How to get storage
Last updated 8/25/2021
So you want to install a battery and are wondering where to begin? We’ve got you covered!
There are a few key steps to take you from being interested in storage, to shopping for storage, to installing storage, and we have resources to help you every step of the way.
Step 1: Determine if you’re a good fit for storage
The first thing to do is determine if you are a good fit for storage. There are four key questions to consider in helping to determine if solar is right for you:
- Do you experience frequent electricity outages?
- Are you on a time of use electricity rate?
- Do you receive 1-to-1 net metering credits?
- Does your bill include demand charges?
If it seems like you could benefit from having an energy storage system installed, the next thing you need to determine is whether to install a standalone storage system or a solar-plus-storage system. Also, it’s important to remember that even if a battery doesn’t make sense for your home or business, you may still be a perfect fit for solar!
Step 2: Gather and compare quotes for storage
Once you’re certain you’re a good fit for storage, the next step is to gather and compare competing quotes for storage. Given that the energy storage industry is still relatively new in the US–50% of installers have been installing storage for less than three years according to our 2020 Installer Survey–it can be hard to find an installer who is certified to install different batteries. But how can you be sure that you’re paying a fair price for the right system without gathering multiple quotes to compare?
That’s where EnergySage steps in: when you register for an account on EnergySage, we gather up to seven custom quotes for solar and storage at your home or business from experienced installers in your area that we partner with. Shoppers receiving quotes on EnergySage pay 20 percent less for solar than shoppers who don’t.
Step 3: Choose an installer
When you’ve received multiple quotes to compare, it’s time to pick the installer and battery that are right for your needs. From the quality, type and quantity of batteries included in your quote, to the ratings and reviews of the installer, and, finally, to the comparative prices of the systems you are comparing, there are a number of details to base your decision on.
Step 4: Decide how to pay for storage
While there are three, well-established ways to pay for a solar panel system–cash, loan, or a lease/power purchase agreement–the solar & storage industry is still figuring out the best way to help homeowners pay for storage. The most common way to pay for storage is with an upfront cash purchase, though there are some new, innovative approaches to financing a storage system. For one, many solar loan companies now also offer loans for solar-plus-storage systems inclusive of the battery, and some even offer loans for standalone or retrofit storage. Additionally, a few installation companies and a couple of utilities are pioneering a monthly payment system similar to a lease for a solar panel system.
Step 5: Install your system
Congratulations! Once you’ve selected which battery to install, chosen the company to complete the installation, signed a contract, and decided how to pay for your energy storage system, your hard work is done. Time to sit back, relax, and watch your installation company complete all the permitting and electrical work required to get backup power for your home.
Prior to installation day, and prior to finalizing your signed contract, your installation company will come out for an in-person site inspection to confirm some characteristics of your home and to make any fine-tuned adjustments to your initial quote as necessary. Additionally, your installation company will begin the process of submitting the paperwork that’s required for installation and interconnection to the grid, as well as for applicable incentives, on your behalf.
On install day, your experience will vary slightly depending upon whether you’re installing a solar-plus-storage system all at once or if you’re installing just storage, whether as a standalone system or as a retrofit to your existing solar panel system. Generally speaking, a battery installation is typically a two-person install, requiring a good bit of electrical work from trained, certified electricians.
After that, it’s just a question of receiving approval for incentives, as well as permission to operate from your utility so you can turn on your system.
That’s it. You’ve installed storage and are ready to enjoy all the benefits batteries have to offer!
EnergySage is the nation's online marketplace for solar and storage: when you sign up for a free account, we connect you with companies in your area, who compete for your business with custom solar-plus-storage quotes tailored to fit your needs. Over 10 million people come to EnergySage each year to learn about, shop for and invest in solar and home batteries. Sign up today to see how much you can save.