A common criticism of solar energy is that it only works while the sun is shining but that’s only partially true. Yes, solar panels can only generate electricity while the sun is shining — but there is a solution.
Storage batteries allow solar owners to store excess solar energy and use it at night or on rainy days. Many storage batteries were created to integrate with your solar system to maximize solar usage.
Many solar owners value their storage batteries for energy independence or added utility savings. Especially solar owners in regions without strong net metering incentives.
What are storage batteries?
Storage batteries, sometimes called solar batteries, are devices that store unused solar energy. These batteries can be wall mounted or floor mounted in your garage or outside your home. Stored energy can be used later, either at night or during a power outage.
Similar to solar panels, there are a variety of solar batteries with multiple pros and cons. Enact’s home energy advisors can determine the right solar batteries for your home and answer any questions.
What are the top five benefits of storage batteries for solar?
Lower electricity costs
Storage batteries can help lower electricity costs by reducing your dependence on the power grid during solar off hours. Unused solar energy gets sent to the power grid, solar batteries allow you to use that energy when the sun’s not shining. In places with no net metering policies or with suboptimal net metering policies, you can use batteries to save money on utility bills.
Protection from future rate increase
A solar plus storage system can protect you from future utility rate increases. Similar to the point above, storage allows you to store unused solar energy. This reduces your need to use power from the grid, which shields your home from increased utility costs.
Emergency Backup Power
Storage batteries — with or without solar — can protect your home from power outages. Storage batteries can often be scalable and power residential or commercial buildings when the power goes out. Batteries can supply power for your home at varying levels. This can mean the bare necessities for your home to large appliances.
Solar plus storage systems is the best method for energy independence. Solar panels generate the electricity, while batteries store unused electricity for your home. This can significantly reduce your reliance on the electrical grid. In some cases, people can use solar plus storage to go completely off the grid
Clean Renewable Energy
Solar is the best way to generate clean, renewable energy for your home or business. Panels only create electricity when the sun is shining, batteries help you use that clean energy around the clock. Most solar homes or businesses use energy from the grid at night or during storms, which uses energy from non-renewable sources.
Is the additional expense worth it?
Storage batteries can be a great addition to your home’s solar system. Batteries let you store and use excess energy from your solar panels, which is great for people who live in places without net metering.
Storage batteries also offer energy independence from the power grid, which could be great for people who live in areas with frequent outages. You can use this excess energy when you need extra power at night or to reduce supplemental power grid energy.
Federal solar incentives apply to both solar and energy storage, which lowers the burden on homeowners or businesses. Additionally, some states offer incentives for installing a storage battery with your solar system.
However, if you want to go solar to supplement your home’s energy needs and want to save a little money — battery storage might not be right for you. Solar batteries can help you save money in the long run, but that might not be your priority.
Post-NEM 3.0 California
California’s net metering policy — NEM 3.0 — went into effect in April of this year. Net metering a billing arrangement for utility customers generating their own solar electricity. Excess solar energy that goes to the electrical grid is credited to their account. When customers use power from the grid, they are billed for the “net” amount of electricity consumed from the grid.
Recently, the state of California lowered the net metering credit standards. This means solar owners get less credits for excess electricity sent to the grid. While this may seem like a bad thing for solar owners, it incentives California homeowners or businesses to install a storage battery along with their solar system.
NEM 3.0 extends the payback period length for solar systems with or without storage. Enact found that increases to payback periods are not the same. The payback period of solar-only systems doubles, while solar-plus-storage systems are only extended by 1-2 additional years.
Without the benefits of higher net metering credits, NEM 3.0 makes larger storage systems more advantageous. The payback period difference between a 10 kWh battery and a 20 kWh battery is around three months.
Storing your clean energy reduces your need to supplement electricity from the power grid. When your storage battery is fully charged, excess energy will still be sent to the grid and you can still benefit from the reduced net metering credits.
How to get energy storage?
Just like Enact streamlines the solar process, we also work to get you the best battery storage for your home. Whether you have solar panels or are thinking about it, Enact can answer any questions and start the process.
Our home energy advisors use our software to design custom solar-plus-storage systems for your home. Enact customers have access to a wide variety of solar panels, storage batteries and inverters. Solar installation companies often carry one or a few brands, but Enact gives you access to the best equipment for your home. From design to post-installation monitoring, Enact walks you through every step of the process.
After a quick call with our home energy advisors, Enact will send you a design and installation quote. When you’re satisfied with the design, Enact streamlines the installation process for you. We partner with technicians in your area, coordinate the inspection process.
Investing in storage batteries is a game-changer for homeowners, offering a multitude of benefits. With the ability to harness the power of the sun, store excess energy, and reduce reliance on the grid, homeowners gain energy independence, lower utility bills, and contribute to a sustainable future.
Take control of your solar journey and join the growing community of homeowners embracing solar with storage. Visit Enact System’s website today to learn more about how you can make a positive impact on your home, your wallet, and the planet. Together, let’s power a brighter future with solar and storage.