Smart Solar

Smart Solar

2021 – 2023

Smart Solar is the most recent battery storage project undertaken by Energise Barnsley. 

75 batteries were installed in homes with solar PV in the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, utilizing funding from the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme. 

Homes with solar PV systems usually export excess energy from the solar panels to the grid. In this project, the batteries stored the spare energy, allowing residents to use it later in the day. 

Variables included: 

  • Home size, age/condition and level of insulation
  • Solar PV system size
  • Source of energy for heating the homes
  • Placement of the battery (inside the home or outdoors, in an outhouse).

Smart Solar ran between May 2021 and September 2023.

Our team provided:

  • Project and asset management from beginning to end
  • Funding for 40 of the 75 solar PV systems on the properties
  • Training for Age UK Barnsley staff to help communicate the financial savings from the battery and solar PV systems to the participating households. 

Project Impacts

On top of the equipment, which was provided for the tenants by Energise Barnsley, the project participants also saw:


Average savings per household from solar PV


Average savings per household from the battery


Average total savings per household

The project has also shown that, for those who were to purchase the equipment, they’d likely experience payback times of:

7.6 years

Average payback time for indoor installation of the batteries

10.2 years

Average payback time for outdoor installation of the batteries.

Satisfaction from Participants

Following the project, 30 households were surveyed about their experience. We found that: 

  • All 30 households believed the batteries were making savings
  • 25 households became more aware of how they used electricity as a result of the project
  • 21 households changed the way that they used electricity.

Overall, all households were happy with the battery installation. Everyone who responded to the survey would recommend a similar installation to their friends.

“I don’t put the dishwasher on until I know there is some free electricity. I use appliances when there is free solar or battery available.” 

“I am over the moon with the battery. It is discrete, silent, it is out of the way. If I could have another one, I would have two!”
“I think the Government should fit solar panels and storage batteries in every home to help with the cost of electricity. They should install them for all pensioners and also the poorest families. The systems are a big help. I am thrilled to pieces and ecstatic with the battery system.” 

Project participants


Read the complete project evaluation