When it comes to energy efficiency, installing solar is one of the most significant home upgrades you can make. Solar power is a renewable energy source that reduces a home’s carbon footprint and decreases water and air pollution, and can save Tucson and Phoenix homeowners for decades to come on energy bills.
One of the greatest benefits of residential solar power is the potential to free your home from reliance on the electric grid, though many Arizona homeowners already with solar have yet to take advantage.
If you’ve ever wondered, “Why can’t I use my solar panels during a power outage?” the answer is simple: because you don’t have a home solar battery bank!
Let’s take a closer look at how battery storage can improve the solar energy system in your home.
If I Have a Power Outage, Will My Solar Panels Work?
Grid-tied systems are the simplest solar energy system set-up and often a go-to for most homeowners. With a grid-tied system, your solar panels generate energy that is converted to electricity through your inverter. That electricity is then used to power your home.
But, if your panels are producing more power than your home currently needs, the electricity is sent back out through utility lines to your utility company. Through a system called “net-metering,” your utility company credits you for the excess. You are then given a credit to draw on power from the grid during times when your solar panels aren’t generating enough power for your home, like cloudy days or at night.
In this set-up, you aren’t storing any excess power on site, so you’re still reliant on the grid for power when your solar panels aren’t producing. And, when there’s a power black out—even in the middle of a sunny day—grid-tied systems without battery storage automatically shut off for safety reasons.
How Does Home Solar Battery Storage Work?
Solar home batteries are an additional component to your solar system where you can store the excess energy your panels are generating and use them when you need to.
Solar panel batteries can be used in two ways:
Off Grid Solar Power Systems for Homes
The first option is to forego a connection to the grid entirely with an off grid system. “How long does a solar battery last?” is a common question we get from homeowners considering this set up.
While the answer varies depending on the battery, your average battery capacity is around 10 kilowatt-hours. Depending on your house’s daily energy consumption, you likely won’t be able to do this with a single solar battery, and would need a multiple battery bank that will account for nights and days when your panels aren’t generating much new solar power.
Battery Backup with a Grid-Tied System
Installing a solar battery while still connected to the utility system gives you the best of both worlds. As long as your utility company is able to supply power to your home, you’ll continue to use them as a backup source for power. But if your connection to the grid is cut off during a black out, your home will switch over to your solar battery, and you’ll experience no loss in electricity in your home.
No matter which option you choose, adding solar batteries to your solar system has a number of benefits, including:
Available storage for excess energy
Greater energy independence
Significantly reduced utility bills
Net-metering capability when desired
Financing & the Federal Solar Tax Credit
Converting your home to run entirely on solar power has never been more affordable, and there are a number of Arizona solar credits and rebates, in addition to financing, that Energy Solution Providers can help you navigate.
How Do Solar Tax Credits Work?
The biggest tax credit available to Arizona homeowners is the Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, also known as the Federal Solar Tax Credit, where homeowners can claim a 30% federal tax credit on their solar installations. But 2019 is the last year for the full 30%, and moving forward the tax credit rate will continue to drop each year before being eliminated for residential projects entirely.
Are you still wondering “How much is a solar battery? How much does it cost to install solar power for my home?”
As always, the total cost of solar will vary from home to home, and Energy Solution Providers prides itself on customizing each and every project to best serve those particular homes needs. For a free cost estimate and project quote, reach out to one of our solar experts today.
Add battery storage to your solar energy system and reap the full benefits of renewable energy. Call 520-868-0700 or contact us today to learn more.