So, you went solar and now you’re reaping the benefits of lower electric bills — but you still feel like something is missing. Your home now runs on clean renewable solar power, but what about when the power is out from the utility? Have you ever been left stranded when the power went out and your photovoltaic (PV) solar system had to “turn off” because it is grid-connected?

Home energy storage solutions, more commonly known as batteries, are finally available and ready for you to upgrade your existing PV solar system. A battery system answers the question that your on-grid solar system cannot, which is, “what do I do during a power outage?” Battery storage systems give homeowners reliability, independence, and resiliency.

What is an energy storage system?

As mentioned above, batteries create a place for energy that is produced on-demand from your solar system to be stored for later use. Similar to a natural gas (NG) or liquid propane (LP) home generator, the battery can power your essential home loads during a utility outage. An energy storage system is charged by your PV solar system during the daylight hours. This power is then stored for use at night or during a storm. An energy storage system is equipped with smart technology to identify an outage on the grid, and within a few seconds power is switched over to the batteries, and in some cases without disruption of power at all. The battery runs in absolute silence and will not need to be serviced, unlike a diesel, NG, or LP generator engine.

How do batteries give my home resiliency?

Battery systems give you independence from an increasingly unreliable public electric grid. Increasing extreme weather conditions (hurricanes, snowstorms, and windstorms) put the grid at risk of major outages during these natural disasters. People who work from home need reliable energy to stay connected, and a battery provides backup power day and night. Resiliency means you are in control of your home’s power; never again will you be subject to outages for an undetermined amount of time waiting for the utility to restore power. By upgrading your current PV solar system with a battery storage system, you are providing yourself with independence and confidence in knowing that any external forces weighing on the grid will not affect the power in your home.

Adding an energy storage solution gives you control of your home’s power production and usage. Intuitive mobile apps integrate seamlessly with your current PV solar monitoring to show battery life and usage. Plus, you can easily modify preferences, control power draw, and track overall system performance. These systems can connect to local weather information to notify you of severe storms that could lead to an outage, ensuring that your home is always ready for a potential outage. If you’re away from home during an outage, the entire system can be controlled remotely.

What will the energy storage system look like in my home?

A home battery system is usually installed in your basement or garage, whichever is closest to the main electrical panel. A battery system consists of (a) battery bank, (b) smart switch, and (c) transfer switch. Check out the photos below to get an idea of what the system looks like.

What incentives are available for energy storage systems?

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 put into immediate effect the 30% Residential Clean Energy Credit. This credit applies to the cost of stand-alone energy storage systems. This new and improved tax credit for solar batteries applies to battery projects installed through 2032. Together with the federal tax credit, the cost of an energy storage system is comparable to that of a home generator (NG or LP powered).