Most homeowners spend between $6,000 and $11,000 on solar batteries
Most homeowners spend an average of $10,000 on solar battery costs, though prices typically range between $6,000 and $11,000. Whether you’re ready to take your love of reusable batteries to the next level or make use of that excess solar energy your solar panels generate, investing in a solar battery system is a great way to harness the power of the sun for free electricity. But before you can start saving, you’ll need to budget for the cost of a solar battery system. Here’s what you need to know about the cost of batteries for home solar and what may impact your final price.
|Low Cost||Average Cost||High Cost|
Solar Battery Cost Breakdown
The biggest cost factors for a solar battery system include its capacity, battery type, and labor. Here’s a breakdown of each of these factors to help you estimate how much your solar battery system will cost.
Your system’s capacity will be the biggest cost factor, with most solar battery systems running anywhere between $400 and $750 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The average capacity of a solar battery is around 10 kWh, meaning you’ll pay anywhere from $4,000 to $7,500 for a typical solar battery system, not including the installation. However, you can purchase individual batteries for much smaller partial solar battery systems or larger systems for homes that need more than the average capacity.
|Solar Battery Capacity (kWh)||Price Range|
|1 kWh||$400 – $750|
|3 kWh||$1,200 – $2,250|
|5 kWh||$2,000 – $3,750|
|10 kWh||$4,000 – $7,500|
|15 kWh||$6,000 – $11,250|
|25 kWh||$8,000 – $15,000|
The type of solar battery can impact the cost of your system by a difference of $2,000 to $15,000. The most common types of batteries in a solar battery system include lead-acid, lithium-ion, and lithium-iron-phosphate.
Below is a breakdown of each battery type for a whole-house battery system:
|Solar Battery Type||Average Cost||Properties|
|Lead-acid||$5,000 – $15,000||Most affordable and oldest option, but requires extra maintenance|
|Lithium-ion||$7,000 – $30,000||Long-lasting and low-maintenance, but moderately priced|
|Lithium-iron-phosphate||$9,000 – $30,000||Long-lasting, efficient, and low-maintenance, but higher price tag|
The solar battery system itself costs between $4,000 and $7,500 on average, while labor accounts for another $2,000 to $3,500. You could pay less for labor if your system is smaller, while larger systems may require more time and a higher labor cost.
Additional Costs to Consider
Like most diverse systems for homes, the cost of a solar battery system isn’t always straightforward. There are extra costs that you might need to consider as you go about budgeting for your solar battery, including maintenance, replacement costs, electrical wiring, and more.
The cost to hire a local solar company to inspect and maintain your battery system is anywhere between $150 and $300 on average. Solar batteries last longer when you maintain them regularly. Maintenance includes an inspection, rotating the batteries, and cleaning the terminals.
Fully integrated solar battery systems often come inside a protective storage container, which can be convenient and discreet, but also more challenging to repair if the box itself breaks. You might also need to contact a professional through the company you purchased your solar battery system from to avoid nulling any warranties.
The cost to replace a solar battery depends on the capacity of the battery in question. You’ll usually pay for the cost of the battery itself, and any installation costs if you need to hire a pro to replace it. Some smaller batteries can be replaced without a pro.
Keep in mind, this price may be significantly lower if you’ve used a combination of solar batteries in your system rather than a single, high-capacity battery. However, most solar batteries last between 10 and 15 years, so when it’s time to replace your batteries, you may be better off replacing the entire system if all of your batteries have expired. If you only have one faulty, low-capacity battery in your system, replacing it could cost less than replacing the whole system.
Many solar battery systems are versatile, meaning you can replace an old battery with a new one with relative ease. Just like with standard batteries, you should avoid mixing and matching the type of batteries you have in your system. For example, if you use lithium-ion batteries of one amp-hour capacity, don’t replace one old battery with lead-acid batteries that have a different capacity.
If you’re installing a solar battery system away from electrical wiring and outlets, then you may end up paying $6 to $10 per square foot to hire a local electrician to rewire your house. Generally, simple rewiring projects cost around $1,500. A solar battery that is easy to install and has immediate access to your electrical system is a less complex project for your installers, while a solar battery that is far away from your electrical system could cost more.
If your solar battery system stores DC energy but doesn’t come with a built-in inverter, anticipate spending an extra $1,000 to $1,500 on an inverter. Most solar batteries need an inverter to convert direct-current (DC) electricity into alternating-current (AC) electricity so that your home appliances can use the electricity.
