Home Solar Batteries Go Beyond Just Blackouts


There is no denying that solar batteries are becoming more and more in demand--just take Tesla's latest energy storage division numbers, pushing out a record number of batteries for 2022’s Q3. They even claim that demand for their storage products (like the Powerwall) continues to outpace their ability to produce and meet the demand.


Having a solar battery for the house is quickly becoming a more common commodity in Northern California homes. For many, a solar home battery represents safety and security, ensuring they have a reliable backup power source in place for the ongoing blackouts caused by extreme winds and fire hazards across the region.


For residents in Sonoma County and surrounding areas, the rolling blackouts and safety power shut-offs have become a part of regular life -- and solar batteries represent more dependability than the average backup home generator. While still a good option for those that aren’t ready to invest in solar, generators require fuel to operate regularly, are much noisier than batteries, and still create emissions, making them less green. If homeowners have solar panels set up already, switching to a solar battery can be a great move, with a variety of options ranging in price.


What About When the Power Is Still On?

Some homeowners are still hesitant to invest in a solar home battery, whether it be a Tesla Powerwall or a Generac battery. Why switch to a solar option if you already have a solid working backup gas generator? Do you really need to spend more money on solar add-ons? While a home battery is an excellent backup power option, it is also so much more than that, especially in the ever-shifting energy market in California.


Having a solar battery allows a homeowner to set up their system for maximum rate arbitrage, saving them more money in the long run while also remaining a more green, environmentally-friendly household. It’s not just about emergency situations -- it's about peak demand hours and other challenges all homeowners face across Northern California. Batteries enhance your overall solar panel investment, stretching the natural resource even further for your family every day.


For many solar panel homeowners, excess energy is sold back to the utility company for a credit. However, utility companies are currently fighting the rates solar homeowners get back, making it a fluid situation at best. With rates possibly cut in the future, solar batteries allow a homeowner to store any additional or unused free energy they harvest during the daytime and use it during peak evening hours or lower producing days. This ensures homeowners avoid unwanted spikes in electricity rates, creating more energy independence and freedom in the long run.


More than that, it can help take additional strain off the local grid by enabling more solar homes to stay off the grid completely during peak times, creating a more comprehensive piece of the solution to California’s energy crisis.


Take Advantage of the New Tax Credit

Just a few months ago in August, Congress was about to extend the ITC, bumping it up to a 30% tax credit for installations happening from 2022 through 2023, as a part of the Inflation Reduction Act. Do batteries qualify for the solar tax credit? The good news is that they do, with any energy storage devices with a 3 kWh capacity rating (or higher) qualifying for the credit. Currently, the average size for solar home batteries installed is around 10kWh, meaning most household installations will easily meet this requirement.


Though home solar batteries can be a significant investment, the extended and increased tax credit makes them a much more affordable and accessible option for the average solar homeowner.


If you are interested in finding out how adding solar storage to your Sonoma County home can help you save on your monthly electricity costs, protect your household in the event of blackouts, and reduce your carbon footprint, our power generation team can review your options with you. Firebrand Safety Systems is proud to provide comprehensive power solutions for residents and businesses throughout Northern California.