Everything about Bring your Own Battery Programs

Introduction

With many people investing in the solar energy system recently, it is no surprise why respective utilities are riding the wave and offering more concessions and incentives. Not only will having a solar energy system provide you with a more economical solution of a fixed electricity rate, but it can also give you insight to better forecast and manage your expenses and monthly bills. Utilities have therefore started to try out new programs that are tailored specifically towards solar batteries. One example of a fresh yet regularly seen program would be the Bring Your Own Battery program. 

How the program works 

Due to the prices of solutions for energy storage falling significantly over the past few years, solar batteries are the current go-to as they make the most sense economically. Aligning with such sentiments, cost deductions, and incentives are also being generously provided by utility companies to assist shoppers in reaping larger savings from their investment. Some programs are even being manufactured to allow the period for payback to reach only a maximum of five years. This is in hopes that the payback period is more attractive than the period for investing in solar panels.

Much alike to the Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) Movement, the Bring Your Own Battery program requires you to bring and connect your own battery to your utility’s grid, while simultaneously receiving benefits. Utilities that are offering such storage benefits through such programs will usually pay for your capacity, which is the amount of consistent power your battery produces, for the amount of electricity you can output onto the grid. This is typically counted in kilowatt-hours, which is similar to how it is counted in your electricity bill. 

If your investment in a battery is solely to participate in the program, you have to first make sure that the particular utility you are using is providing one. Secondly, you have to check if the battery you own can be used in the program. This is because some bring your own battery programs will limit certain types and kinds of batteries and manufacturers in order to streamline the choices.

One good example of such programs in action is the National Grid’s Connected Solutions program. This particular utility that serves customers living in Massachusetts and Rhode Island offers a per kilowatt incentive for customers that participate during the summer and winter seasons. The incentive given will basically provide for most or all of your battery used within five years. 


Why are such programs being offered?

With grids benefitting from your saved solar energy to help balance the higher electricity expenses and reduce the stress that it faces daily, utilities have figured out that bringing your own battery programs would make the best solution. In exchange for providing rebates and benefits to you, you are essentially helping and providing an economical yet simple solution to reduce the amount of expectations the grid has to meet. Moreover, it can also prevent the need for expensive upgrades, or even the construction of new power plants. 

Another point to note about being a solar owner who owns batteries is that these people are least likely to require a higher demand for electricity from the already overworked grill. One good thing is that even if the amount of electricity output from your solar panel system is supposedly enough to negate your entire bill, the actual loss will most likely not be accurate to how much electricity your solar panels are producing. In this case, you may still be required to pull electricity from the grid nightly. Solar owners with their own batteries will, however, be able to gain their electricity from their saved solar energy source directly. The grid is only used as a last resort, which allows it to rest for some time. 

Other additional benefits

If you are still not sure why you should make the change, maybe this additional benefit will further lure you to the other side.

The largest benefit is not the one provided by utilities but by the federal solar tax credit. Also recognized as the investment tax credit (ITC), this credit is said to be one of the greatest fiscal incentives for solar energy in the US and it is given when battery energy storage systems are paired with renewable sources. It generously allows you to save 20% off the cost without any limit on its value. The ITC has also proven that the average solar shopper can save about a thousand dollars on the expenses incurred by going solar. However, you have to make sure that the energy storage is installed on a residential property, for it to be approved under the ITC. This means that the 20 percent is only eligible for batteries charged by renewable energy systems such as solar. If the battery is charged with electricity pulled from the grid, the battery will not be qualified for the 20 percent ITC. 


Installing energy storage systems properly

Once you have decided to take the leap, it is a complex procedure that will definitely require expertise, professionalism and knowledge for the solar storage system to be installed accurately without any mishaps occurring. Engaging a company is your best bet as you can listen to the various recommendations provided by them about energy storage choices that are available to you. You can also start by looking at quotes for the options available, to give you a better understanding of which ones are within your budget. 

Conclusion

Although it may seem like there is a lot of considerations behind the move to solar energy systems, there are certainly many incentives to do so as stated. For those who have made the change, the bring your own battery program will further incentivize you to start using electricity from your own source of energy. Instead of overworking the grid and taking electricity, why not reap your own efforts by installing your own battery onto the grid instead? Plus, you’ll get to do your part for the environment in the process; a win-win situation if you ask us!

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