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Home Solar Battery Backup 101 With Namaste Solar

Blog Updated: June 2024

Home solar battery backup systems are one of the biggest new pieces of technology for residential solar and they are quickly gaining in popularity. Just like when you’re making the decision to go solar, it’s smart to do your research to make sure adding solar battery backup is the right choice for your energy goals. We’ll break down some of the details in this blog, but if you have more questions, reach out to one of our solar advisors. They don’t work on commission and take a no-pressure approach, so you can get answers without the pushy sales pitch.

What Is Solar Battery Backup?

Solar battery backup (also known as energy storage) is playing a big part in shaping the future of renewables and how people consume energy. With solar + storage, you can use the energy that your solar system generates during the day to charge your battery(s) and then discharge that energy in the evenings, when time-of-use (TOU) pricing is the most expensive. Your battery backup system will also provide power to your home in case of a power outage.

Solar allows you to lower your electricity bills and gain independence from the utility, and with home solar battery backup you gain peace of mind that you’ll have power when the grid is down. Our experts can design a home battery backup system to power essential loads, such as your fridge, freezer, lights, and internet, or your whole house, depending on your needs and budget.

With battery backup you can:

  • Have power during an outage - where traditional solar only systems will lose power production during an outage due to utilities deenergizing the lines. With a Tesla Powerwall 3, you'll be able to run your home off of power stored in the battery and the energy your panels are producing during an outage. We always recommend conservative use when using power from the battery to give it the most longevity. But this adds great value as the Tesla Powerwall 3 allows your solar investment to be used everyday, even during an outage. 
  • Avoid TOU pricing from your utility provider - and saving money by leveraging when you buy electricity from the grid. With time of use rates electricity is cheapest in the morning and most expensive during the late afternoon and evening. With the TPW3 you can control when you're using power to charge the battery. So, charging the battery in the morning (when energy is the cheapest) and discharging it during peak time of use rates can help you save money. And it can all be done from the Tesla app. 
  • Supplement your energy usage - due to a higher demand or an older system that has naturally degraded. If you installed solar more than several years back and added high-demand energy things like an EV or a hot tub, battery storage can help you offset that new demand. Also, solar panels naturally degrade by about 8-14% over their 25 year life expectancy. So, if your system is experiencing degradation, a battery can help offset that. 
  • Have more hands-on control - and choosing when you're buying power and what you're powering in your home via the battery. If you have an EV and want to ensure that it's powered by clean energy, a battery can help you do that. 

When you’re considering solar battery backup, ask yourself why you want batteries and what your energy goals are. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you experience frequent power outages?
  • Are you on TOU billing with your utility?
  • Do you want to use more of your self-generated solar power instead of pushing it onto the grid?
  • Do you enjoy being an early adopter with new technologies?

We believe that if you have two or more of the above goals, adding a battery backup system can make sense for the investment required.

How Much Does Battery Backup Cost?

Our system designers will be able to tell you how much it would cost to supply your backup needs. It is dependent on many factors including your energy usage, if you have a new system or a retrofit, and what incentives are available where you live. Battery backup ranges from about $8,400 - $25,200 after the 30% federal tax credit and the 10% state tax credit are taken into account. 

For Colorado residents living within Xcel’s electricity grid, purchasing select batteries, like the Tesla Powerwall, can qualify you for Xcel’s Renewable Battery Connect incentive program, where you can save on both your battery installation and annually for your participation in the program. This amounts to a rebate of up to $5,475 per battery along with $100 per year for five years on top of that rebate.

Some battery purchases qualify for rebates in the cities of Denver and Fort Collins. Fort Collins customers can receive a rebate of up to $3,000 for battery storage systems. And city of Denver residents can qualify for a rebate of up to $2,750 for a battery install if you have a heat pump and $500 if you don't. 

Stacking these incentives allows you to save big on battery storage. These incentives won't last forever, though. Fort Collins is set to repeal theirs at the end of July. And Xcel could do so at any time. 

The Tesla Powerwall 3

Namaste Solar has been carefully watching the battery market to provide our customers with the best products and technology to help you meet your home energy goals. We offer the Tesla Powerwall 3 as our current battery storage option to pair with your solar system. We believe the Tesla Powerwall 3 is currently the best battery storage option on the market. Some of its benefits include:

  • It’s more affordable than ever – In the TPW3, there’s one inverter and it’s integrated into the battery. In previous generations, there could two or more separate inverters, which drove up the price. Now, a Tesla Powerwall 3 plus a solar system ends up being only a little bit more expensive than it would be for just the solar.

  • It has double the output, allowing it to back up your whole home – The older models had an output of 30 amps per Powerwall. The latest generation can output 60 amps at 240 volts per Powerwall. (They both have 13.5 kWh capacity.) This means that with the previous generation if you have an air conditioner that runs over 30 amps, you couldn’t run it. But with the TPW3, you can. So, if you’re conscious of what you’re running in the event of an outage, one Powerwall 3 can back up your whole home.

  • The battery chemistry has changed, making it safer – The older models were made with LNC (lithium, nickel, and cadmium). The PW3 is made with LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate). This new chemistry means that the batteries are less prone to thermal runaway because they don’t release oxygen if they catch fire. We always prioritize installing the safest possible products. For customers who have the TPW2, your battery is safe. However, as more and more safe products become available, we will always move with the market to provide those updated product versions.

The Tesla Powerwall 3 allows you to store energy for later use and works with your solar system to provide more independence from the grid. Tesla Powerwall systems come with energy monitoring, metering, smart controls for customization and EV charging.



Namaste Solar and Home Solar Battery Backup

If you’re thinking about adding a battery to your existing solar system or installing solar plus storage, we would love to have a conversation with you to answer your questions and provide you with a free quote plus additional resources to help you make the best decision to meet your home energy goals. As non-commissioned advisors we try to set realistic expectations about what batteries will and won’t do. With the right rebates, a battery can be a good economic choice. We'd be happy to walk you through the battery storage landscape.

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