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Why Install Solar Panels + Solar Batteries?

Published Dec. 08, 2023

Solar batteries (also called “home batteries,” “energy storage systems,” “battery backup systems,” and simply “storage”) are becoming more and more common in California households for two main reasons:

  1. Homeowners are pushing back against high electric bills and neverending rate increases from their utility companies.
  2. Homeowners are protecting themselves from planned and unplanned power outages (especially during wildfire season).

Skyrocketing electric bills and unreliable electricity are hard on families in many ways. A residential solar + solar battery system can help. Adding energy storage to an existing solar energy system—or installing both at the same time—is a great way to get the most value from your solar energy production.

Great solar battery options include the Tesla Powerwall, Enphase IQ battery, and Franklin WH battery. Here are some of our recently completed installations:

MKT_TeslaNew_201030-1Enphase-images copyFranklin-Home-Battery-Install-Aug-2023-6-400x400

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.

How do solar energy systems work?

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.

Usable 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 behind solar batteries (solar energy storage) is remarkably simple and well-tested. For example, Tesla Powerwalls rely on lithium-ion batteries—the same type of batteries that power everything from cell phones to electric vehicles. Others, like the Enphase IQ battery and Franklin WH battery, use a slightly different chemistry: Lithium iron phosphate, also known as LFP. LFP also powers other technologies like power tools and electric vehicles.

What are the Benefits of Solar Panels?

Here’s how homeowners benefit from installing solar panels:

  1. Electricity bill savings by replacing expensive utility power with the lower-cost electricity you generate with solar
  2. Energy independence, because you no longer rely solely on the utility for your electricity
  3. Lower carbon footprint when you make your own clean solar energy, which is better for the planet
  4. Increased property value and faster resale time when it comes time to sell your home

Should You Install Solar Batteries?

Storing energy with solar batteries boosts the benefits you reap from your solar panels.

Those benefits increase dramatically when you install a solar battery system or add batteries to your existing solar system. Here’s how solar energy storage boosts your solar energy system’s benefits:

  1. Additional electric bill savings: You get to use more of the low-cost solar electricity you generate. Without storage, extra solar energy you make but can’t use immediately flows into the utility grid. With storage, your extra solar energy is saved for use at nighttime or on cloudy days when your solar isn’t producing energy. You can also 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.
  2. Additional energy independence: You use even more of your solar power and less of the utility’s power, and also because batteries power your home during a utility power outage when homes and businesses without energy storage go dark.
  3. An even lower carbon footprint: You’re replacing more utility power—much of which comes from fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gasses and contribute to global warming—with your own emissions-free solar energy.

We don’t yet have data that analyzes the specific impact of solar batteries on your home’s property value. But since we know that homebuyers are attracted to the benefits of a solar energy system, it stands to reason they might be even more motivated by solar + energy storage. After all, this combination would provide them with even greater savings and energy independence.


Shelter Your Home Against Power Outages

We mentioned above that batteries can provide electricity during a utility power outage when homes and businesses without energy storage go dark.

Power outages and blackouts are all too common in California. Outages occur not only for 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 have a “whole house backup” that powers your entire home during a utility outage.

Either way, it’s like “utility-proofing” your home.

The Best of Both Worlds: Install Solar + Solar Batteries

Our solar + battery installations provide maximum protection from expensive and ever-rising utility rates, as well as planned and 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 batteries from the get-go.

We have installed solar energy systems for homeowners, homebuilders, and business owners throughout California. Below is one of our happy customers with his Tesla Powerwall storage system, as well as the solar energy system on his roof.


Solar Energy Storage Rebates for California Homeowners

Here in California, there are a variety of rebate programs designed to incentivize solar battery purchases. They reward homeowners for the positive influence their solar battery investment has on the environment and on the electricity grid.

One example of this is the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). This program provides many homeowners with thousands of dollars in rebates. Homeowners in certain regions are even eligible to receive up to 100% of their solar battery and installation costs.

We at Citadel have saved our customers over $5.2MM through the SGIP program alone. That’s because we fully manage the cumbersome rebate application processes for each of our customers.

Wondering if you’re eligible for SGIP and other large-payout rebate programs? Contact us and we’ll be glad to help you find out what rebates you can expect to receive.

Answers to Common Questions about Solar + Storage

Here are answers to some common questions you may still have about getting residential solar energy and solar energy storage for your home:




Where is it installed?

On your home’s roof or on open land
(a “ground-mounted system”)

In a garage or outside

How long does installation take?

1-3 days

1-3 days

Is any maintenance needed?

Rarely (e.g. occasional panel cleaning)

None, if well-installed

How long do the warranties last?

Typically 25 years

10-15 years

Ready to Install a Solar Battery?

From greater independence from your utility company to sheltering your home against power outages, there are many great reasons to install a solar battery for energy storage. 

From system design to installation to rebate applications and beyond, we’re proud to be Californians’ trusted solar partner.

Ready to install your solar panels, solar battery, or both? Request a free quote now:


*Please consult with your equipment manufacturer and/or doctor before relying on solar energy storage to back up medical equipment.