Key takeaways

  • Solar batteries store excess generated energy for later use during a power outage, at night and on cloudy days.
  • The total cost varies based on the manufacturer, battery type, power capacity, installation fees and other factors.
  • The cost of popular solar batteries ranges from $9,500 to $23,000.
  • Financial incentives are available to reduce the total price.

Solar batteries can reduce your reliance on the electricity grid by storing surplus energy generated from solar panels to use when the sun is less available. If you have considered solar or own a home with solar panels, you likely have also considered installing a solar battery. The cost can total about half the price of the average solar system, depending on several factors, such as the number of solar batteries your home needs. Read on to learn about solar batteries, what makes up the cost, benefits and more. 

What is the cost of solar batteries?

Solar batteries are expensive and are not a one-size-fits-all product. The battery size you need for your home is determined by your energy usage. If you use more energy, you may need two solar batteries to power your home, which increases the cost. Data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates the total cost of a solar battery, including installation, is $18,791. Installation and permitting fees vary by location and installer, but the NREL cost estimate for the standalone battery is $16,007.

Solar incentives and rebates are available to reduce the cost of a solar system, including solar storage. For example, the federal tax credit, known as the Residential Clean Energy Credit, offers a 30 percent credit on the total cost of solar, including batteries. Before incorporating additional fees, the federal tax credit can save you nearly $5,000 on the NREL estimated solar battery price. 

Battery type also influences the cost. Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type paired with a residential solar system. They are usually more expensive than lead-acid batteries, but lithium-ion batteries are larger in size and store more energy to power your home. 

Are solar batteries worth the cost and do you need one?

Solar batteries store excess energy for later use when the sun is less available, such as at night, on cloudy days and in winter. Depending on the time of year, solar panels can generate more energy than your home needs. Batteries can reduce your reliance on the electricity grid and potentially help lower your utility bill

Pairing solar panels with a battery storage system enables you to maximize the benefits and savings of solar energy. Batteries increase your energy independence and keep you from relying on the grid. Solar batteries are especially worth the investment if: 

  • You frequently experience power outages.
  • You want to go completely off the grid.
  • You’re on a time-of-use energy plan.

Solar owners without solar storage may use their state’s net metering benefits in place of a battery. Solar batteries are especially beneficial in states like California, where the most recent net metering policy reduces the value of energy credits. Net metering is an agreement between solar owners and the utility company where excess energy generated from your system is sent to the utility company in exchange for energy bill credits. If the credit is low, having a battery storage system will save more money in the long run. 

Solar batteries are not a required part of a solar system but can be very useful during power outages and for those with time-of-use (TOU) energy plans. You can save money by using stored energy during peak hours when electricity rates are the most expensive. 

If you’re not home for most of the day, you likely will not use all the solar energy your system produces. The excess generation will be sent to the grid or you can save it in a solar battery for use when you are home. This is helpful for combatting peak energy demand and high electricity rates.

How much do popular solar batteries cost in 2023?

It depends. As we’ve covered, the total cost varies based on storage size, market value, installation fees and other factors. If you install a solar battery at the same time as panels, your total installation cost will be less than if you install it separately. Compare the pre-incentive cost of popular solar batteries in the following table.

Battery Starting Cost Power Capacity (kilowatt-hour)
Tesla Powerwall 2 $11,500 13.5 kWh
LG Chem Resu Gen2 10H $9,500 – $13,000 9.3 kWh
Generac PWRcell $10,000 3 kWh
sonnenCore+  $9,500 10 kWh
Electriq PowerPod 2 $15,000 – $23,000 10 – 20 kWh

Factors that impact solar battery price

  • Number of batteries installed: The more battery units you install, the higher the total price. The number of batteries depends on the storage capacity and the amount of stored energy needed for your home. If you start with one, you can easily add another at a different time, but the total cost may be higher due to installation fees. 
  • Battery chemistry: Most solar batteries use lithium-ion for solar energy storage. Lead-acid batteries are available and are typically cheaper, but they store less energy and do not last as long as lithium-ion.  
  • Manufacturer: The brand’s services and manufacturing process impact the price. If the brand’s costs for manufacturing are higher, the price of the battery will likely be higher. Some installers offer a discount on the solar battery if you add it to a new solar system at the time of initial purchase. 
  • Power capacity: The amount of usable energy a battery can store. Typically, the higher the power capacity, the higher the price. The Generac PWRcell is an exception, costing $10,000 with only a 3 kWh capacity. If you want to power more essential appliances during an outage, you will want a battery with higher capacity. 
  • Critical load panels: If your home doesn’t already have a critical load panel, the electrical work to install one will increase the total cost. Critical load panels are a secondary circuit board to power essentials during an outage. You can configure your battery and critical load panel to support necessary appliances during outages.
  • Inverters: Solar batteries, like the Tesla Powerwall, are equipped with an inverter, while others, like the LG Chem Resu, are not. Adding standalone inverters to your system increases the total price
  • Incentives and rebates: Solar batteries are eligible for the 30 percent federal solar tax credit. You can apply through the IRS to receive a credit on your next federal income taxes. This credit can be applied to batteries purchased from 2022 through 2032. Check with your local utility for additional incentives.

Powering your home with green energy doesn’t have to be a financial burden. Solar financing options allow you to increase your energy independence on any budget. There are many ways to pay for eco-friendly home upgrades, including personal loans and HELOCs.