Generate your own energy with solar panels and if you generate more than you need at that moment, you simply store that energy in your own home battery. Sounds smart right? They are fans in Belgium. Many more home batteries are being sold there this year than last year, De Tijd reports.
They are hardly sold in the Netherlands yet, according to a tour of RTL Z. You cannot get them at the large energy companies Vattenfall, Essent and Eneco. And the large installer Feenstra does not have them in its range either.
Expensive, so little demand
All four companies say there is simply very little demand for home batteries. In view of the costs, they are not yet available to ordinary consumers, says Melanie Poort, spokesperson for Vattenfall.
A home battery at Ikea in Belgium costs between 3758 euros and 5946 euros and that is exclusive of VAT.
Another disadvantage is that you can store relatively little power in a home battery, at most enough for a few days. Electricity that you generate in the summer with your solar panels can therefore not be used in the winter.
The difference with Belgium is that home batteries are subsidized there and not in the Netherlands, explains Martien Visser, lecturer in Energy Transition at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen.
In addition, there is a so-called netting arrangement in the Netherlands.
This netting arrangement means that consumers with solar panels can supply the electricity they generate, but do not use at the time, back to the grid. “As long as it exists, it makes little sense to have a home battery.”
At a later time, if you consume more than you generate, for example in the evening, you can take that electricity from the electricity grid again for free. So in the end you only pay for the power you consume on top of what you have supplied, in other words the balance.
‘More attractive without netting’
It will be a different story for the home battery if the netting scheme is abolished, Visser thinks. That has two reasons. In the first place, owners of solar panels will mainly supply back to the grid when the sun is shining strongly. In that case, however, that electricity is usually worth little, because all those solar panels together in the Netherlands cause considerable pressure on prices.
If they retrieve the power later, for example in the evening, that power is expensive, due to a lack of production by solar panels. You can earn back that price difference by putting your power in a battery during the day, and then using it in the evening.
Suppose the netting arrangement is abolished, then you can avoid tax with a home battery. You do not have to pay tax for the electricity that you obtain from the grid through the netting arrangement.
If this is no longer possible, you buy the electricity for the current market price, on which you have to pay tax. With a home battery you avoid those taxes, because you don’t get that power from the grid, explains Visser.
Next year, the tax on electricity in the Netherlands will be reduced. That makes a home battery less attractive, because less tax savings can be made, says Visser.
Phase-out of netting scheme postponed?
According to current plans, the netting scheme in the Netherlands will be phased out from 2023, until it no longer exists in 2030.
Whether home batteries are indeed attractive then depends on the electricity prices at that time, the level of taxes on electricity and the costs of those batteries, says Visser. “But it wouldn’t surprise me if the phasing out of the netting scheme is postponed.”