The STA's Storage Commitments aim to encourage high standards early in the development of the UK's currently nascent domestic battery storage industry, putting the interests of domestic consumers uppermost. They cover the need to provide clear information to consumers on the benefits and limitations of battery storage, and to ensure domestic investors are empowered to understand and operate storage technology most effectively. The Commitments also cover excellence in safety and technical standards.
The Storage Commitments were launched this week (October 3rd) at Solar & Storage Live by the Chair of STA's 'Behind the Meter' Storage Working Group, Dr Andrew Crossland, who is Energy Storage Specialist for Solarcentury. Solar Live is the UK's largest solar and storage industry trade show, providing a prime opportunity to disseminate and discuss best practice.
Battery storage is expected to grow rapidly in the UK, with cost reductions in recent years akin to cost drops seen in solar PV. However, unlike PV the storage industry is operating under a less regulated framework, with only standard consumer protection rules applying, as it does not receive public support.
“These clear Commitments, aimed at protecting consumer interests, reflect our members' determination to deliver and champion high standards from the outset” said STA CEO Paul Barwell. “Solar sits at the heart of the smart energy transformation, with many of our members actively involved in battery storage. Storage is a game-changer for the whole energy system, not just individual households, so it is essential to set high standards and provide for a quality storage industry that consumers know they can trust.”
Dr Crossland added that storage offers benefits to homeowners, as well as to the wider power system and Ministers have quite rightly talked up the importance of storage to delivering a low carbon economy. Companies getting behind the good commitments in the document will help to ensure consumers can have real confidence in this exciting, disruptive and transformative technology.
The STA has previously successfully set out 10 Commitments for the development of solar farms. These received national recognition and have helped to maintain exceptionally high levels of public support for solar. Having achieved 5 percent VAT on domestic storage for the installation of storage alongside new solar PV, the STA is pressing for the 5 percent VAT rate to apply to the retrofit of battery storage for the 875,000 homes that already have solar PV.
The STA has two working groups on storage; Grid-Scale and Behind the Meter, with the latter covering domestic and commercial systems. This Working Group is also addressing the product lifecycle, including recycling and the regulatory changes need to unlock new markets in the many services storage can provide.
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