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This picture said it all - Solar Independence Day - 4th July 2017

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Back in 2012, Athena Electrical installed a 2.64kWp Solar PV System for Islington residents Howard Richmond and Robin Rubenstein.

Passionate about the environment and keen to take a step closer to energy independence, Howard and Robin have become one of the first UK households to have the Tesla Powerwall 2 battery installed at their home.

The Powerwall 2 works with their Solar PV system to store unused solar energy generated during the day and releasing it when needed during the evenings or on cloudy days. This means they won’t need to draw down as much energy from their supplier, reducing their bills and providing some protection from rising energy prices.

With the future introduction of SmartGrids, Howard and Robin may be able to sell some of their excess energy back to the National Grid to help balance UK electrical energy supply and demand. With 13.2kWh storage capacity, and 100% depth of discharge, the lithium-ion Tesla Powerwall 2 battery has double the capacity of Powerwall 1 but is only 20% more expensive, offering Residents more power for their pound.

The Tesla battery’s IP rating means it can be installed in a garage or outside and the Tesla App provides real-time energy monitoring of solar generation, household energy consumption and state of battery charge.

Read why Howard chose to add storage to his Solar System.

Why did you decide to install an energy storage system ?

I am both a customer of, and supplier to, Good Energy plc so that I was already receiving all my electricity from renewable sources. However, I wanted to go one stage further and become as self sufficient as possible, at least during the summer months. I had read about battery storage and thought it was a good investment for my savings when they were otherwise losing value in my savings account with inflation being above interest rates.

Why did you choose Athena Electrical to install the Tesla Powerwall 2?

Athena installed my original 11 solar panel array in February 2012. The timescale was very tight but Athena were so efficient, the installation was completed just in time for me to qualify for the maximum original Feed-in-Tariff just before the then government cut it. I have since more than paid off the cost of that original investment.

Athena subsequently installed a hot water diverter to enable me to use excess solar electricity to heat water in the immersion tank.

Since by then, I had formed a good relationship with the Athena team it was only natural that I would seek their advice on a battery system. I had heard about the Tesla Powerwall and so was pleased that they recommended the Powerwall 2.

How did you find the installation process?

Absolutely fine. As I recall it took two days. The battery is heavy so there has to be a suitable and easily accessible wall for it to be attached to.

What do you think of the Tesla Powerwall 2 so far?

So far I am very pleased. There is an excellent App, which allows me to view in real time the flow of electricity to and from the battery from the roof and to the house. Since installation about a month ago I have been about 97% self sufficient in electricity even though there have been many cloudy days.

What would you say to other householders considering the installation of a battery storage system?

Each householder needs to make their own cost benefit analysis since the batteries are quite expensive. In my case I am not so concerned about a there being a short-term pay back period. For me it is an investment for the next generation. I also assess that in the medium term the cost of energy is likely to go up much faster than inflation and that the payback may come sooner than current calculations will show.

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