There has been a surge in battery backup interest since PG&E recently turned off electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers. Here are our most frequently asked battery storage questions and how they can help you during a blackout.
What are the advantages of battery storage?
Battery storage is a way for you to store solar generated power for your energy needs and rely less on the utility company. In the event of a power outage, you want to have immediate access to electricity. This is possible with battery storage where the battery will automatically switch on the moment the blackout occurs. Batteries also allow for rate arbitrage, where you can use energy from the battery when your utility company is charging premium/peak rates.
What makes batteries different than generators?
Batteries and generators are similar in that they both provide emergency backup to your home. The main difference is their source of power. Generators are powered by natural gas, diesel, or propane. On the other hand, batteries are powered by electricity, which can be generated from the electrical grid or from the sun with solar panels. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but batteries are known to be more reliable, cleaner, and quieter than generators.
What kinds of batteries does Clean Solar offer?
Clean Solar is an authorized dealer for the Tesla Powerwall 2 (13.5 kWh, can be stacked up to 10) and the SonnenBatterie (up to 16 kWh).
How much can I back up with a fully charged battery?
A Tesla Powerwall 2 has 13.5 kWh of storage. If you’re running your refrigerator, some lighting and selected low voltage outlets for cell phone and laptop charging, then the battery should last 12-13 hours. Items like the dishwasher or the air conditioner will drain the battery much quicker, where the battery may only last 2-3 hours.
The average US residential utility customers uses about 28.0 kWh per day, your usage may vary.
What kinds of rebates and incentives are there for batteries?
Batteries are eligible for the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This credit allows you to deduct currently 30% of your battery investment from your federal taxes. The ITC will be available through 2021, but the percentages will ramp down exponentially. Read more here.