Critical Load Panel
A critical or backup load panel costs between $1,000 and $2,000 on average. This panel may be crucial for homes that need essential technology or medical equipment to stay on when there’s a power outage.
Solar Tax Credit
While the upfront cost of going solar may be enough to stop you in your tracks, you could cut the costs of your solar system substantially by taking advantage of a recently-passed tax credit. As part of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, homeowners can now receive a 30% tax credit for installing solar battery systems and solar panels. This means you could spend closer to $7,000 for the average solar battery system.
The credit will decrease to 26% after 2032 and then decrease again to 22% in 2034 before expiring in 2035.
Cost to Install Solar Batteries Yourself
If you’re installing a solar battery system yourself, you’ll pay between $4,000 to $7,500 on average for the material alone. However, installing a solar battery system is best left to the pros. Most whole-home solar battery systems require a professional installation—especially if you need to rewire your home or directly work with your electrical wiring in any way.
Cost to Install It Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor
Hiring a local solar contractor to install your solar battery system costs anywhere from $2,000 to $3,500 on top of the cost of the solar battery system itself. A licensed professional can ensure you have a safe and correctly installed system. Your pro can also advise you on the best location to install your system and the best batteries for your home.
Cost of Common Solar Battery Add-Ons
If you don’t already have solar panels or solar shingles, you’ll need to install solar panels or shingles to generate electricity for the battery system. Either option goes hand-in-hand with solar batteries, though solar panels are far more common.
Solar panels cost: $18,000–$34,400
Solar shingles cost: $35,000–$75,000
How to Save Money on a Solar Battery System
There’s no question that solar batteries are a major investment. As such, you’ll want to find ways to reduce the cost. Here are a few tips for saving money on solar batteries.
Install solar batteries with solar panels: You might be able to save money on installation costs by installing solar panels along with the solar batteries in a single installation rather than separately.
Apply for the federal solar tax credit. You can save 30% on the cost of your solar battery system with this tax credit, so be sure to file for it on your tax return.
Look for local rebate programs. Some states, like California and New York, may offer different compensation programs than other states, so always check with your local government and utility companies for solar incentives.
Install it yourself. Though you can save money on the installation costs by DIYing it and only paying for the battery system itself, you should only do this if you have experience working with solar systems.
Are Solar Batteries Worth It?
While solar batteries can make use of excess solar energy from your solar panels, they’re not for everyone. Solar batteries may be worth it if you:
Depend on a backup battery for your medical equipment.
Live in an area prone to power outages.
Work from home and need access to your devices and internet, rain or shine.
Want to lower your carbon footprint and have a zero-energy home.
Don’t have net metering.
Live off-grid and depend on backup storage.
Net metering programs allow you to offset your utility bills, but not all states have the same net metering policies, and some states don’t offer a mandatory net metering program at all. A few examples of states with fewer net metering incentives include Georgia, Mississippi, Idaho, and Texas. You can go to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency (DSIRE) to search for local incentives.
Batteries for home solar can save you anywhere between $700 and $1,100 per year, depending on the size of your system. If you purchase a standard-sized solar battery, you’ll pay around $10,000. If you apply for the solar tax credit, you can lower this price to around $7,000. This means it will take anywhere from six to 10 years to pay off your solar battery system and start seeing the savings.
Keep in mind, some local rebates and incentives can save you more than the 30% tax credit or offer you a better net metering program, potentially allowing you to pay off your system in as little as five years. So check with your local electric companies and municipality for savings in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Solar battery systems aren’t the only types of home power systems. Other home power systems include whole-house generators and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Unlike solar batteries that use electricity from solar systems or the grid, whole-house generators use diesel, propane, gasoline, or other fuels to power your home in an outage. Some EV brands allow you to use your EV battery as a backup to partially power your home in case of emergencies, but not all are interchangeable.
A solar battery’s storage capacity tells you how much power your battery can store. Most solar systems go off the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) to help you know how much your system can store. At the same time, your battery system’s capacity indicates how much it can hold in perfect conditions. In reality, your system’s storage capacity will likely decrease as it ages, becoming less efficient.
Knowing the right size solar battery system you need can be a little challenging, as your energy usage can fluctuate throughout the day. It’s a good idea to look at your utility bills to see how much energy your home uses per month to gauge what size battery will work for your home. You also need to factor in whether or not you want a whole-home battery system or a partial system for critical backups. Most homes will need a battery capacity of around 10 kWh.