You’ve definitely heard about solar batteries if you’ve recently been seeking to install a solar panel system. Even while battery systems are becoming more and more common, many homeowners still don’t have a lot of knowledge about them.
You may store the energy that your solar panels generate using solar batteries. A “hybrid solar system,” which is made up of solar batteries and solar panels, has a variety of benefits, including grid independence and availability to dependable backup power.
But how do solar batteries actually function? More importantly, what is their price? Find out by reading on.
How solar batteries work
The excess solar energy your panels create that you don’t use right away is stored in solar batteries so you can access it later.
You see, the time of day when your home uses the least amount of electricity is also the period when solar panels create the greatest electricity. A typical grid-tied solar system sends the extra solar energy back to the power grid.
However, when solar panels and a home batteries are used, the extra electricity is stored in the battery rather than being sent to the grid. You can then use the energy you’ve stored in your batteries in place of paying for electricity from the utility when the sun sets and your panels aren’t producing any more electricity.
This means that regardless of the time of day, you get to use all of the pure, sustainable solar energy that your solar panels generate to power your home.
How much do solar batteries cost in 2022?
Installing a solar battery might cost anywhere from $200 to $15,000, depending on the battery’s chemistry.
The average cost of installing lithium-ion batteries for residential grid-tied solar panels ranges from $7,000 to $14,000. Small-capacity lead-acid batteries are available for as little as $200, but they are normally used as emergency backup power for RVs and won’t be able to power anything in your home.
Some of the most well-liked solar batteries on the market are included in the table below:
|Trojan (SPRE 06 255)||$213|
|LG Chem RESU Prime||$8,000|
|Electriq PowerPod 2||$13,000|
Although the price of solar batteries has reduced in recent years, they are still quite expensive, and the majority of people don’t have that amount of cash on hand. Fortunately, solar batteries qualify for the 30% federal tax credit for solar energy, and some states even offer additional incentives for solar batteries to assist down initial battery costs.
Factors that determine solar battery cost
1. Solar battery manufacturer
The brand you select will affect the price of the battery, just like it does with everything else you purchase. This is so because various brands employ various manufacturing procedures and provide various services.
For instance, the luxury brand of solar batteries from German battery maker Sonnen can cost up to $30,000. On the other hand, the Tesla Powerwall is only $11,500.
2. Battery chemistry
Although there are many other kinds of batteries available, lithium-ion batteries are used in the majority of home systems.
Nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) and lithium iron phosphate are the two primary lithium-ion chemistries utilized in solar batteries (LFP). Because they have been around for a little while longer than LFP batteries, like the Electriq PowerPod 2, NMC batteries, like the LG Chem Prime, are a little less expensive.
Although lead-acid batteries are less expensive than lithium-ion batteries, some homeowners prefer to use them because of their shorter lifespan, smaller capacity, and need for frequent maintenance.
3. Number of batteries installed
This seems like a no-brainer, but the more batteries installed, the higher the solar energy storage system costs. The number of solar batteries you’ll need depends on:
- How many kilowatt-hours of energy you use
- The storage capacity of the battery
- How many appliances you want to power
- How long you want to power your appliances
One to two solar batteries will typically have enough energy stored in them to meet your energy needs and supply backup power to a few important circuits in the event of a power loss.
4. Backup load panel
Solar batteries typically aren’t able to power your entire house.
The essentials, such as your lights and refrigerator, will continue to operate, but you’ll need to add several batteries to have enough energy to run your air conditioner during a power outage or if you’re off the grid.
You may need to install a sub-panel because a battery cannot power your entire home. This will ensure that only the most crucial components of your house will be powered by the battery in the event of a power outage. The cost of installing a sub-panel, also known as a backup load panel or a critical load panel, will increase by $1,000 to $2,000 more.
5. Labor costs
The cost of a home solar battery installation will also depend on how much labor is needed to build your battery system.
Because all of the electrical work and permitting necessary for both the solar system and battery system will be finished at once, the labor costs may be slightly lower if the battery is installed at the same time as the solar panels.
However, if the battery is added to the solar panel system after it has already been installed, labor costs may increase because new permits must be obtained, additional incentive forms may be needed, and additional electrical work may be necessary to connect the battery to the solar panels that are already in place.
6. Incentives and rebates
Depending on the solar battery incentives that are offered in your area, the cost to install a solar battery may also change.
The SGIP solar battery incentive program in California can pay for approximately a fourth of a battery installation’s expenses. Other states with cheaper upfront fees include Oregon, which also has solar battery programs.
Additionally, even if the battery isn’t linked to solar panels, you can receive an additional 30% off the cost of your battery installation if you meet the requirements for the federal solar tax credit.
Are solar batteries worth the extra cost?
It’s becoming more usual to combine solar panels with energy storage, but that doesn’t necessarily imply it’s the best option for everyone.
Homeowners that reside in locations with frequent power outages, where full-retail net metering isn’t given, or if there are battery incentives available in their area, will profit most from installing a solar battery storage solution.
If going solar is primarily for environmental reasons, solar batteries are also fantastic because they optimize the amount of renewable energy your home uses.
But if your main goal is to cut costs, a solar battery might not be worthwhile for you. That is to say, if you reside in a state that offers full-retail net metering, installing a battery will result in the same financial savings as doing it without one. The battery’s only purpose would be to cost your solar installation thousands of dollars more while giving you peace of mind in the case of a power loss.
To help you decide what could be best for you, we have a detailed overview on how utility net metering policies affect the purchase of a solar battery.
Solar panels and solar batteries make a great pair
The best approach to get the most of your solar panels is to install a solar battery storage system.
Since you’ll be using the battery instead of the grid, batteries are a great source of emergency power. They also boost your energy independence and, in some situations, can help you save more money on your monthly electric bill.
Solar battery systems do, however, have a cost. Installing a solar battery may not be the best option for you if you want to reduce your electricity costs, especially if your utility offers net metering. However, having a battery backup to store energy for when you need it will be helpful if you live somewhere that sees frequent blackouts, like the ones in California and Texas, or somewhere with Time-of-Use (TOU) utility prices.
The good news is that solar battery technology’s cost is going down, and soon solar batteries will be standard equipment for all solar energy systems.
Make careful to seek quotes from several reliable battery storage installers if you want to combine solar power with storage to get the best installation at the lowest cost.