6 Tips to Get the Most from a Home Battery System
6 Tips to Get the Most from a Home Battery System
Home battery systems offer homeowners a source of free backup power, for when the lights go out or when electricity prices surge. And as more utilities switch to time-of-use pricing and power outages rise, home batteries are becoming increasingly appealing. Here's a look at how to get the most from your investment.
How do home batteries work?
Home batteries capture and store energy for you to use at a later date of your choosing. Some capture this energy from the grid and others from a renewable source, like rooftop solar panels. By storing electricity, batteries make your home more energy resilient and independent by providing a source of backup power when you need it most, such as during a blackout.
Batteries can be used with or without solar panels. This means you can install a battery and add solar panels at a later date or add a battery to an existing rooftop solar system. You can often stack several batteries on top of each other to meet your home's energy requirements and they're also available in a range of sizes, for installation on the wall or floor of a garage.
Some batteries, such as the Panasonic EverVolt, enable you to monitor your energy consumption in real-time and control how you use it right from your smartphone. This gives you greater visibility over your energy use, allowing you to better manage and streamline your costs.
6 ways to maximize a battery storage system
Charge your batteries during off-peak hours
If you're on a time-of-use (TOU) pricing plan with your utility, you will be charged more for using electricity during peak times of day when demand is higher. In this case, it makes sense to charge your battery from the grid during off-peak hours when electricity prices are lower. Off-peak hours do vary according to your specific plan but they're typically overnight.
Switch to battery power during peak times
Tap into your stored battery power when electricity prices are at their highest. This is typically in the afternoon and evening when lots of people are at home and electricity demand is high. By using your stored power at peak times, you can avoid having to pay higher rates for your electricity.
Use your battery during an outage
Power outages are becoming more common, due to aging infrastructure and freak weather events like storms and wildfires. In fact, power outages have nearly tripled over the past decade. If you regularly work from home or need access to electricity round-the-clock, then this can be unsettling.
This is where batteries can be invaluable. Unlike many gas generators, a home battery will automatically disconnect itself from the grid and start running as soon as the grid goes down. The process is so seamless, you likely won't even notice it is happening and it will operate quietly in the background, without emitting polluting fumes.
The amount of power your batteries provide depends on their capacity. While you can install a system to power your entire home over a given period, it's more common for your batteries to backup only your most essential appliances for a longer time. A single Panasonic EverVolt battery can run basic appliances in the average home for six to nine hours on a full charge and you can switch it on right from your EverVolt app.
Pair your battery with solar panels for renewable power
Home battery systems pair really well with rooftop solar systems, to make your home even more resilient. By installing a battery with your solar panels, you can ensure no electricity is wasted when the sun is shining and you can tap into this renewable power on a rainy day, during an outage, at night or when grid prices are high. And you don't need to worry about charging your battery during off-peak times since solar energy is free.
Tap into your battery power at night
Grid electricity prices are often at their highest in the afternoons and evenings. This is also about the same time your solar panels will stop generating power. Without a battery, you will have to start using electricity from the grid, which will quickly ramp up your bills. But if you do have a battery, this is an ideal time to use it, as it will have been charged from your solar panels or the grid during the day, when electricity prices were lower.
Monitor your electricity usage
Batteries like the Panasonic EverVolt enable you to keep track of your energy usage in real-time. This means you can gradually start to build a picture of how you and your household use energy, spotting any clear patterns and trends in your usage over time. You can use this data in several ways. For example, to adjust your habits or explore a better energy plan with your utility.
Battery storage is a great way to transform your home's renewable energy efficiency. Visit the Green Living Blog for more tips. Ready to start your journey towards a more resilient, sustainable future? Learn more about the Panasonic EverVolt.