When installing solar panels on your home, you want to make sure you’re getting everything you need for the system to run smoothly. But you also don’t want to pay for extra add-ons that you don’t need. So, do you need a solar backup battery? A solar battery serves as backup storage for the energy generated by your solar panels. Instead of all that extra energy getting fed back into the grid, some of it will get stored in your solar battery for later use. Sounds useful, but is it expensive to install a solar backup battery to your system? Is it worth the expense?
Cost of a Solar Backup Battery
You can expect to spend at least $5,000 to $7,000 for a backup battery for your home solar panel system. This doesn’t include installation fees. In fact, the overall cost of installing a solar backup battery depends on a few things:
Are you including it in your initial installation? You could include the cost of it in your solar loan, or you could buy it in cash, which would save you money down the road.
If you are adding a backup battery to your already established home solar panel system, is your system set up for extra storage? If not, there may be additional costs to make changes to your current system to accommodate. There are two ways to do this:
- An AC-coupled solution, where the battery backup is installed with its own inverter or,
- A DC-coupled solution, where your existing inverter is replaced with a new one that works with the extra battery storage.
Worth the Expense?
At this point, you may be wondering if a solar backup battery is worth the expense. Ultimately, it depends on the goal you’re trying to achieve with your solar panels. If you’re looking for ways to store extra backup power for times when the grid’s disconnected, then yes, a solar backup battery is worth the expense.
Solar batteries will give you peace of mind and keep your necessary appliances on during a blackout. Bear in mind, though, that depending on the capacity of your battery, you can’t just power your entire house. Large appliances like A/C units and electric stoves that use a lot of energy will suck all of the extra generated electricity very quickly. However, you can power other essential items like medical equipment, your fridge, lights, wifi, computers, and small appliances. So unplug all the big stuff and turn off everything else that you’re not using.
Also, be sure to check for any incentives you might qualify for to help cover part of the cost of a battery storage system (or even all of the cost in rare instances). For instance, PG&E currently offers battery incentives for their customers who live in a high fire-threat district and use medical life support equipment or rely on an electric pump for their well. That’s just one example.
Have more questions about adding a solar backup battery to your home solar panel system? Want to pick our brain about what incentives you might qualify for if you add a battery backup system to your solar panels? Give us a call!