Should I Get Solar With Battery?

John McEvoy
April 4, 2024

In today's energy-conscious world, many of us are looking for ways to be more eco-friendly and reduce our bills. Whether or not to upgrade their solar panel system with a battery is a significant consideration for many homeowners.

In this blog, we'll explore exactly that: Should you get solar with a battery? We'll cover what it means to combine solar panels with battery storage, the advantages it offers, and the considerations you need to keep in mind. From ensuring energy availability even when the sun isn’t shining to possibly saving on electricity costs in the long run, we’ll cover all the angles to help you decide if this green energy solution fits your lifestyle, budget, and energy goals. 

So, keep reading as we explore the ins and outs of using the sun's power more effectively with the addition of batteries to your solar setup.

What is Solar Power and How Battery Storage Works?

Let's make it easy to understand how solar panels and batteries can work together in your home and take a look at the types of batteries you might think about using.

How do solar panels and batteries work as a team?

Solar panels take sunlight and change it into electricity, which is perfect when the sun is out. But what about at night or when it's cloudy? This is where batteries come into use. They keep the extra electricity that your solar panels make during the day so you can use it later. This way, you can still have power for your house even when the sun isn’t shining.

What are the types of solar batteries for your home?

When it comes to choosing a battery for your solar energy, here are the main types you'll find:

Lead Acid: These batteries are the most wallet-friendly and good for when you need a lot of storage. However, they don't last as long as other types and need to be looked after more.

Lithium-Ion: These are a bit pricier but last longer and can hold more energy in a smaller space. They don’t need much looking after, making them a popular choice for many homes.

Saltwater: These are the newest type of battery and are good for the environment because they don’t use heavy metals. They might not hold as much power as lithium-ion batteries, but they are a great green option.

Picking the right battery comes down to how much energy you use, how much you want to spend, and if being eco-friendly is important to you. Each type has its own benefits, and what works best can vary from home to home.

Understanding these basics helps you get closer to deciding if adding a battery to your solar system is the right move. Having both solar panels and batteries means you can use clean energy all day and night.

Should I Get Solar With a Battery?

Deciding whether to add a battery to your solar setup can be a big decision. Let's break it down to make it easier to understand.

When thinking about adding a battery to your solar panel system, it’s good to look at your own 

situation to see if it makes sense. Let's go over when a battery could really help you out and what to think about before getting one.

When Solar Batteries Shine?

If you live in an area with lots of power outages, having a battery means you can keep your lights on and fridge running even when the neighbourhood goes dark. Batteries store extra power for these just-in-case moments.

A battery can save you money. By storing cheap solar power, you can use it instead of buying expensive electricity from the grid, especially during peak times when prices are highest.

What to Consider?

  • Look at your energy bills to see when you use the most power. If you use a lot of electricity when there’s no sun, like in the evenings, a battery can help you use solar energy all day and night.
  • If being independent and using your own solar energy is important to you, a battery is a big step in that direction. You'll rely less on utility companies and more on the sun shining above your home.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Investing in Solar with Battery?

When considering adding a battery to your solar setup, weighing the good points against the bad ones helps make a clear decision. Let’s break down the benefits and drawbacks.

Advantages of solar batteries

  • Control and usage: With batteries, you can use your solar energy anytime, not just when the sun is out. This means more freedom and less reliance on the electric company.
  • Safety net: Batteries are like a safety net during power outages, keeping your home running smoothly when others might be in the dark.
  • Save money over time: By using stored solar energy instead of buying it from the grid, especially during peak hours when it's pricier, you could see your bills go down.
  • Good for the planet: Using more solar power means relying less on fossil fuels. This reduces pollution and helps fight climate change.

Disadvantages of solar batteries

  • Initial cost can be high: Adding a battery to your solar system means more money upfront. This is something to plan for in your budget.
  • Battery maintenance: While not too demanding, batteries do require some maintenance to keep them working well over the years.
  • Not all homes are a perfect fit: The benefits of a solar battery can depend on where you live, like how much sun you get and the cost of electricity in your area.

What Are the Financial Considerations If Opting for a Solar Battery?

