Should you get a solar battery?
Last updated 12/15/2021
At EnergySage, we want everybody to be able to take advantage of the benefits of clean energy, and there are few technologies better suited to increase the adoption of renewable energy than energy storage. At the same time, we recognize that solar plus storage isn’t always the right solution for everyone.
This section is designed to help you answer the question: “Should I get storage?” We’ll run through the main things you need to consider when deciding whether to invest in storage for your home or business.
- There are several factors to consider when deciding if a battery is right for you. You'll need to know if your property is a good fit, if you want standalone or solar-plus-storage, and what costs look like, to name a few.
- Complex electricity rate systems like time-of-use and demand charges make solar batteries more worth it.
- Just like solar, storage costs vary by geography (especially due to local rebates and incentives). Make sure to know exactly what you're eligible for and what your true cost of storage is.
Am I a good fit for storage? Is a battery worth it?
The question of whether you’re a good fit for storage is a touch more complicated than the question of whether you’re a good fit for solar. There are three main reasons why it makes sense to install storage: for emergency backup power, if you are installing solar but don’t have one-to-one net metering in your area, and if you are on a more complex utility rate–such as time -of-use, or a demand charge rate.
To see if you’re a good fit for storage, and if storage is right for you, read this article.
Most solar battery systems last for about 10 to 15 years, meaning you have plenty of time to recoup the cost of a battery in the form of resiliency and bill savings benefits. A battery's lifespan is influenced by its chemical composition and it's performance metrics like depth of discharge and round-trip efficiency. For certain kinds of batteries, regular maintenance might be needed to prolong their lifetimes (usually only types of lead-acid batteries).
Standalone storage vs. solar-plus-storage
Outside of one utility’s pilot program in Vermont, nearly every residential-level storage installation in the US is paired with solar. There are a number of co-benefits of installing storage with solar, including the ability to access certain financial incentives and the ability to power your home independently of the grid for longer, but there may be some instances when standalone storage makes sense for your home or business.
To get a feel for the tradeoffs between standalone storage and solar-paired storage, check out this article.
How much does storage cost?
While solar is primarily a financial decision for most people, storage is typically a resilience or peace of mind purchase. However, that doesn’t mean that the cost of storage is insignificant: storage can cost nearly as much as installing solar on its own. To better understand the costs of storage, there are a few key factors to consider: how the cost of storage has changed over time, the amount of storage you purchase, the chemistry of the battery you install, and whether you install storage concurrent with your solar install or at a later date.
To learn about how much storage costs, read this article.
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.