In California during the month of October, PG&E cut electricity to over 2,000,000 customers during planned power outages. This left their customers in the dark. “Schools, universities and businesses closed for days. Food thawed and spoiled in freezers. Oxygen and CPAP machines for sleep apnea stopped working,” The Mercury News. Hundreds of thousands of families had their lives put on pause.
As more blackouts loom on the horizon, homeowners wonder, “Is there a way to keep my power on when the utility company cuts the power?”
PG&E suggests generators (even selling generators to desperate homeowners in the middle of the crisis). However, generators require gas. Most homeowners don’t keep large amounts of gasoline sitting around, since gas has a shelf life and needs to be replaced every 3 months. Meaning, once a generator is put into use, the homeowner has a limited amount of hours until the fuel has run out. In addition, a generator must also be serviced every three months in order to keep it in good working order, making a generator an impractical option for most people.
However, there is another option; a solar system with battery backup. Homeowners who produce their energy with solar panels and store it in a solar battery don’t need to rely on the unstable utility company. With a solar system plus battery, not only can solar energy can be stored for night use, and to avoid high electricity prices, it can also keep your home running during a power outage.
Unlike generators, which need a lot of fuel and maintenance, solar panels need little maintenance. And it’s fuel is the sun, which is guaranteed to rise each day. Every day offers a replenishment of affordable electricity.
It is important to note that in order to keep your solar panels running during a power outage, your system must be backed by a battery. Solar systems without a battery will go down in the case of a grid outage. This is to keep the utility workers safe when carrying out repairs on the electricity grid. As any live power on the grid would be a serious risk to the workers. Since solar systems without a battery push power to the grid when an excess of energy is produced, no energy can be produced by solar-only systems during an outage.
Unlike solar-only systems, when the electrical grid is down, solar systems with batteries will continue to generate and store energy during a power outage. When the power shutdown occurs, your solar system with a battery backup cuts off the flow of excess electricity to the grid, removing any risk of harm to utility workers.
As soon as the power grid goes down, your solar system with battery makes the transition seamlessly. Your lights won’t even flicker. So you get to keep your power, and the lights and appliances you need most continue running. The fridge can remain on (no food spoils!), and you can still charge your cell phone or laptop. Or you may be able to store enough electricity to power your entire house, including your AC, depending on the size of the battery storage system and your settings.
The best part of adding a battery backed solar system to your home is that it truly is affordable!
You can get solar power with a battery backup for $0 down, and your monthly cost will be less than you were paying to your utility company starting at day 1! With protection against power outages and immediate savings, it’s a win-win situation!
If you’re considering purchasing a battery backed solar system with a battery or adding a battery to your existing solar array, speak to a Solar Energy Specialist for your free home assessment.