Are Solar Batteries Worth the Investment?
We know that installing any solar power on your home is a significant investment. You're probably looking for as many ways to cut those costs as possible, and the thought of adding a battery bank to your array might seem excessive. A battery bank large enough to power a home costs thousands of dollars, on top of your other equipment and installation costs. And if you're tied to the grid-like most residential arrays, you probably don't see the point of a backup energy source. But keep reading to learn if adding a Victron Energy battery bank to your solar setup might be worth it.
Net Metering versus Power Storage
One of the main reasons that most people don't feel the need for a battery bank is that most city power grids offer some net metering program. It means that the excess energy your panels produce during the day doesn't go to waste; instead, it sends back into the grid, and you get a sort of credit on your energy usage. Most people see this as a sufficient substitute for on-site power storage, viewing those credits as a type of "storage" all their own.
But on-site storage has a few extra benefits over net metering—primarily, the cost per watt doesn't change. Most grids will give you a flat rate for the energy you send back into it. But if you pull power from the grid during peak usage times, you'll pay more for that same amount of energy. If the energy is in your batteries, though, you're not paying extra based on the time of day you use that power.
Peak Shaving Options
As for peak usage, batteries also allow you to make use of "peak shaving." This energy use strategy will tap into stored power during peak usage hours if your array's live capacity isn't available, rather than tapping into the grid. It allows you to avoid those peak-usage fees so that you only ever pay the lowest possible amount for power in the evenings. It's just one more way to save money on energy.
Power during Outages
Most new solar users are surprised to learn that their solar array can't give them power in an outage—even if it happens during the day. The power company doesn't want your system feeding live currents through wires where workers might be trying to fix the outage. If you're going to have power when the grid goes down, you need a secondary power source. A battery bank gives you that security.
While having power during an outage is more an issue of convenience than one of money, it is still one worth bearing in mind, especially if you live in an area with a less-reliable grid or one that has scheduled outages during seasons of high energy use.
When determining whether or not solar batteries are worth the investment, it's important to remember that batteries aren't a simple storage container for excess solar power. They can be an active part of your solar setup to help you save money every single month. And isn't that the main reason you're getting solar, to begin with? Contact us to find the best solar battery to meet your power needs.