Electric storage technologies will play an increasingly important role in the future of powering our world. In addition to enhancing solar and wind generation, they facilitate shifting demand and therefore reduce peak needs. What does this mean for the individual homeowner? Battery storage, even without rooftop solar, can help you take advantage of Time-of-Use rates, and provide backup power that can potentially be a better alternative than conventional propane, diesel or natural gas-powered generators.
Battery storage key functions are charging, from either your private rooftop solar system or from the grid, to be stored and used at a later time, and discharging, using the energy stored by the battery to either power your home or return back to the grid.
Batteries have the most benefit if you have roof top solar, are signed up for BEMC’s Time-of-Use rate structure, or if you want or need continuous power in the event of a power outage. If you have solar photovoltaic, having a battery can help optimize carbon reduction impacts and energy bill savings. If you are on a Time-of-Use rate, your battery can charge when energy is cheaper and discharge energy when energy is more expensive. Battery backup power is considered cleaner and more eco-friendly than traditional generators. Upfront costs are more expensive; there are many standby generators in the $3,000 to $5,000 range that can power a standard home, and you can expect to pay $10,000 or more for a battery system that can do the same thing. But you won’t need to buy fuel to keep the generator running, which can result in overall savings over the life of the battery system. And if you are reducing your overall monthly bill by using the battery system to take advantage of Time-of-Use rates, it might give the battery backup and additional edge over the generator.
Software is included with every battery to automate the charging and discharging process, as well as monitor system performance to help product safety and reliability. Time-of-Use households will be able to program your system to automatically charge during super off-peak hours and discharge during on-peak hours.
The cost of battery storage technology is expected to decline over the next several years, making it an increasingly attractive option. Batteries can augment a rooftop solar system, maximize the benefits of signing up for Time-of-Use rates, and can be a cleaner alternative to conventional generators.
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