Should I get batteries with solar?

October 18, 2023

The global surge in solar energy popularity is beyond commendable. With more homeowners and businesses leaning towards sustainable solutions, solar installations are at an all-time high.

But there’s an oft-debated add-on: the solar battery. Aiming for complete energy independence sounds enticing, but does it make sense for everyone?

If you're torn between the decision, this article will guide you on when it's worth it to add a battery to your solar installation, especially if your utility company offers net metering. Read on!

The Power of Net Metering

First, let's talk about net metering. It's a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you can use, that excess power goes back into the grid. Later, when your system isn’t producing enough (like at night), you can pull electricity from the grid.

Here's why this is significant:

  • Your Utility as a Battery: In essence, the grid becomes a virtual battery. It stores the excess energy you produce, and you can tap into it whenever you need. This could negate the need for a physical battery, especially if the net metering terms are favorable.
  • Cost Savings: Batteries come with a significant price tag. If net metering is available and financially advantageous, you could potentially save thousands by not purchasing a battery system.

When Does a Battery Make Sense?

Despite the potential benefits of net metering, there are circumstances where having a battery could be beneficial:

  1. Power Outages: Batteries can provide backup power. If you live in an area prone to blackouts or power outages, having a battery can keep your lights on and appliances running.
  2. No Net Metering: If your utility company doesn’t offer net metering or if the terms are less favorable, a battery ensures you maximize the use of your solar-generated electricity.
  3. Energy Independence: If your goal is complete energy independence, a battery allows you to store and consume your own electricity, minimizing reliance on the grid.
  4. Time-of-Use Rates: Some utility companies have variable pricing based on the time of day. If electricity is more expensive during peak times, storing your solar power in a battery to use during these periods can save you money.

Other Factors to Consider

  • Battery Degradation: Like all batteries, solar batteries degrade over time. This means their storage capacity decreases, and they might not offer the same backup power years down the line.
  • Maintenance: Battery systems require maintenance. While solar panels have minimal maintenance costs, batteries might need occasional checks or replacements.
  • Installation Costs: Adding a battery system can increase the complexity (and cost) of your solar installation.
  • Environmental Impact: Batteries, especially when they reach the end of their lifespan, come with disposal concerns. If environmental impact is a significant consideration for you, this is something to ponder.

In Conclusion

Choosing to add a battery to your solar purchase isn’t a straightforward decision. It depends on your goals, local utility policies, and personal preferences. If your utility offers favorable net metering terms, it might serve as an efficient "virtual battery" for your needs, allowing you to save on the upfront cost and potential maintenance of a physical battery system.

However, for those seeking true energy independence, or those in regions without net metering, a battery might be worth the investment.

Before making a decision, consider doing a solar consultation with us! With the right information, you can harness the sun’s power in the best way for your needs.

Fill out the form!

We will text you soon.

FREE Lion Prowler Power Bank

$49 Value
Lion Energy Prowler Power Bank
When you pay your deposit within 5 days of receiving your quote.  (Learn more)

FREE Lion Summit Power Generator

$499 Value
When you pay in full within 30 days of making your deposit.  (Learn more)
Still have questions?
Spending 60 seconds to fill out the quoting form will answer many of your questions. But feel free to contact us in any case!