Should You Add Solar Battery Storage to Your Home PV System?
If your home PV system is connected to the utility grid, you don’t necessarily need to add solar battery storage – but you might want to consider the idea anyway.
Solar storage can be a smart investment, one that reduces your reliance on the grid and gives you a greater degree of energy independence. Plus, adding a solar battery bank to your home PV system can decrease the amount of money you put in your utility company’s pocket.
How Solar Battery Storage Works
A well-designed home PV system can charge a solar battery bank and keep it fueled up, ready for use whenever necessary.
Normally, excess electricity produced by your grid-tied photovoltaic array goes to the utility grid. With solar storage, this still occurs, but only after the batteries have their fill. You can draw on the energy stored in the battery bank to power your home at night, on cloudy days and utility blackouts.
Advantages of Adding Solar Battery Storage
Pairing your PV system with a solar battery bank can make sense for several reasons.
By adding batteries, you’ll be able to use more solar energy (which is free) and less electricity from the utility grid (which comes at a cost). So, you can save even more money than you already are on your monthly energy bills.
Solar storage can also help you dodge time-of-use rates, demand charges and other costly utility company rate policies. And, if your state or energy provider does not offer retail rate net metering, adding a battery bank may be financially beneficial – why send excess electricity to the grid if you aren’t getting full credit?
Also, with a battery bank, power outages are no cause for concern. Since blackouts are happening more and more often these days, this can be a significant advantage.
Economics of Solar Battery Storage
Prices for solar batteries are falling, making it easier for homeowners to invest. However, adding a battery bank can be expensive, particularly if you want to minimize your reliance on the utility grid and provide your home with power during extended blackouts. Keep in mind, too, that batteries need maintenance – and they don’t last forever.
The good news? In a private letter ruling last year, the IRS stated that a battery added to a home PV system a year after the initial solar installation was eligible for the full investment tax credit as long as it is 100 percent charged by the power of the sun. While this does leave some room for debate, industry experts say homeowners should be able to claim the lucrative solar tax credit a second time when they add a battery bank.
As for financing, you have a few options. Some loan providers are willing to fund solar storage projects, or you can take out a home equity line of credit. And, check with your photovoltaic installer – some, including Intermountain Wind & Solar, offer affordable financing programs.
Are you ready to learn more? Intermountain Wind & Solar offers free, no-obligation consultations to homeowners throughout Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and Nevada. Contact us for details on how you can add solar battery storage to your home PV system today.