Have you installed or are you considering installing solar PV panels on your home? Then consider solar-plus-storage options.
Energy storage, also known as home battery storage, or home batteries, are rechargeable batteries that can store energy to power your home when needed.
With a rooftop solar system, power from your panels flows into the home to meet your energy needs, and any excess solar energy is sent to the grid. During hours when the panels don’t generate electricity (at night or on overcast days), your home draws power from the grid. Storing your solar power in a home battery, allows you to power your home on overcast days or at night, making your home less dependent on grid power.
Energy storage technologies have improved significantly in recent years, making them less expensive and more efficient than previous models. There are two types of energy storage batteries available:
- Lead batteries, which have a 5 to 15-year life expectancy, are cheaper but need more maintenance.
- Lithium-based batteries, which are more expensive but compact, maintenance-free, and charge and discharge faster.
Whether your home has solar PV or not, home battery storage is a reliable, emissions-free source of backup power.
What to Look For
- Find the appropriate size battery or batteries for your home.
- The capacity of a single home battery storage unit can range from 5 kWh to 13.5 kWh (the average home uses about 30 kWh of energy a day), but multiple units can be added together to create a larger home storage system.
Things to Consider
- If you don’t have solar PV, charge you batteries at night when the rates are lower.
- Use your battery to charge your electric vehicle at night, which will save you money and energy.
- Replace a generator with energy storage to provide power during power outages, as they don’t produce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
- Factor in the life expectancy of the model you wish to buy – home batteries can only be charged a specific number of times – so you know when you have to replace the unit.
- Consider the City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) as a way to finance your energy storage.
- Check with your municipality, utility or retailer to see if there are any rebates available.
$6,000 to $30,000 per system, including hardware and installation.