a home battery system
- Not all roofs can support solar panels
- Not everybody has the space for solar panels
- Some people simply don’t want to switch to solar energy
If any of those apply to you, then getting a home battery storage system without solar panels will save you money and give you much more control over your energy usage, so it’s definitely a great option. But if you want to save even more money, enjoy even more energy independence, AND your home can support solar panels and you’re interested in solar energy – then installing both is always the superior option.
Benefits Of Installing Battery Storage With Solar Panels
There are a range of benefits to installing home battery systems with solar panels vs without:
Save Even More Money
It seems counterintuitive doesn’t it? That spending more on batteries with solar panels will save you even more money than home battery storage alone, but it’s true. Because you’ll be producing your own energy at home, you won’t be paying for anything from the Grid at all (provided you have a system that covers your full energy usage).
Even if your solar panels only produce 75% of the energy you use at home, you’ll still only be buying 25% of your energy from the Grid, helping you make significant savings.
Using battery storage alone means you buy 100% of the energy you use at home from the Grid, even if you buy it cheaper during off peak hours, you’re still having to pay for every bit of energy you use.
Because installing battery storage with solar panels saves you so much more money, you’ll also reach your breakeven point much quicker – where the savings you’ve made since installing your new system actually covers the cost of the system to begin with, meaning it’s paid for itself. Yes, even with the added cost of installing solar panels and batteries together.
Enjoy Complete Independence
When you’re producing the energy for your home yourself, you have complete energy independence and energy security. If there’s ever a power cut, you won’t be affected. If there’s ever an energy price hike, you won’t be affected.
If you’re looking for complete energy independence, then you can find it when you invest in home battery storage with solar panels. You’ll no longer be reliant on the National Grid, the wholesale cost of energy, or your energy supplier for the energy you need to power your home, meaning nothing can affect it.
Opt For A Much Greener Option
The thing about buying energy from the Grid is that you’re never in control of where that energy has come from. Below we’ve put together a table of a snapshot from National Grid Live showing where electricity was generated from at the time of comparison (September 2023):
|Fossil Fuel Sources
|Renewable Energy Sources=
*you’ll notice that the totals do not add up to 100% – this is because some of the UK’s energy is acquired from storage and from buying electricity from other countries.
When you use solar panels with your battery storage, though, you know that 100% of the electricity you use is generated from renewable energy sources – in this case, solar – meaning your home is much greener as a result. And because your home is much greener, you’ll also have a much smaller carbon footprint.
Can I Add Batteries To My Solar Panels After Installation?
Absolutely – and vice versa. You don’t need to have everything worked out right now. If you choose to install solar panels first or a home battery storage system first, and then later decide to add to it, that’s perfectly OK.
So, take your time to consider what’s best for you and your home before making any final decisions. And if you decide to add to your system later, you can!
Home Battery Storage Without Solar Panels Summary
If you can’t have, or simply don’t want, solar panels, but you’re still looking for ways to store energy when it’s at its cheapest so you don’t overpay for it, then home battery storage without solar panels in the UK is an excellent idea.
It’ll save you money, give you better energy security, and put you back in charge of your energy at home once more.
But using solar panels with your home battery will yield better results, so we always advise purchasing solar panels and home battery storage systems together to enjoy even more benefits.
Interested in solar panels with battery storage? Work with ESE Group today and get your quote for solar panels and solar batteries at a competitive price.