Why get solar batteries with your panels?

Adding solar batteries to your solar PV system is a really great way to secure your home. Electricity outages, spikes in time-of-use utility billing, and potentially unfavorable buy-back rates from utility companies can all impact your system output. Batteries can stabilize your system but their expense does affect their total realized value. If you are choosing whether or not to go with solar batteries, I assume that means that your solar PV system will be “grid-tied”. If you are going “off-grid,”  batteries are very likely a must. The number and size of batteries required is dependent on many factors, which we’ll need to revisit at a later date.

Three questions to ask yourself when considering battery backup to a grid-tied solar PV system:

Are you trying to save money?

For batteries to make financial sense on a grid-tied home, you’ve got to stack pennies from all areas. First, you’ve got to know how your electric utility charges. Do they net-meter? They may charge a flat rate per Kilowatt Hour or could have a tiered structure that charges more when you use more. Do they charge a peak-load price or a time-of-use fee? If your utility is using or moving toward the peak load or time-of-use pricing, the batteries may be a good option. They would enable you to fill the battery with clean solar energy at your fixed rate of ownership. You can then use that energy when the utility rate is higher than your storage cost. This method requires diligence in understanding ways to “beat the system.”

Are you trying to secure your homes’ energy needs?

If so, consider how many times that you’ve been without power since you’ve been in the home. If you can count it on one hand, or don’t remember the last time, I’d suggest you pass. Spend the money on more PV panels, or other energy saving measures. You could buy a really great generator for way less than the battery. Or, you could put it toward that electric vehicle you’ve been wanting!

Are you trying to increase your personal consumption of the clean energy you make?

This approach does have a small financial benefit for you when compared t the cost for you to make a Kilowatt of electricity vs buy it from the utility. This consideration is second to the principle of the issue on solar, preserving our natural environment. If your motives are driven by a desire to do everything you can to help our planet, go for batteries.

Solar batteries will become more viable as the technology advances. That said, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. If you feel like planting a proverbial tree, you have our full support!

For all you energy geeks out there, check out this study on the Economics of Battery Storage: http://bit.ly/2SolarBatteryStudy

To see if your home is right for battery storage with solar PV, contact us

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