If you are a homeowner in Ireland and considering solar panels with battery storage make sure to explore the financial aspects, including SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) incentives, installation costs, and calculating return on investment (ROI) before you make up your mind:

SEAI incentives

The SEAI provides a Solar Electricity Grant to support the installation of solar PV (photovoltaic) panels, with grant values depending on the system's size. For a solar PV system, you can receive:

  • €800 per kWp for the first 2 kWp
  • €250 for each additional kWp up to 4 kWp
  • The total grant is capped at €2,100 for systems of 4 kWp or larger​ (Sustainable Energy Authority Of Ireland)​​ (PureVolt Solar)​.

It's important to note that the grant applies only to the solar panel portion of the installation, with no current grant available specifically for battery storage​ (PureVolt Solar)​.

Installation costs

The cost of installing solar panels with battery storage can vary significantly. However, before SEAI grants, the price range for installing solar panels in Ireland is approximately between €5,000 to €15,500. The exact cost will depend on the system's size and specifics​ (PureVolt Solar)​. 

For the battery storage, adding a typical solar storage battery capable of storing about 5.1 kWh of power can add around €2,400 to €2,800 to the cost of a solar PV system​ (PureVolt Solar)​.

Calculating ROI

Calculating the return on investment involves comparing the system's cost (after applying any grants) to your current and projected electricity bills savings. While specific savings will depend on your household's electricity usage and the solar system's efficiency, investing in solar panels can significantly reduce your electricity bills. 

Additionally, the ROI will be influenced by factors such as increasing electricity rates and potential additional revenues from exporting surplus electricity back to the grid.

How to Make the Right Decision?

When deciding on solar panels with battery storage, consider:

  • Your household's energy consumption patterns
  • The budget for upfront costs and the potential for long-term savings
  • Whether your residence plans align with the expected payback period

Questions to ask potential solar providers include:

  • What is the detailed breakdown of costs?
  • What is the expected energy production and battery storage capacity?
  • What warranties and maintenance services are offered?

Conclusion

We've gone through how solar panels and batteries work together to enhance energy reliability, enable savings on electricity costs, and contribute to environmental sustainability. Additionally, we outlined the benefits and considerations, helping you understand if this investment aligns with your energy needs and financial goals.

So, if you're considering taking the next step towards installing solar panels with a battery, HP Roofing can provide the expert guidance you need. Our team is ready to help you assess your options, understand potential costs, and maximise the benefits of your investment. Contact HP Roofing today to ensure your move to solar energy is smooth and rewarding. Let us help you harness the power of the sun to its fullest potential.

Contact us today!

HP Roofing is a team of residential & commercial roofing contractors and solar panel installation experts in Dublin. We offer a wide range of services, from roof repairs and replacements to solar PV installations and maintenance, with quality beyond expectations.
Call HP Roofing 01 453 3366

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider getting a solar battery for my system?

Solar batteries add resiliency by providing backup power during outages and enable the use of solar energy at night. They're especially beneficial if your utility uses time-of-use rates or doesn't offer net metering, allowing you to save on energy costs by avoiding expensive grid electricity​​.

What are the main reasons to install energy storage with my solar panels?

Installing energy storage can be for emergency backup power, to better manage electricity costs under complex utility rates like time-of-use, or when solar net metering is not favourable in your area. Additionally, it helps in maximising the use of solar-generated electricity​​.

Can a solar battery save me money?

Yes, solar batteries can save you money over time, especially in areas with demand charges, time-of-use rates, or where net metering is not available. By storing excess solar power, you can reduce your reliance on grid electricity during peak hours​.

How do solar batteries work during power outages?

During an outage, a solar battery can provide backup power to selected appliances or even your entire home, depending on the system's capacity and your setup. This ensures that critical functions like refrigeration and lighting remain operational​.

Are there any incentives for installing solar batteries?

While specific incentives vary by location, many regions offer federal and state incentives to offset the costs of purchasing battery storage. These can significantly reduce the upfront investment required for a solar-plus-storage system​​.

How do I choose the right size battery for my solar system?

Choosing the right size involves considering your energy usage, critical appliances that need backup during outages, and your budget. Solar installers can help you determine the appropriate size based on your needs and the capability of your home's electrical system to integrate the battery​​.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Founder @ HPRoofing

The founder of HP Roofing, with years of industry experience, providing top-notch roofing and solar panel services for residential and commercial properties in Dublin, delivering high-quality and customised solutions that combine both aesthetic appeal and durable functionality.