Home batteries are getting a lot of attention nowadays, so we want to make sure you understand how they fit into Connecticut’s unique solar + storage market.
Here’s what you typically hear: Home batteries can increase your home’s energy efficiency by storing surplus solar power that you can access at night, on cloudy days, and during power outages. There are two other pluses you may not have heard about:
- If your battery is charged by your home’s solar system, Eversource can pay you to access electricity stored in your battery during high-demand periods.
- 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.
Here’s what you probably haven’t heard: Connecticut has net metering. Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the excess electricity they generate and feed into the grid. You are billed for your “net” energy use. That’s why we size your solar system to meet your annual needs. Ideally, your solar system will produce more electricity than you use during the spring and summer so that you can bank credits that pay your electricity bills during fall and winter. At the end of March, any excess generation is “cashed out” with a credit applied to your account. We’re careful to size systems so that our customers come out close to even: We don’t want anyone to waste money by installing too many solar panels and paying taxes because their cash-out is over $600.
What does this have to do with batteries? Net metering allows you to draw off the grid when you need to (e.g., at night and on cloudy/rainy/snowy days) for pennies per kilowatt hour. Batteries, on the other hand, are a very expensive way to store and access electricity. They:
- Cost at least $10,000 to buy and install.
- Store only a few hours worth of typical home electricity use.
- 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 long before your solar panels are off warranty.
We’re keeping a close eye on developments and will help you make the best decision to achieve your financial and carbon footprint goals. If you’re looking for low-cost worry-free power during outages, we can install an auto-on/auto-off home generator.
Contact us today to talk with one of our consultants. Thank you.