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The environmental contribution for home batteries

2021 saw an unprecedented rise in the number of home batteries installed. If you contributed to this as well, as a manufacturer, importer or installer putting batteries on the Belgian market, then you know that you have to comply with the legal take-back obligation. That means you have to take back the batteries at the end of their life and you are responsible for all aspects related to processing and recycling. 

But the longevity of home batteries has meant that those concerns were something for the distant future, and you had to determine how you wanted to prepare for this: "Do I already charge the future processing costs to the customer now or will I pay them myself later?"  

This situation is now about to change, as Bebat introduces an environmental contribution for Energy Storage Systems (ESS or home batteries) as of 1 January 2022. As a Bebat participant you will need to pay this contribution at the time when the battery enters the market and not when it is taken back in the future.  

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Which batteries are we talking about?

The environmental contribution is introduced for energy storage batteries with a weight ≤ 200 kg that are connected to a decentralised energy production installation for electricity, regardless of where they are installed. These are therefore the well-known 'home batteries' based on lithium-ion or salt water. Batteries that have backup purposes as their main function, the so-called UPS batteries, are not included.

The environmental contribution is calculated per kg. To determine the weight of the battery, you should take the weight of the battery/module that has the serial number on it, including the casing if there is one. The inverter and BMS (Battery Management System) should only be counted if they are integrated in the casing.

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List home batteries

Bebat has made a list of home batteries with their weight, chemical family and the amount of the environmental contribution. This list is not exhaustive and is supplemented with information received from participants.  

What does this mean for you as a manufacturer, importer or installer?

For all home batteries that you put on the market from 1 January 2022 onwards, as a participant of Bebat you pay an environmental contribution. This contribution covers the costs of registration, prevention, awareness-raising, collection, dismantling, processing, recycling, reporting to the authorities and research & development to find out whether the batteries can be given a second life (pay-as-you sell). 

In other words, all costs are covered. This means that at the time of take-back at the end of the batteries' life cycle (8 to 10 years later), you should not expect any more costs. 

Did you have an individual contract with Bebat for home batteries? This is no longer necessary due to the new environmental contribution and will be cancelled by Bebat. 

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What does this mean for you as a consumer?

From the 1st of January 2022 onwards, the companies affiliated to Bebat will have to pay an environmental contribution to Bebat when the home battery is put on the market.

If your supplier is affiliated to Bebat, or can provide proof that he has purchased the home battery from a company affiliated to Bebat, you can be assured that your battery will be taken back free of charge at the end of its life, even if your supplier no longer sells home batteries or is bankrupt at the time of disposal. 

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