The facts you need to know before you make the investment & battery offerings from SunPower by Stellar Solar
"Get off the Grid." "Keep your home powered during a blackout." "Power your home through the night." “Offset the upcoming Time of Use changes.” “Free battery with the purchase of a solar system.” These are the promises of the solar battery (and some local installers) and while they are all somewhat true statements, there are many factors to consider before you purchase a solar battery to complement your solar system. SunPower by Stellar Solar has several options available for homeowners where batteries make sense but we also want to make sure you are fully educated before you make this investment.
Get off the Grid
For those of you who are serious about getting off the grid, yes, solar batteries can be an option but the number of batteries needed to make this viable could prove to be cost prohibitive for most. Where the batteries start to make more sense is on fully "off-grid" homes that are simply too expensive to send power to, or that are far enough from the grid that outages are frequent.
Overnight Power & Power Outages
As far as powering your home through the night, this is when electricity is at it’s least expensive and at this early stage of the battery game, might not be worth the investment. Let's take the Tesla Powerwall for an example. The battery is marketed as a backup system that supports 14kWh per battery and costs $6,200 without installation. Installation of the battery alone costs anywhere from $800 - $2,000. Tesla suggests that for any home bigger than 3 bedrooms, two batteries are required. So with two batteries plus installation, you are looking at a $14,000+ cost, without panels.
Beyond the cost, the other problem with these batteries is that their capacity is simply not enough to be considered full "backup". A 14kWh battery is only large enough to power a 3 bedroom house’s essential load circuits part of the way through the night. If there is a power outage, there is not enough capacity for the battery to be considered in the same category as a generator. Also, seeing as how the average US home only loses power for two hours a year, the selling point that you need this battery for backup just doesn't hold up.
Time of Use Changes
The upcoming Time of Use (TOU) changes that take effect March 31, 2017 are what most of our competitors are using to pressure homeowners into battery purchases. And while batteries will help offset some of those costs, a simple solution would be to monitor your electricity use between the 4pm-9pm peak and your solar system will still prove to be a very worthwhile investment with plenty of ROI. Click here to learn more about the upcoming TOU changes. Lowering use between 4-9pm may not be an option for some folks and in those cases, we can definitely provide a battery solution.
Free Battery with Solar Purchase
In San Diego, several local companies advertise a “free battery” with the purchase of a solar system. While this may be a true statement, it is nothing more than slick marketing as there is no possible way those companies can absorb the cost of giving away a battery. This will be worked into the cost of the system and we urge you to compare their solar quote to other installers.
SunPower by Stellar Solar Battery Options
We are aware that some homeowners can benefit from installing solar batteries. We just want to present all your options before you make that investment. Here are the battery systems we provide with their associated benefits.