Fire Season and Rolling Blackouts are Nearly Upon Us – Why Having a Solar Backup Battery Matters

When it comes to powering your home, a consistent power source is a necessity – whether you’re receiving it from the grid, a solar system, or both. Blackouts caused by extreme weather or public safety power shut-offs can be incredibly frustrating, derail your business, and potentially be life-threatening. Unfortunately, they are becoming more frequent as the climate becomes more extreme. In 2012, the California Public Utilities Commission ruled that California power companies such as PG&E are allowed to conduct Public Safety Power Shut Offs (PSPS) – aka “de-energization” – when weather conditions create a high risk of wildfire. This means that they’ll temporarily shut off power to entire neighborhoods or communities to prevent their electric systems from becoming the source of a wildfire spark. Of course, other incidents such as damage to a power line or inclement weather may also cause power outages. Regardless of the cause, one way to avoid having your home affected by a blackout is to have a solar backup battery.

What is a Solar Battery Backup System?

If you’ve already installed a solar system on your home, that’s great! Going solar is a huge step toward generating renewable energy. However, you are likely still connected to the grid, so you won’t have any power when the grid is down.  Installing a solar battery backup system will prevent this from happening. When you add battery backup, you will be able to used the stored energy for critical loads and in some cases the majority of the home depending on the size of the battery backup you select.

How Solar Storage Works

When the sun is shining, and your solar system produces more power than your home is consuming, that extra energy is being fed back to the utility company grid. However, when there is no sun (i.e., a cloudy day) or it’s nighttime, your home’s power pulls from the grid. By adding a solar battery backup storage system, any excess energy generated by your solar system will be stored in your backup battery instead of being sent back to the grid. Doing this means that when your utility company shuts off the power, you can use the energy stored in your battery instead of going dark. It also means that during the night or on non-sunny days, you can pull the stored energy from your battery instead of purchasing electricity from the grid.

The Benefits of Solar Battery Storage

If you’re looking for a safe, no-hassle, reliable way to avoid blackouts, a battery backup system connected to your solar panels is a great solution. Additional benefits to installing a battery backup system include:

Greater Energy Self-Sufficiency

Although many jurisdictions will often require residences to remain connected to the grid – even if they don’t use any electricity from the utility – by installing solar battery storage; you’ll be one step closer to achieving “off-the-grid” status.  By storing electricity in your battery backup system, you will be able to power critical loads regardless of a blackout.

In addition, backup batteries are now programmable! They include a weather tracking system that prioritizes power backup if an approaching storm is detected. You can also program your battery storage to perform a nifty cost-savings trick called Peak Shaving. With Peak Shaving, you charge your batteries by pulling energy from the grid whenever electricity rates are at their lowest (off-peak). Then you discharge the batteries selling the excess energy back to the grid when rates are at their highest. Your utility bill savings will automatically accumulate by buying low and selling high, and those savings can add up quickly!

Budget-Friendly Backup

Depending on the battery storage system you purchase, they can cost as low as $10,000 net to install. While a solar battery storage system may seem expensive, it’s also worth considering that installing one will actually provide you with budget protection in the long run. As utility companies continue to increase their electricity rates, a battery storage system allows you to leverage the low-cost energy generated by your solar system rather than forcing you to purchase electricity from the grid.

And, don’t forget! If you purchase your battery storage system in 2022 and the system will be connected to your solar panels, you will be able to claim a 26% dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit. That amounts to some significant savings! The Federal ITC decreases to 22% in 2023, and down to 10% in 2024. There’s no better time to take advantage of this incentive than this year.

Ready to Purchase Solar Battery Storage?

Whether you already have solar panels installed or are looking to purchase a new system that includes solar battery backup, we’re here to help you find the right battery storage system to meet your needs!

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