Utilities like PG&E are going to be much more conscientious about high winds and future fire hazards associated with distributing electricity. High winds will become the norm for implementing preventative measures that will include rolling blackouts due to de-energizing power lines. These potential unplanned blackouts will take a toll on homeowners unprepared for random power outages, which could cause them to reconsider how they get their electricity.
Solar power is an excellent resource during daylight, but after-hours calls for something other than sunlight. Battery backup systems have been on the market for some time; however, there have been great strides in improving the quality of battery backup systems and the potential to introduce these systems into a residence.
There is a cost associated with installing a battery system since new wiring has to be routed to circumvent any traditional electrical installation that pulls power from the grid. Regardless of whether you pull power from the utility or a solar system, turning on a battery system calls for safety in redirecting electrical currents.
For many who lost homes in the North Bay fires, the timing for making a future energy decision is important. The cost of preparing a new construction home with the needed wiring is minimal as long as the work is planned at the onset of construction. Adding the infrastructure to a completed home is costly.
Residential battery systems allow for numerous benefits in Sonoma County especially with the growing concern for fire regulation and PG&E’s insistence on rolling black-outs. Adding battery power can provide security for homeowner’s who rely on a required and potentially life-saving CPAP Machine, or if they are just tired of replacing all the food in the fridge every time they lose electricity for an extended period of time.
Of course, we have seen the benefit solar power has provided to countless homes and businesses throughout the North Bay, so we would recommend the combination of solar power with a battery backup because it creates 100% clean energy that is entirely separate from the utility grid. In addition, there are reasons associated with future energy charges and buyback programs that make it wise to consider investing sooner than later.
NEM 2.0 and 3.0 (Net Energy Metering)
Typically with a solar system, any excess energy that you do not use within your home is sold back to your utility grid at the retail rate. At night, when solar panels are unable to generate electricity for your home, you will buy back your energy from the utility grid at the ‘net’ amount. This process is known as net metering.
In recent years, the net metering policy (NEM 2.0) has allowed for the amount that you sell to the grid and the amount you buy back to be financially equal; however, beginning in 2020, Net Metering will begin to fluctuate unfavorably for those with solar panels. 2019 will be the last year that NEM 2.0 is in effect, but individuals who get a solar system installed in 2019 will be grandfathered into NEM 2.0 for 20 years. This clause will protect you from any reduction in benefits coming into effect in 2020 with NEM 3.0. For more information on NEM visit cpuc.ca.gov.
If you would like to increase your savings, and avoid all net metering, relying on battery power may be the most beneficial energy system for you. Rather than losing money to your utility, a home battery storage system would allow you to store unused electricity for later use rather than sending it to the grid. Switching to this method of renewable energy can help to ensure that you never worry about losing electricity again!
Rebuilding in California
If you lost your home in the devastating 2017 fires and are beginning to rebuild, or are building a home in Sonoma County for the first time, you may want to consider investing in a battery system for your home energy. By wiring your home for battery use or future battery use, you will provide yourself with future savings and help protect the environment.
If you are ready to invest in your future with a home battery system or if you would like to learn more about our energy saving products, please contact Westcoast Solar Energy at (707) 664-6450.
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Westcoast Solar Energy 2280 Gravenstein Hwy South, Suite A Sebastopol, CA 95472 Phone: (707) 664-6450 Fax: (707) 664-6454 CA LIC: #963158
A successful project always starts with a smart design. Westcoast Solar Energy systems are designed in-house to ensure that our high standards are met and that our customer gets the maximum benefit from their solar array.