Why home batteries make sense in California

June 24, 2019 | 3min read

Home batteries can save homeowners with solar systems a lot of money if they live in areas served by high evening Time-of-Use (TOU) rates. In California, ratepayers served by all three of the states’ major utilities, SDG&E, PG&E, and SCE all pay high evening TOU rates. Another problem Californians face is that there are frequent intentional blackouts coming. The state’s utility companies are planning to shut down power transmission lines on days when fire risk is high. This could lead to widespread blackouts that last two or more days. In either case, home batteries make sense in California. They can save a lot of money during high peak evening TOU rates. They can also provide emergency power during extended blackouts.

California’s Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

California offers an incentive to homeowners who install batteries called the Self Generation Incentive Program. Homeowners can receive up to $400 per kilowatt-hour of installed battery capacity. For example, if you install an LG Chem Cell RESU 10H home battery (carried by Freedom Forever) it has a capacity of 9.8 kilowatt-hours. If you received the full $400 incentive, you would receive a credit of $3,920.

How home batteries save money during high peak TOU rates

All three of California’s main utility companies charge their highest rates for electricity in the evenings, from 4 PM to 9 PM. Because these hours fall after solar systems have stopped producing useful power for the day, homeowners get stuck paying as high as 57 cents per kilowatt-hour for some ratepayers. To add insult to injury, the utility pays the homeowner for excess power they produce during the day at a much lower rate. During daylight hours, the utility may pay as little as 24 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Home batteries can power a home during peak TOU rates

Peak TOU rates last for 5 hours in the evening. After peak rates come super off-peak rates late in the evening. A properly-sized home battery system can power a home during peak TOU hours. Freedom Forever can help you find the right sized home battery system to power your home during those expensive peak TOU rates.

Frequent blackouts coming to California

The 2018 wildfire season saw devastating fires such as the Mendocino Complex fire. California’s three main utilities have decided to reduce the risk of transmission line-sparked wildfire by shutting off power to at-risk transmission lines on high fire-risk days. This practice is likely to lead to widespread extended blackouts all across California.

Home batteries can provide emergency power during blackouts

Home batteries can provide power to selected circuits during blackouts. A homeowner contemplating battery-backup power needs to take inventory of their power needs. Once they understand their power needs, a homeowner can consult with Freedom Forever and we can help them build a system with batteries. To ensure the home has enough power, the batteries must be able to provide the amount of power the homeowner needs for an entire night. The solar system needs to be large enough to power the home during the day and recharge the batteries.

Freedom Forever has home batteries

Freedom Forever carries the Tesla Powerwall. These batteries can be configured to power a home during peak TOU hours, and they can provide power to your home during blackouts. Freedom can install enough battery capacity to power your entire home. If you are ready to go solar with batteries or want to add batteries to your existing solar system, Freedom Forever can help. You may be eligible to have your batteries installed for free under California’s Self Generation Incentive Program.

Want more information about home batteries? Call us at  800-685-1850  Or click below.