Looking at the high utility costs and risks of power outages, it’s a salient idea to have a home battery installed, which offers you energy independence by powering your home even without the electrical grid. You can also choose to get off the grid completely by combining a home battery and solar panels. Home batteries also aid in reducing your monthly electricity bills by optimizing energy use.
The best way to do it is: charge your battery at night when you will probably pay the lowest rates for power in your area, and let it discharge when the highest electricity rates apply.
Energy storage through batteries primarily acts as a source of backup power when there are power outages. It also saves you from bearing time-of-use electricity rates which can be quite high during peak hours. This essentially gives you the opportunity to store and use electricity in the battery during peak hours and charge the battery during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lowest.
Depending on where you reside, chances are that you will be able to pay off the cost of your home battery in just a few years. Different areas have electricity priced differently during peak hours and off-peak hours. So, by charging your home battery during off-peak hours and using only stored energy during peak hours, you will be saving money every day.
Home batteries will also enhance the value of solar panels and help you save more money when you use the energy from your battery and solar panels combined.
Independent Use of Home Battery
It is a common misconception that homeowners need to have solar panels installed in order to have a home battery. This is not the case. A home battery can charge itself using the power grid, in absence of solar panels. Even without the additional energy coming from solar panels, a home battery can power your house for up to 24 hours. This is a general estimate and could change depending on your energy use.
Home Battery Capacity during Power Outage
In principle, if you have solar panels installed, your home battery can provide you unending power as it can get charged even off the power grid. Solar panels can provide power to your home during the day while recharging the battery at the same time.
The stored energy in the battery will power your home at night. Having solar panels adds to battery value and capacity; which also depends on battery size and energy usage. Usually, it is advisable for homeowners to get a battery of a size that can provide at least 12 hours of backup power.
Battery Installation Costs
Licensed electricians are required for installation of home batteries. If you are a licensed electrician, you may take up the installation yourself with some support from a battery company. But if you are not a licensed electrician, it’s not perspicacious to install the home battery yourself.
The cost of installation depends on various factors – type and size of your home battery, the amount of electrical work required, labor charges and cost of all necessary components, like the critical loads panel, disconnects, and wires.