How to figure out if home batteries are right for your home
There are lots of reasons to consider installing home batteries. In California, your home might be subject to public safety power shutdowns. In California and other states, you might be subject to time-of-use (TOU) billing that can make electricity costly at certain times of the day. If the electrical grid where you live is unreliable, home batteries could be the right choice to ensure reliable power for your home. Figuring out if home batteries are right for your home is more than a simple cost/benefit analysis. The decision might also hinge on the need to power critical home medical equipment or other essential systems.
California residents affected by planned blackouts may be able to get home batteries installed for free
If you live in a high fire risk area and you are affected by California’s public safety Power shutdowns, you may be eligible for a Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) incentive that could make your home batteries free or nearly free. As of the date of this blog, the incentive pays $1,000 per kilowatt-hour of installed battery capacity. Homes that are in low-income areas, or that have critical medical needs for power that are not at risk of wildfires, may be eligible for an $850 per kilowatt-hour SGIP incentive.
Either incentive makes home batteries make a lot of sense because the batteries can save you money by powering your home during the peak rate hours of 4 PM to 9 PM. All three of California’s major utility companies charge their highest rates during those hours on their time-of-use electric billing plans.
All California homeowners are eligible for the SGIP rebate program
All California homeowners can get some of the cost of their batteries rebated under the SGIP incentive program. Households that aren’t eligible for the $1,000 or $850 rebate may be eligible for a rebate, but it will depend on state funding for the SGIP program. The rebate would be less than the fire-risk or low-income rebates.
Consumers should look into the SGIP program themselves before making any decisions. For official information on the SGIP program, click the link below:
Time-of-use billing makes home batteries make a lot of sense
If your home is on time-of-use billing, home batteries can power your home during those expensive peak rate hours. If you are on time-of-use billing, you should check your electric bill to see if it shows how much power you use during peak hours per month. If that’s the case, then you can multiply that number by 12 to get a rough estimate of how much electricity costs you during peak hours in a year.
The Tesla Powerwall comes with a 10-year warranty. But most reports on the Powerwall’s lifespan show that it lasts even longer, 5 or more years longer, without significant capacity degradation. If you were able to come up with a rough estimate of how much you pay per year for electricity during peak hours, multiply that figure by 15 and you’ll have a rough estimate of how much you’ll pay for power over the ten-year warranty life of the Powerwall. Plus, you’ll likely get 5 or more years of useful life beyond the warranty period.
Keep in mind that that the rough estimate that you came up with is just that, a rough estimate. Your actual electrical usage over that 10 to 15 year period could be higher or lower than your estimate. If the amount of your estimate is close to the installed price of the batteries, you aren’t guaranteed to break even on those batteries.
Critical electrical needs
Home batteries may make sense for you if you have critical electrical needs. Home medical equipment that must remain powered on is a good example. If you have a blackout, the batteries are there to keep that equipment operating. Another example could be if you have an exotic fish aquarium that must remain powered on. The batteries will also save you some money on electricity by powering your home for a few hours per day.
Freedom Forever carries the Tesla Powerwall and the LG Chem Cell
The Tesla Powerwall is an industry-leading home battery system. Freedom Forever carries and installs the Powerwall. The great thing about the Powerwall is that it can be expanded to provide as much battery capacity as you want. You could even install enough battery capacity to entirely power your home. The LG Chem Cell system can store up to 19.6 kilowatt-hours of power. It’s a perfect solution for backup power during blackouts and an economical way to reduce your utility bills.