Storing solar-generated energy with solar battery storage grants more energy independence, but it may not be for everyone.
Solar battery storage adds more moving parts, costs, and complexities homeowners must manage with their home solar power system.
You still will have to deal with the provider and have less autonomy, but net metering is a good option for many homeowners.
Before we write off a solar battery backup storage system, let’s examine the pros and cons and how to make an informed choice.
Solar Battery Storage Pros and Cons
Let’s get any drawbacks out of the way first. We always like ending on a positive note.
Cons of Solar Battery Storage
- Higher upfront costs than other residential solar energy systems
- More complexity in estimates to get the backup load right for your needs
- More parts that need yearly inspection and/or maintenance
- It puts you into a Time-of-Use rate plan with your electrical utility company, resulting in higher electric bills if your solar system is not appropriately sized for your electrical usage. However, for example, the Tesla Powerwall can combat this by intelligently using stored energy during peak hours.
Pros of Solar Battery Storage
- More incentives to recoup the costs of the system
- 24/7 backup energy ready for a blackout emergency and nighttime needs that seamlessly keeps your house and its essential appliances running
- Great energy independence from utility rate changes, i.e., no more bills
- It can operate in tandem with a grid-tie system for greater efficiency and energy assurance
- Very low maintenance and use the sun power to charge the system
- Excellent customer service support with any troubleshooting, if needed
- Weather-resistant and family-friendly, safe to be around kids and animals anywhere in or outside your home
- Customize system settings digitally and in real-time for maximum savings and personalization
- Decreases your carbon footprint more and become net-zero energy users
- Noiseless backup energy, unlike generators
Increasing power outages and utility rate hikes have become the norm for Californian residents.
Residential solar systems are even the playing field, but adding storage completely tips the balance to the energy users’ side.
Is Solar Battery Storage Right For You?
Solar power storage may not be right for everyone despite all the advantages. If you don’t experience many power outages, maybe 1-2 short-term ones per year, or want to be conscious about your energy use, you may want to get a grid-tie system and be done with it. It may not be worth the cost of a backup battery system for individuals with those two types of situations.
However, if you find yourself in the following situations, battery storage is probably a worthwhile investment:
- Your area is prone to natural disasters
- You experience frequent outages due to an unreliable power grid
- Own critical/medical equipment or appliances that must stay on no matter what
- You experience ever-increasing electricity rates and fees from your energy provider
- Want to reduce seasonal and/or daily peak costs in your electric bill
- Decrease your dependency on fossil fuels and lower your carbon footprint more
Usually, a grid-tie solar system is enough for homeowners, but the above scenarios put energy users into the category of those who need solar energy storage.
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Solar Battery Options
Selecting the type of battery you want to use is entirely up to you. You may have an installer who chooses a specific type for all customers or offers multiple brands.
Battery backup technology has improved over the years and is drastically changing today. Therefore, worrying about if you should choose lead-acid, saltwater, or lithium-ion may be a moot point.
Battery companies will have their products’ capabilities to power storage capacity, lifespan, etc., listed for you. You don’t have to be as savvy and informed as you did 10-15 years ago. You can simply look at the brands’ specs.
Tesla, and its Powerwall, is one of the leaders in the battery storage industry. You can’t go wrong with a Tesla battery. A Tesla Powerwall generally stores 13.5 kWh and comes with a 10-year warranty.
Can I Add Battery Backup to My Solar Panel System?
As the market and technology advance, batteries become cheaper and more reliable for whole-house power backup. If you want to add a battery to your current solar panel system, the answer is yes!
Investing in battery backup is an investment that can help you a lot faster the sooner you get it. However, another beauty of solar power technology is you can add to it in the future.
If you already have a system or are thinking about adding one, you can add your battery storage after the fact. It may cause some complexities, but you can plan for those when you are initially installing your system. Most challenges are null and void with a Tesla battery’s sleek and compact designs. It is becoming easier to add solar energy storage, which is just another check in the plus column.
For more answers about going solar – Solar FAQ
No matter what you do, having the insights of great professionals, like Option One Solar, is smart to get the right and personalized information you need to make an informed decision. They have experts ready to assist you and get you up and running worry-free.