How can solar battery storage help reduce fuel poverty in social housing?

Solar panel array visualising power transfer
Director Roof Systems
Stuart has been working in the construction industry for over 30 years and has spent the last 14 years at Marley.

Using a solar battery in combination with solar roof tiles can help reduce fuel poverty in social housing by allowing the occupants to store renewable electricity gathered from the sun during the day. This renewable, green energy can then be used for heating the home, cooking meals or charging an electric vehicle in the evening when grid electricity is at its most expensive.

Installing a solar battery adds the ability to store excess electricity produced by solar roof tiles during periods of low demand in a high-capacity battery. This stored power can then be supplied to the home when demand on the grid increases, and when electricity is at its most costly. A solar battery is a versatile product that can also be recharged using power supplied by the grid during off-peak times at a lower cost. Another benefit of a solar battery is its ability to provide electricity to the home in the event of a power cut. How long the battery will last is dependent on its storage capacity and the electricity demands of the home. A typical household consumes around 7.4 kWh of electricity per day, meaning a 10-kWh battery can supply power to the home for at least 24 hours (1).

Why ‘fuel poverty’ is on the increase

With energy costs rising, the term ‘fuel poverty’ is being heard more and more frequently. In some cases, people are having to choose between putting the heating on or eating. One way to help reduce energy costs is to take advantage of renewable and stored energy.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero states(2) that Fuel poverty in England is measured using the Low Income Low Energy Efficiency (LILEE) indicator. Under this indicator, a household is considered fuel poor if:

“They are living in a property with a fuel poverty energy efficiency rating of band D or below and when they spend the required amount to heat their home, they are left with a residual income below the official poverty line.”

There are three important elements in determining whether a household is fuel poor:

  • household income
  • household energy requirements
  • fuel prices

How can fuel poverty be reduced in social housing?

The UK social housing sector currently owns around four million homes (3). Making these homes more energy efficient and cheaper to run, by installing a PV system incorporating solar roof tiles and battery storage, can support residents by helping to reduce their home’s running costs and help lift them out of fuel poverty.

As well as helping address the issue of fuel poverty by cutting down on a home’s energy costs, a solar roof tile and battery system has obvious appeal to anyone looking to reduce their bills. Capturing energy from the sun and converting it to electricity produces ‘green’ energy. This means occupants that are environmentally focussed will see it as an excellent way to reduce their carbon footprint and minimise their own impact on the environment. In summary, a property benefiting from the installation of a solar roof tile and battery system goes a long way towards meeting people’s energy and environmental needs.

How can buildings take advantage of solar energy?

The use of renewable energy is rapidly gaining popularity with properties featuring solar installations becoming a common sight. Traditionally, solar panels have been installed above the roof tiles, which are unsightly and leave voids often occupied with birds nesting behind them. This could cause maintenance issues such as blocked gutters, but it can also have an impact on the efficiency of your solar array. Fully integrated solar tiles are rapidly gaining popularity because of their enhanced aesthetic and low maintenance appeal.

How a PV system with a solar battery can help to reduce home running costs?

The size of battery storage installed should ideally be enough to supply a home’s electricity requirement for the evening. It can then be topped up in the middle of the night from the grid, or recharged during the following day from the solar panels.

The savings that are possible by installing PV accompanied by battery storage are, of course, dependent on the type of house and heating system installed. Solar Energy UK’s ‘The Value of New Build Solar’ report gives an indication of the financial benefits that are possible for the homeowner when using this system.

The case study featured here is one that models a new build mid-terrace property in the Midlands. It is assumed to meet the energy efficiency requirements of the Future Homes Standard and the savings are those possible when compared to an identical house with no energy efficiency enhancements or low carbon technologies. The system used incorporates a PV array of 2 kWh generating 2,565 kWh/year and battery storage.

 Case study Occupancy Heating system Average annual energy savings Average lifetime energy savings
 Midlands mid-terrace property Home half of the day Heat pump £974 £37,101


While it is possible to sell excess electricity back to the grid, the amount paid by the electricity company is considerably less than they charge for the energy they supply, making storing your own solar generated electricity a much more cost-effective option. By taking advantage of natural sunlight, a 400-watt solar panel can generate approximately 1.6-2.4kWh of electricity per day in optimal conditions. A PV system will usually incorporate several panels, called an array, and the amount of electricity produced increases in line with the number of panels being used.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), states that for most countries worldwide, solar PV is the most cost-effective option for new electricity generation.

A recent case study by Solar Energy UK indicates that a modern home incorporating energy efficient design and fitted with a solar PV array and battery storage system, can provide a saving of £974 per year on electricity costs compared to an identical property with no energy saving enhancements.

The Marley SolarTile® and battery storage system

Marley can supply the individual solar capture and storage components as well as a full system. By installing a complete Marley PV solution, compatibility of each component is assured, giving you peace of mind in knowing that each part of the system will work together to make the most of renewable solar energy. The Marley renewables product range includes Marley SolarTile®, solar batteries, solar inverters and electric vehicle charge points.

Contact us here to find out more about the Marley PV product range and how it can support your project.


Category: Roofing Solar Technical