BESS this house

In last month's blog we talked about photovoltaic solar panels (solar PVs): how they can be fitted to your home, the benefits, the likely payback time, and so on.

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In last month’s blog we talked about photovoltaic solar panels (solar PVs): how they can be fitted to your home, the benefits, the likely payback time, and so on.


But – and this is not a negative – there is a very real possibility that in high summer your solar PVs will generate more electricity than you can use. On a hot summer’s day, with the sun beating down on your solar panels, generating all that lovely electricity – what can you do with the power you don’t immediately need?


On less sunny days your solar PVs may struggle to produce enough energy for your needs. You’ll find yourself tapping into the National Grid at peak times, with the expense that entails, to make up the difference.


What you need is some means of storing the excess electricity in times of plenty, to use when the sun isn’t shining.


What you need is a battery energy storage system, or BESS.


Solar PV batteries form an integral part of most domestic and commercial systems, helping your panels to meet peaks in electricity demand throughout the day. They store any energy you don’t use, as well as providing energy when the sun goes in – or down.



What’s involved?


If you’re going the solar-PV-plus-battery route – which we recommend – the battery (or batteries) will be installed at the same time as the solar panels, minimising disruption and ensuring your system works at full efficiency from day one.


There are a few things to consider when choosing your batteries. There are numerous battery solutions available, including lead acid batteries (the sort used in your car) or lithium ion units (larger versions of the type you’d find in your mobile phone, or an EV). Lead acid batteries are cheaper, but their lifespan is limited. Lithium ion batteries are more expensive, but last twice as long.


All batteries degrade over time, and your solar PV array may well outlast your BESS. With a payback time averaging ten years, will your BESS pay for itself before you have to replace it? And how much storage capacity will you need? Ideally your battery will be big enough to store the energy you need, and the energy your solar PVs can generate, but no bigger (or smaller).



What’s the cost?


This depends on the size and type of batteries you choose, and where in your property you decide to locate the BESS. A typical battery storage system can cost between £4,000 and £11,000. The good news is that prices are coming down across the board as the technology, manufacturing processes, and supply chains improve.



BESS without solar? Worth considering…


There’s a case to made for installing a battery even if you don’t have solar PVs. You can take advantage of cheap overnight tariffs to charge up, then use the stored electricity as and when you need it during the day. However, bear in mind that buying and installing a battery system without a renewable energy source (solar PVs or a wind turbine) attracts VAT at the full rate of 20%, whereas the solar-PV-plus-battery package is zero VAT-rated. The good news is that once you have the battery installed and working, there’s nothing to stop you adding solar PVs at a later date (known as retrofitting).



Battery power – the Excel way


At Excel we make it our business to offer expertise in new technologies. We research and maintain an in-depth understanding of what’s available, and how it will benefit our customers. Our professional, qualified engineers offer real-world, tailored solutions for your installation. We will visit you at your home or business, on a date and time to suit you. We’ll listen to your requirements, gain an in-depth understanding of the specifics of your property, explain what the job entails, and agree a schedule of works.


We ensure that your BESS is installed with minimal disruption, and that it delivers the performance you require from day one. All backed by a comprehensive support service – the sort of service you expect from Excel Electrical.


To discuss battery energy storage systems for your home or business, call us today on 01508 488007 or email


Excel Electrical. The power is in your hands.




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Towns and Cities covered include: Norwich, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Beccles, Bungay, Lowestoft, Attleborough, Diss, Harleston, Long Stratton, Wymondham, Dereham