Should I add a battery to my solar installation?

There’s an interesting debate going on in the world of solar power.

A number of utility companies across the country are reducing their rates for net metering—resulting in less short-term value for consumers (net metering is when the utility company credits its customers for any excess energy they supply back to the grid from their solar system).

“How can they do this!? It obviously takes away a financial incentive for homeowners wanting to go solar, right!?” 

—A Concerned Homeowner

Well… turns out it’s a matter of perspective.

Others, with a more long-term view, see this as an opportunity to encourage homeowners to invest in solar-plus-storage (a solar installation that includes battery backups like Tesla Powerwalls) and over time will prove better for solar adoption.

“In terms of resilience—both as it pertains to the grid AND homeowner energy independence—we need to get the price of battery storage down.” —A Solar Advocate

While utility scale battery storage farms are driving down the cost of battery technology, the market would benefit from more residential adoption. In Germany for example, changes to net metering policies 10 years ago amounted to steady growth in solar + storage.

If you live in a place where your utility company offers any kind of net metering program, it’s a no-brainer to go solar with the amount of money you could save.

If you live in a place that doesn’t offer net metering, it’s worth considering battery storage to 1: help offset the cost of electricity during peak energy use from the grid and 2: capitalize on your energy independence to be resilient against rising costs & increasingly common grid disruptions.

“Consumers around the world are seeking residential solar solutions that provide energy independence and security in the face of rising electricity prices and massive grid disruptions driven by extreme weather,” said Raghu Belur, co-founder and Chief Products Officer for Enphase Energy.

It’s also worth noting that the new IRA bill includes a 30% federal tax credit that applies to the entire solar system including energy storage.

We know one way or another, battery storage will be essential for renewable energy. As Julie Steury, VP at Stem, puts it, “Storage is absolutely critical to the advancement and modernization of the grid. Renewable projects simply cannot support the grid in a meaningful way without storage.”

When it comes to the decision about whether to add a battery to your solar system—for our customers—we recommend adapting to your specific circumstances.


Zac Bishop

Zac Bishop

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