US homeowners adopting solar energy need to shell out a sizable amount of money during solar panel installation. That’s why going ahead and buying solar batteries can often feel like an unnecessary investment. On average, solar batteries can cost anything between $10,00-$15,000. It’s important to analyze whether the investment will yield a good return for you in the long run but before that let’s see what solar batteries can do for your house.
What do solar batteries offer?
Reliable connection in unreliable circumstances
Even though most American homes enjoy a steady, uninterrupted supply of energy, sudden blackouts, and natural disasters have become all too familiar in recent times. A solar battery system helps you address such issues. When you use solar batteries to store energy, you establish a reliable and steady stream of electricity even on darker, cloudy days.
Solar panels generate more energy than you need every day. The additional energy gets transferred to the power grid which really helps if you live in areas with solid net metering policies. But if you live in remote areas with patchy grid connections or without net metering benefits, becoming independent of the power grid can offer you more efficiency and reliability.
More control over your energy consumption needs
Solar batteries give you the ultimate control over how and where the energy generated by the solar panels is used. Homeowners using grid systems have to wait for third parties to fix the issues while homeowners with backup solar battery solutions can address disruptions on their own.
The high prices of solar batteries are somewhat evened out by federal and state incentives. If you include solar batteries as a part of solar panel installation you can get a federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). Certain states go beyond and offer more reasonable tax incentives to the homeowners. Apart from California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), states like New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts also offer returns on solar batteries.
Factors related to solar battery cost
Considering the numerous benefits of solar batteries, you might be thinking why do they cost so much? There are a few reasons for that.
The type of battery
Solar battery components vary widely which in turn creates a wide range of price tags. Lithium-ion batteries are the most sophisticated option for homeowners as they come with incredible energy density, high efficiency, low maintenance cost, and a longer lifespan. But they also come at a price.
If you are planning to stay in your house for a few years and don’t want to install a high-capacity solar system, it makes sense to buy cheaper lead-acid batteries.
The size of the system
The kind of batteries you use will depend upon several factors including the solar panel capacity, your appliances, the number of days that the solar panels remain out of sunlight, as well as your future needs. If your house requires a large amount of energy at any given moment of the day, you’ll need a high-capacity system. The higher the capacity of your solar batteries, the more expensive your system will be.
The manufacturer of the battery
It’s a no-brainer that different brands making the same product will come up with different price tags. Solar batteries are manufactured by a wide range of companies including Tesla, Toshiba, LG Chem, sonnen GmbH, and General Electric. The manufacturer you choose may well be the reason why your installation cost is higher or lower than the average.
Solar battery: is it worth it?
Solar batteries in isolation look like a very good investment. They’re reliable, renewable, long-lasting, and are good for the environment. But their cost immediately makes you consider any short-term goal you may have from solar. If you live in areas that offer retail net metering, and consistent grid infrastructure, your ROI from batteries may not be as high as someone who’s getting solar incentives and living in areas with unreliable grid connections. If you have taken a solar loan, the battery cost will likely negate any short-term benefits.
That being said, solar batteries are continuously evolving, and the increased adoption rate will make them far more feasible in the coming years.