Top 4 benefits of solar batteries in 2021

Updated

top 4 benefits of solar batteries
Solar batteries, like the LG Chem, can provide reliable, clean energy while potentially bringing down your electricity bills. Image source: LG

Even though solar batteries are a substantial investment, more and more homeowners are choosing to install them with their solar panels because of all the great benefits solar batteries provide. 

In this article, we’ll go over some of the advantages of solar batteries and explore whether or not they’re a worthwhile purchase for your home. 

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    How do solar batteries work?

    With a typical grid-tied solar panel system, any time your solar panels produce more electricity than your home is using, the extra electricity is sent to the grid. In most states, your utility will give you some sort of value for that electricity through a program called net metering.  

    solar system with battery gif

    When you install a solar battery, you can store that excess solar electricity instead of sending it back to the grid. Then, you get to use the stored energy later in the day, when your solar panels aren’t producing enough electricity to meet your home’s energy needs. 

    What are the benefits of solar batteries?

    Are you considering pairing your solar panels with energy storage? Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy with a solar battery. 

    Energy independence

    When you install a solar battery, you don’t have to rely as much on your utility. This is great news, especially if you live in an area that experiences frequent blackouts. A solar battery will keep your lights on and your phones charged - even when your neighbors’ power is out. 

    Normally, solar panels stop producing electricity when the power goes out in order to prevent feedback to the grid. But when you add a battery to your solar system, your solar panels keep powering your home and charging your battery - even during a power outage. 

    A solar battery gives you peace of mind knowing that even when the grid fails, your power will still be on. 

    Reduce carbon footprint

    When you install a solar battery, you get to use all of the clean solar energy your panels produce. If that solar power isn’t stored in a battery, you’ll end up having to pull energy from the grid, which is usually produced using fossil fuels

    This means your home will be running on dirty energy, when you could have been powering it with clean power that you stored. 

    So, if your main reason for installing a solar system is your desire to go green, pairing solar with storage is the best way to ensure that your home maintains a small carbon footprint. 

    Quiet backup power

    As we mentioned earlier, solar batteries provide you with backup power when the grid goes down. Unlike conventional gas generators, which many people use during prolonged power outages, solar batteries don’t make any noise. 

    That means you get the benefit of reliable instant power, without the noise and air pollution that comes with gas-guzzling generators. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting fuel to power a solar battery, which can be expensive and time consuming. 

    You can just sit back and relax while your solar panels continue to charge your battery. 

    Electric bill savings

    Installing a solar battery can also help you save on your electricity bill. However, how much you can save varies depending on the type of net metering your utility offers. 

    With net metering, your utility will give you a credit on your electric bill for excess solar power you send to the grid to offset some of your future energy costs. If your utility has full-retail net metering, then installing a solar battery won't make much sense economically.

    If your utility uses time-of-use rates, then a solar battery makes more financial sense. With time-of-use rates, the price of electricity varies, depending on the time of day. When you have a battery, you can choose to use your stored energy when electricity is most expensive, giving you greater electric bill savings.

    Learn more: Net metering vs. solar battery storage - which makes the most financial sense?

    Is a solar battery right for your home?

    Solar batteries are a great investment for homeowners who live in areas that experience frequent power outages or where utilities don’t offer full-retail net metering. They’re also the best way to maximize the amount of renewable energy your home uses. 

    Keep in mind, solar batteries aren’t cheap. A lithium ion solar battery can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $12,000, not including installation. That’s why most homeowners who live in places with full-retail net metering don’t choose to pair their system with solar batteries - it simply isn’t worth it. For these people, installing a battery will increase the overall cost of their solar system while giving them the same exact savings they would get without a battery. 

    However, the cost of solar batteries is decreasing and is predicted to decline even further in the future. Hopefully, more price drops will make batteries worthwhile, no matter where you live. 

    But for now, batteries are best for homeowners who live where the grid is unreliable, don’t receive full-retail net metering, or for those who are trying to substantially decrease their carbon footprint. 

    Find out how much it costs to install solar panels in your area
     

    Key takeaways

    • Solar batteries store excess electricity your solar panels make during the day so you can use it later on when your panels aren’t producing as much energy.
    • Solar batteries allow you to have greater independence from the grid.
    • Installing a solar battery allows your home to run almost entirely on the clean solar energy you produce, instead of dirty energy that the utility may have produced using fossil fuels.
    • When the power goes out, solar batteries will keep your lights on.
    • Depending on what type of net metering your utility offers, a solar battery could save you more on your electricity bill than solar panels alone.
    • Solar batteries are expensive, but if you live in an area that does not have full-retail net metering, the grid in your area is unreliable, or if you really want to reduce your carbon footprint, they could be worthwhile.
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Catherine Lane

    SolarReviews Blog Author

    Catherine is a researcher and content specialist at SolarReviews. She has strong interests in issues related to climate and sustainability which led her to pursue a degree in environmental science at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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