Find out what solar + batteries cost in your area in 2024
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Energy storage is increasingly popular throughout the US, with new installations breaking records yearly. At EnergySage, we want everybody 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. We'll help you decide if investing in a solar battery makes sense.

Find out what solar + batteries cost in your area in 2024
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Key takeaways

  • There are several factors to consider when deciding if a battery is correct for you: You'll need to know if your property is a good fit, determine if you want standalone or solar-plus-storage, and understand the installation costs, to name a few.

  • Complex electricity rates like time-of-use and demand charges make solar batteries more beneficial.

  • Like solar, storage costs vary by geography (primarily due to local rebates and incentives).

  • Compare quotes for solar plus storage systems on the EnergySage Marketplace.

In general, there are three main reasons why it makes sense to install energy storage: for emergency backup power, if you are on a more complex utility rate (such as time-of-use or a demand charge rate), or if you are installing solar but don't have one-to-one net metering in your area.

Reasons you may be a good fit for solar

1. Storage provides emergency battery backup power

Whether you live in California and experience wildfire-caused blackouts or in the Southeast and experience regular, days-long outages from major-storm events, installing solar-plus-storage is an ideal way to keep your lights on even during a power outage.

When you install a solar-plus-storage system, you can keep your home or business running even when the grid goes down. You can power your home with the sun and charge your battery with excess electricity. Then, when the sun goes down, or if it's cloudy, you can use electricity from your battery. And, as long as the sun keeps shining, you can repeat the process indefinitely!

However, it's worth noting that most energy storage systems don't offer whole home backup – in other words, you may need to choose only certain appliances to back up, as opposed to being able to run everything in your home the way you typically would. 

2. With storage, you can use more solar power

Suppose you live somewhere with a one-to-one net metering policy (i.e., you receive credits for each unit of energy you send to the grid at the same value as each unit of energy you purchase from the grid). In that case, there's no need to maximize the amount of solar you use at your home or business. One-to-one net metering allows you to use the entire electricity grid as a giant battery at no cost! 

But, there are two reasons you might want to maximize the amount of solar production you use onsite: There's no net metering policy where you live, or, less commonly, you want to go entirely off-grid with solar and storage.

Using solar and storage

You don't have one-to-one net metering

If your region or utility company doesn't offer one-to-one net metering, adding storage to your solar panel system will help home solar make more financial sense. Instead of sending excess energy from your panels to the grid when you're not using it, you can use that energy to charge your battery. Then, when the sun goes down, you can draw it straight from your battery instead of pulling electricity from the grid. That way, you enhance your return on investment by maximizing the amount of solar energy you use and, consequently, your electric bill savings. 

You want to go off-grid

In most cases, when someone's interested in going "off-grid" with solar, they're looking for energy independence or the ability to operate without the grid. Going entirely off-grid is typically not financially feasible because you must overbuild the solar and storage capacity to ensure you have power under all circumstances. However, there are a few instances when going entirely off-grid with solar and storage may make sense. In those cases, you store excess solar production during the day for later use when the sun isn't shining, again maximizing the amount of solar energy you can use.

3. You can save money with solar batteries

Most solar battery systems last for about 10 to 15 years and are eligible for incentives like the storage tax credit, so you have plenty of time to recoup the cost of a battery in the form of resiliency and energy bill savings. A battery's chemical composition (typically lead-acid, flow, and lithium-ion batteries) and performance metrics influence its lifespan. Certain batteries may require regular maintenance to prolong their lifespans (usually only types of lead-acid batteries).

There are two primary instances in which energy storage can help you save money on your electricity bills: You are on a time-of-use rate or have demand charges (as many businesses now do).

Financial savings with batteries

You're on time-of-use rates

Under time-of-use (TOU) rates, electricity costs vary based on the time of day. Most TOU rates make electricity more expensive later in the day when the sun isn't out to produce power through your solar panels. Without storage, it's harder to avoid these higher electricity costs. Still, with solar and storage together, you can use the stored energy in your battery instead of pulling from the grid when electricity is most expensive. While TOU rates have been standard for businesses throughout the country for many years, it's a newer way for homeowners to pay for electricity. 

You have demand charges

Many utility companies now place businesses on demand charges, meaning they track your maximum energy demand during any given hour per month and charge you based on that maximum demand for the whole month. So, even if you only need 50 kilowatts of electricity during 99% of hours each month, if your usage spikes to 100 kilowatts during even one hour, that's the rate your utility will charge at the end of the month.

Storage can help mitigate the impact of these spikes in electricity usage by enabling you to use power from your battery instead of from the grid at peak times, helping businesses cut energy costs.

There are several benefits of installing storage with solar, including access to specific 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.

Standalone solar vs solar-plus-storage

EnergySage, the nation's online marketplace for solar and storage, helps you go solar confidently. Sign up for a free account today to receive quotes from vetted installers in your area and work directly with our expert team of Energy Advisors. Whether you get a home battery with your solar panels or not, you'll find a system that meets your needs at the right price.

Find out what solar + batteries cost in your area in 2024
Please enter a five-digit zip code.
  • 100% free to use, 100% online
  • Access the lowest prices from installers near you
  • Unbiased Energy Advisors ready to help
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