Energy storage in fuel poor households

Unique project helps Devon residents save on energy bills

Devon residents who were struggling with their energy bills are benefiting from a unique project which is saving them money.

National Energy Action (NEA) partnered with North Devon Homes to support people whose rural homes had no gas connection and relied on night storage heating and dual rate ‘Economy 7’ electricity tariffs for their energy. These households typically have higher heating costs and higher electricity bills during the day, when a high cost applies.

In one of the first projects of its type in the UK, Tesla batteries were installed to charge overnight only using off-peak electricity. These batteries, called ‘Tesla Powerwall 2,’ were installed in homes without solar panels, showing that domestic battery storage can benefit a wider range of households than just those with solar PV – the traditional target for battery storage technology.

The battery holds enough power to supply most households during the day through the period of peak rate, expensive electricity. The award-winning, Exeter-based SunGift Energy installed the batteries earlier this year and residents have since made great savings on their energy bills.

Michael Hamer, Technical Development Manager at NEA said: “We were keen to help off gas households reduce the amount of high cost daytime electricity they use, by storing electricity from a cheaper period, and quantifying the savings made so that we can inform others.”

“It’s wonderful news to learn that we’ve helped to drastically cut down some people’s bills. Residents have also commented that it’s had a positive impact on health issues. Early indications are that residents feel less restricted in their energy use during the daytime peak period; and can be more comfortable in their homes as a result.”

Marc Rostock, Director of Neighbourhoods at North Devon Homes commented: “At North Devon Homes we are always looking for innovations that help improve the comfort in and reduce the running costs of our customers’ homes. This project has allowed us to work with local partners and residents to better understand the practical issues, real savings and future potential associated with battery storage. We are pleased to have been able to contribute, support, be involved in and benefit from this project.”

The project has also recently been nominated for the Solar Power Portal Awards under the ‘Residential Storage Installation of the Year’ category.  To find out more about the project watch the video series which includes interviews with residents, installers and the social housing provider here.

 The project was part of NEA’s Technical Innovation Fund which involved installing, monitoring and evaluating new and innovative technologies in the homes of fuel poor and vulnerable households. TIF was part of NEA’s larger Health and Innovation Programme, which remains the largest GB-wide programme implemented by a charity to improve the lives of people living in fuel poverty.

Published on 18-07-2018
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