Solar energy storage systems, also called “battery backup systems”, become more popular with California homeowners every day for two main reasons:
Homeowners are sick and tired of high electric bills from their utilities, and what feels like constant rate increases.
Homeowners are sick and tired of being at the whim of the utilities’ unplanned power outages, and planned outages during wildfire or “climate fire” season.
Skyrocketing electric bills and unreliable electricity are hard on families in many ways. A residential Solar+Storage system can help. Adding energy storage to an existing solar energy system, or installing both systems together, is a great way to get even more value than what you get from a solar energy system alone. Storage systems offered by Citadel & Roofing include these from Tesla and Enphase:
Not sure how it all works or what it all means? This “Solar+Storage 101” post should answer many of your questions about the technologies, the benefits, and the nuts and bolts of installing solar and energy storage.
Reliable, Proven Technologies
Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has been in use since the 1950s, when Bell Labs developed a silicon cell that could capture enough solar energy to run electrical equipment. Modern solar energy systems harness this technology to convert sunlight into electricity that can power our homes, businesses and more.
Useable solar energy is created when the silicon in solar panel cells absorbs photons from the sun and converts them into electrons. Those electrons flow as electrical current from the cells to inverters under the solar panels, which convert the energy from direct-current (DC) electricity into alternating-current (AC) electricity. The electricity flows through your electric panel and into your home for your use.
Like solar panels, the technology behindsolar energy storage is remarkably simple and well-tested, relying on lithium-ion batteries—the same type of battery that powers everything from cell phones to electric cars. Lithium-ion batteries are ideal for energy storage because they’re safe, affordable, relatively small, easy to procure and—most important—can absorb and discharge power, which makes them rechargeable.
Electric bill savings when you replace the utility’s expensive power with the lower-cost electricity you generate with solar
Energy independence, because you no longer rely solely on the utility for your electricity
Lower carbon footprint when you make your own clean solar energy, which is better for the planet
Higher re-sale price and faster re-sale time if you sell a home with a solar energy system on it.
Those benefits increase dramatically when you install a Solar+Storage system or add storage to your existing solar system. Here’s how storage boosts your solar energy system’s benefits:
Additional electric bill savings, because you get to use more of the low-cost solar electricity you generated. Without storage, extra solar you make but can’t use right then-and-there flows into the utility grid for use by others. With storage, you store up your extra solar energy and then use it at nighttime or on cloudy days when your solar isn’t producing energy. Or you can choose to use it during “peak times” when the utility’s power is most expensive, further increasing the value of your solar electricity. You’ll know when those times are because the utility charges solar owners published “time-of-use rates” that vary by time of day.
Additional energy independence, first because you use even more of your solar power and less of the utility’s power; but also because batteries can give you electricity during a utility power outage when homes and businesses without energy storage go dark.
Even lower carbon footprint, because you’re replacing more utility power—much of which comes from fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming—with your own emissions-free solar energy.
No data exists yet analyzing the impact of a solar energy storage system on your home’s property value. But if a prospective homebuyer can be motivated by the benefits of a solar energy system, including a low electric bill, it stands to reason they might be even more motivated by Solar+Storage and the greater savings and energy independence the combination offers.
The Best Benefit of Energy Storage
We mentioned above that batteries can give you electricity during a utility power outage when homes and businesses without energy storage go dark.
Power outages and blackouts are all too common for Californians these days. Outages occur not only for the traditional reasons such as storms, equipment failure and human error, but also due to the wildfires or “climate fires” ravaging our state. And California utilities often choose to turn off the power to reduce the risk of their electrical equipment sparking a fire—what the industry calls “forced” or “planned” outages.
Think of the convenience and safety benefits if you free yourself from some of those outages by drawing on your own stored electricity. You’ll be able to power critical devices such as computers, home medical equipment* and even garage doors. And you’ll have the convenience of powering other selected devices like your refrigerator.
Or, if you opt for a larger storage system, you can probably get “whole house backup” that powers your entire home during a utility outage.
Either way, it’s like “utility-proofing” your home.
Putting Solar and Storage Together
Citadel’s Solar+Storage Package provides maximum protection from expensive and ever-rising utility rates, and planned or unplanned electricity blackouts.
If you already have a solar energy system from Citadel or another solar company, we can easily install and connect an energy storage system.
If you don’t have solar yet, install both systems together and get all the additional benefits of Solar+Storage from the get-go.
Citadel has installed Solar+Storage packages for homeowners throughout California. These photos show one of our happy customers with his Tesla Powerwall storage system, and the solar energy system on his roof.
The Citadel package includes system design and engineering, procurement of all equipment and materials from leading manufacturers, installation following industry-leading standards, HOA and local permits, and utility approvals
Once your Solar+Storage system is up and running, we’ll be here to answer any questions and provide any maintenance or repairs down the road (not that we expect much of that).
Nuts & Bolts of Solar+Storage
Here are answers to some nitty-gritty questions you may still have about getting residential solar energy and solar energy storage for your home: