While there is no doubt about the fact that battery energy storage has a huge part to play in the UK’s future energy mix, the issue of mis -selling poses a stumbling block. With this in mind, Michael Fereday at Rexel Energy Solutions advises how to sell storage successfully


s the battery energy storage market expands, there is an increased responsibility for suppliers to provide honest and correct information to each customer, in order to avoid the issue of mis-selling. This year alone, the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) has reported a complaint about a battery storage system on average once a week, with more than 40 per cent of these concerning selling techniques. With the new Consumer Rights Act now in place, it is more pertinent than ever, for installers to be fully informed when selling these products. Although it could be perceived that the

fault of mis-selling is always contrived, it is something that can be done unknowingly. As battery storage is still a relatively new market, it can be difficult to estimate the full benefits of the products at this relatively early stage and often installers don’t have the full knowledge to correctly sell the battery storage units, causing them to provide incorrect information. One of the most common

misconceptions when it comes to battery 8 NOVEMBER 2016 | ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

energy storage, for example, is that 100 per cent of the energy generated by a PV system will be entirely self-consumed. In reality, the maximum percentage of energy that will be used from a storage unit is up to 70 per cent. There are a variety of factors which can

have an impact, including seasonal changes. Fundamentally, customers need to be aware that the benefits you get from a battery storage system will vary depending upon the season. During the summer, when a PV system generates the most energy, and demand on electrical supply may well be at its lowest, it is likely that a significant surplus of energy will be created. This is when the sought-after benefits of a storage system are most evident. However, in the winter, these effects are prone to be reversed, so it is a lot less likely that a significant surplus is created. It is therefore important to assess what the benefit will be over the course of the whole 12 months, to determine whether battery storage is the right solution for each household. Other factors including size and angle of PV solar panels and the

size of a roof can also impact on these seasonal factors. While the industry is working to establish a standardised framework, when it comes to selling storage systems there are a series of recommended steps manufacturers and suppliers should take in order to understand the market, the technology, and the needs of each individual consumer. If we take estimating the surplus energy a PV system may generate as an example, it is incredibly difficult to properly design and specify a storage system without a comprehensive understanding of each customer’s individual lifestyle. For instance, if a customer is out all day or has a relatively large PV system, they will potentially generate a significant surplus. In this instance, they are more likely to benefit from battery storage. As well as calculating the benefits of a battery energy storage system on a property, it is also important to question the consumer about their expectations, their lifestyle and the location in which they are planning to store the battery unit. Asking these questions will ensure a supplier can correctly assess the pros and cons of fitting a battery energy storage unit. Furthermore, RECC has set out a list of guidelines for suppliers to ensure they are as transparent as possible with their customers. These guidelines include showing all MCS calculations separately from storage calculations and basing any claimed benefit from battery storage on an individual’s situation, not on a manufacturer’s average or ‘up to’ claims. Finally, always check each product’s warranty rigorously, as they can differ from product to product and year to year. As a fast emerging market, it is

imperative that installers and suppliers are well informed about the battery energy storage units they are selling, in order to protect their company’s reputation and offer the best possible solutions for energy storage.



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