THE SCOOP ON BATTERIES
Home batteries can increase your home’s energy efficiency by storing surplus solar power so that you can access it at night, on cloudy days, and during power outages. But they may not make financial sense for you for these reasons:
Price: Batteries cost thousands but store only a few dollars worth of electricity.
Net metering: In Connecticut, your excess solar electricity production flows into the grid and the utility company credits your account from April 1 to March 31 of the following year. At the end of the annual "banking" period, the total credit is applied to your account. This makes the relative price per kilowatt hour of utility electricity even less expensive than battery storage. Visit these Eversource and United Illuminating pages for details.
Storage capacity: Batteries can meet only 1-3 hours of typical home electricity use.
Lifespan: Batteries are warrantied for only 10 years, unlike the solar panels and microinverters we offer which are warrantied for 25 years. So you'll need to replace them twice before your solar panels are off warranty.
ConnectedSolutions Program: If your battery is charged by your home's solar system, Eversource will pay you to access electricity stored in your battery during high-demand periods. See details below.
Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): If your battery is charged by your home's solar system, you can claim a credit on your federal taxes equal to 26% of the cost of buying and installing the battery. See details below.
Batteries are becoming a viable option for more homeowners as their prices continue to decrease and capacities increase. We’re keeping a close eye on developments and will gladly help you make the best decision for you. For low-cost worry-free power during outages, we usually recommend having a generator.
GET PAID TO HELP MEET PEAK-DEMAND NEEDS
If your battery is charged by your solar panels, Eversource’s ConnectedSolutions program pays you for allowing them to access and use electricity stored in your battery when demand runs high. Here’s why: On especially hot or cold days, the demand for electricity soars to cool/heat homes and buildings. In these situations, Eversource typically relies on electricity provided by “peaker plants.” Turning up these power plants – which burn either coal or natural gas – is expensive and harms the environment. The ConnectedSolutions program helps Eversource reduce their costs and environmental impact by accessing clean electricity stored in home batteries.
In Connecticut, you can receive $225 per average kilowatt used during the summer and $50 per kilowatt used during the winter. Eversource won’t drain your battery and they will access it no more than 60 times during the summer and 5 times during the winter for no more than 3 hours per peak-demand event.
The amount you receive will depend on the number of events per year and how much power your battery can provide. Eversource states that a typical home battery could contribute an average of 5 kW per event, which translates to $1,125 for the summer season and $250 for the winter season.
MAXIMIZE YOUR FEDERAL TAX SAVINGS
Whether you’re an Eversource customer or not, you can take advantage of the federal investment tax credit (ITC) incentive if the battery is charged by your home’s solar system. If you install your solar-plus-storage system in 2021, you can claim a 26% credit on your federal taxes. On average, the federal solar tax credit can help decrease the cost of a battery by an additional $3,000 to $4,000.
THE BENEFITS OF BATTERIES
Technological advances continue to increase battery storage capacity and drive down the costs of owning them. That will give more people the opportunity to enjoy these benefits and more:
Energy independence and a smaller carbon footprint – Store and access your surplus solar power whenever you need it, day or night.
Power outage protection – Receive seamless on-demand power during outages.
Reliable power – Maintenance-free batteries provide electricity when you need it.
Higher home value – Homes are typically more valuable to buyers when they provide more of their own energy.
Peace of mind – The home batteries we recommend are safe, long lasting, and warrantied for 10-15 years.
Getting paid to reduce Connecticut’s carbon footprint – Eversource ConnectedSolutions participants provide clean, renewable electricity to the grid during high-demand periods.