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Environmental contribution on home batteries from 2022: what does it mean for you as a consumer?

Environmental contribution on home batteries from 2022: what does it mean for you as a consumer?

2021 saw an unprecedented rise in the number of home batteries installed. Are you also planning to have one installed? Then you will need to know exactly what the environmental contribution is all about. Because the installer can pass on this environmental contribution to you, the end customer.

What is the environmental contribution for home batteries? Why is there an environmental contribution on home batteries? Who needs to pay it and what are the charges? And how does this contribution provide security in the future? Keep reading to find out the answers to all your questions.

What is the environmental contribution for home batteries?

When your home battery becomes ready for replacement after a long and energetic life, you can’t just throw it away. It has to be collected and recycled in a correct manner. That way, we can prevent hazardous substances ending up in nature, while also ensuring that scarce raw materials are recycled.

But there’s a whole lot involved in the collection and recycling process: complying with administrative obligations and legislation on safe transport, selecting the right, authorized processing company and making sure that the battery is recycled correctly.

Fortunately, there’s nothing much for you to worry about if your installer is a member of Bebat or can provide proof that he purchased the home battery from a company that is a member of Bebat. Then you can rest assured that your battery will be taken back free of charge even if your installer has stopped selling home batteries or stopped his business or has gone bankrupt at the time of the end of its service life. 

This environmental contribution serves to guarantee that your home battery will be taken back free of charge at a future date. Because, of course, there are plenty of costs involved with the collection and recycling process and all that go with it.

Who pays the environmental contribution and what are the charges?

The party required to pay the contribution in the first place is the company that sells home batteries on the Belgian market. This environmental contribution may be passed on to its private customers. So, from 2022 onwards, when you purchase a home battery, you should see an ‘environmental contribution’ as a separate cost item on your invoice.

How much, exactly, is the environmental contribution to Bebat? The charges are calculated based on the weight of the battery and depend on the chemical composition.

These are the charges for 2022:

  • € 2.39/kg (excl. VAT) for lithium-ion-based Energy Storage Systems (ESS) or home batteries

  • € 1.27/kg (excl. VAT) for -based Energy Storage Systems (ESS) or home batteries

In practical terms, this means that the environmental contribution for a home battery weighing 60 kg based on lithium-ion is € 143.40. The weight that is taken into account is the weight of the battery/module on which the serial number is mentioned, including the casing if there is any. The inverter and BMS (Battery Management System) need only be included if these components are integrated into the housing.

Bebat has drawn up a list of home batteries with their weight, chemical family and the amount of the environmental contribution. This list is not exhaustive and will be supplemented with information that we receive from participants.

You will find this list here

For which battery types does the environmental contribution for home batteries apply?

The environmental contribution is introduced for energy storage batteries (ESS or Energy Storage Systems) weighing up to and including 200 kg that are connected to a decentralised electrical power production facility (e.g. solar panels), regardless of where they are installed. In other words, it applies to the well-known lithium-ion or saltwater-based "home batteries".

Batteries that are primarily used for backup purposes, so-called UPS batteries, are not subject to this scheme. 

How do you know that your home battery is covered by an environmental contribution?

To be sure that the home battery you are buying is covered by an environmental contribution,  you can do the following:

  • Find out beforehand from your installer and ask for a guarantee that they will comply with the legal take-back obligation.
  • Look at your invoice to see whether the environmental contribution is mentioned. If it is and your installer or his supplier is a member of Bebat, then the cost of the collection, processing and recycling later is covered.
  • Make sure that all of the serial numbers for the battery/modules are stated on the invoice and keep the invoice in a safe place. 
Thuisbatterij auto opladen

It is possible that some installers are not members of Bebat because they buy their home batteries from a supplier that is member of Bebat. If that is the case, you can ask for a certificate, stating the serial numbers, that confirms that the home battery is covered by Bebat’s environmental contribution.  

If the installer or supplier is unable to provide a certificate,  then check how they comply with their take-back obligation. The installer or supplier may have an individual plan. This is something you can check (for Flanders) on the OVAM website:

Make sure that you have written guarantees. Bebat will continue to inform companies in order to make them compliant with the legal take-back obligation.

What to do when the home battery is end of life?

If the home battery, for which the Bebat environmental contribution was paid, is used up, contact your installer who will collect it. He is responsible for what happens to your home battery when it is discarded. Throwing it away is not an option. And you don't have to, because these batteries (usually) lend themselves to recycling of the rare, precious raw materials. Or sometimes even to reuse for the same or new purposes.

In any event, large rechargeable batteries need to be collected, transported and processed with the utmost care. Not a job for DIY-ers, then.  

Bebat takes care of the collection and processing at the installer.

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