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Posted: Sarah Hancock|April 26th, 2018

Solar

Question #4: Would You Recommend Investing in Battery Storage Along With a Solar Energy System? Why or Why Not?

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Written by Sarah Hancock
Sarah Hancock is passionate about green living and sustainability. She frequently writes about renewable energy and manages the Solar blog at BestCompany.com.

This is the fourth question in a twelve-question series. Please click here to read the introduction, as well as access other questions in the series. Or, download the printable ebook to view the entire series.

"It becomes a matter of costs vs. return. I would highly recommend considering battery storage if the economics are favorable. However, today, energy storage is still very costly in comparison to capacity. As costs continue to come down, it will make more sense to include battery storage more universally over time." -Greg Reed

"Battery storage is still a developing technology and the early adopters have had issues with generating enough energy to store in the battery." -Mark Stevenson

"Battery storage can be a great option for some customers. On the residential level, storage can be a good choice for homeowners looking for the piece of mind of having backup power from their solar array when the grid power is out. It's a common misconception that the solar panels will continue generating power when the grid is down, because the system's inverter must shut down from the grid to avoid backfeeding dangerous voltage that could harm grid workers. However, with batteries, the homeowners will continue to have power for some loads (fridge, lights, TV) when the grid is down." -Kathie Zipp

"Only for off-grid homes. On-grid homes should stay connected, sell excess power back to the power company, and use the electrical grid as their battery. It's cheaper, more efficient, and takes up much less space." -Shel Horowitz

"The technology is great, but the economics aren't there yet to justify the cost. In other words, it would be great to have power even if the grid goes down, but the expense associated with that luxury is hard to justify in areas where you rarely have a power outage." -Julio Daniel Hernandez

"Not yet, the technology still has a ways to go in MOST markets." -Geoff Mirkin

"In some cases, yes. Especially when utility companies shift their on-peak hours away from the times when solar is most efficient, it would make sense for homeowners to invest in batteries to capture the solar energy during the day time hours so they can use that energy from the battery during the later on-peak hours. This would prevent them from having to purchase energy from the utility company at higher on-peak rates." -Matt Stoutenburg

"In most cases, no. I am based in Maryland and we do not have a large discrepancy in price between day and night (when you would use batteries). Instead, like most states, we use net-metering. I can spin my meter backwards and for a small fee, get credited the energy back at night or on rainy/snowy days." -Teris Pantazes

"In a volatile western region like Southern California, home battery storage should be a topic of conversation with every household. There are three key reasons why investing in battery storage along with a solar system is important. 1) Backup Power: It's protecting your home from a power outage, a natural disaster, or act of God that is completely unforeseen. Backup power is seamless and reliable. 2) Self-Powered Home: Homeowners can use solar and battery backup to reduce their reliance on the grid and create a zero emissions home. 3) Energy Peace of Mind: The home battery stores solar energy to continuously power the home with sustainability, day and night." -Rainier de Ocampo

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