Power outages are a fact of life for all utility companies. Causes include planned maintenance, trees, weather, damage to infrastructure, and the way power is distributed. More recently, vandalism to substations have caused power outages in some areas of the country. Put simply, wherever you have power lines, there is potential for an outage.
What Utilities Do to Prevent Power Outages
Utilities address these problems with ongoing inspections and maintenance, tree-trimming and equipment repairs. Longer-term projects may include strengthening transmission lines and adding physical infrastructure. These infrastructure upgrades, necessitated by increasing demand, more extreme weather events and an aging electrical grid, require expensive resources and won’t happen overnight.
The Cost of Power Outages
Power outages place a burden on residents. Abrupt loss of electricity can cause property damage, disruptions to productivity, and pose health and safety risks. Insurance companies estimate the cost of damage caused by power outages for a homeowner may range from $200 - $25,000 per occurrence. Think about loss of food, overnight accommodation in a hotel, and repairing damage to the home. For businesses it may be significantly higher.
A Promising Solution for Utilities and Homeowners
Some utility companies are piloting programs for residential Energy Storage Systems (ESS). ESS allows households to mitigate or avoid the effects of power outages and contribute to the stability of the power grid at the same time.
ESS consists of a device, or multiple devices, designed for storing energy – energy that can be used at a later time, and not just during power outages. Solar and batteries are examples of ESS and are referred to as Distributed Generation (DG). DG consists of electrical generation and storage of energy onsite. DG uses a variety of small, grid-connected equipment.
Energy Storage Systems (ESS): Can Your Household benefit?
My home and business use solar and batteries for power and we have avoided the cost and inconveniences of power outage events. It’s time that more households enjoy the benefits of solar battery storage -- more control over the power your home generates, more stability and lower energy costs.
You can bundle Solar and ESS together. However, in the event your home or business does not allow you to install a solar array, an ESS may still be installed and will operate both in an on-grid or off-grid mode. In this scenario, you don’t have solar to recharge the batteries and use the grid.
Solar Battery Storage vs Generators
Unlike generators, battery backups are quiet and emission-free. Generators are designed to work only when the power goes out and must be used outside the home in a dry, well-ventilated area. Solar batteries and energy storage systems can be mounted to the wall or floor. With proper installation, battery backups are a safe and maintenance-free alternative.
Solar Tax Credit Incentives
Several manufacturers provide quality system components, which a qualified installer can provide and install. Prices for these systems continue to come down and the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act offers tax credit incentives to both residents and businesses.
If you wish to learn more about your options and the facts regarding the tax credits, which are not a cash rebate, contact an installation company that is a member of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). SEIA has many state-level affiliates that can help as well. Solar Design Studio is a member of the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association (MOSEIA). Member companies are bound by a strict code of ethics intended to protect consumers.
Solar Design Studio is encouraged that the bipartisan Inflation Reduction Act includes billions to upgrade the electric grid, while lowering energy costs for consumers and small businesses through tax credits and incentives. We specialize in engineering and designing distributed generation solutions comprised of solar photovoltaic (PV), battery storage and other power generation components to create micro-grids. And as active members of SEIA and MOSEIA, we’re committed to providing solar solutions with excellence and transparency.
If you’re ready to start your solar journey to greater energy efficiency and want to talk about power outage solutions for your home or business, contact us today.