What is a Home Battery?

by Anna Gretz
October 25, 2017
Home Battery

Wondering what a home battery is, and how it can revolutionize the way you use energy in your home? You’re in the right spot. Not only is Swell Energy all about hooking people up with their own, battery-fueled energy fortress, but we love telling people about home batteries, and why no home energy system is complete without them.

In short, a home battery is an in-home energy storage unit that has the ability to store energy either straight from the power grid, or power generated from renewable energy resources like wind and solar. Households can install single batteries, or couple them together for even more storage capacity. Using lithium-ion technology, home batteries charge and discharge just like any rechargeable battery, only on a much larger scale. You can use a home battery to power most anything in your home, depending on how much power it demands, and how much storage capacity you have. The benefits of owning a home battery are pretty amazing. Keep reading to learn about how a home battery can transform the way you think about, and use energy in your home.

Everyone wants energy security.

Every single American home relies on electricity to work creatively, communicate effectively, nourish our bodies, and regulate the temperature of our homes. We need power to keep up our lifestyle, and we need to know that it won’t shut off, especially when we need it the most. Most people take for granted that utility companies can meet the electricity demand of the public, but this is becoming less and less true. The power grid is an aging, fragile system that breaks down frequently, without notice, in the wake of strong winds, flooding, or a simple mishap with a squirrel (yeah, you heard the right. Squirrels actually disrupt the power grid on a pretty regular basis.) Grid-connected power customers can no longer count on the electricity utility companies to provide power whenever they need it.

With a home battery, you can take the power back into your own hands.

Home batteries give households a secure power source that they can use anytime they need it. Many households complete their home solar system with a home battery, so they can use the energy they store from their solar panels at night, after the sun goes down. Some consumers choose to keep their home batteries connected to the grid, so they can store back-up power in the event of a power outage. Either way, home batteries give their owners peace of mind, knowing that they will have electricity available to them, whenever they need it, whether the grid is up or not. That’s a great feeling.

Wish you could pay the bare minimum for electricity?

With a home battery, you can always take advantage of the very lowest electricity rates. Many states are beginning to implement peak demand power rates, or price hikes during the hours of the day when more people are sucking energy from the grid. Instead of paying a premium price for electricity when they need it the most, home battery owners can store energy from the grid when it’s at its very cheapest (usually in the middle of the night), and discharge their batteries during peak demand hours, so they’re essentially disconnected from the grid when rates are high. People refer to this as “time of use shifting,” a method many home battery owners use to slash their electricity bills down to the absolute lowest cost possible.

Want to say goodbye to your power bill entirely?

Storing grid energy in a home battery when it’s cheap can definitely save you money, but storing the clean, free energy from the sun can save you even more. Homes equipped with both a home battery and solar panels can soak up the sun all day, and store up the energy they’re not using in a home battery to be used after the sun goes down. Most households with solar panels feed their generated power back into the grid on a daily basis, since they’re not able to use the energy during the daytime hours when many people are out of the house. Wouldn’t you rather put your generated energy to work for you? With a home battery, you can keep solar energy stored up in you battery energy bank to use whenever you want. The best part about it? The sun offers its energy for free.

Solar + Battery Storage is an Option… Anywhere.

So, say you don’t live in sunny southern California. We get it. Not everyone can be so lucky. But that doesn’t mean you can’t set up a home battery, with or without solar panels. You may be more familiar with an older, less-awesome form of batteries: lead acid batteries. If you know anything about lead acid technology, you probably know that it struggles in really high or really low temperatures. Does this make you want to shy away from using a battery to store power where you live? After all, most people use a decent amount of the energy they demand from the power grid to either cool their homes during high temps, or heat their homes when it’s cold. Well, fear not. Lithium ion batteries don’t struggle with extreme temperatures the same way lead acid batteries do. Even when a home battery gets cold, it can still store and discharge almost as much energy as it would on a sunny day in LA. On the flip side of things, batteries can also withstand some serious heat. Though super high temps may cause you battery to drop some percentage points performance-wise, your battery isn’t going anywhere, and neither is your power. You can rely on battery capacity to be there for you, no matter the weather. Oh, we forgot to mention that batteries are virtually maintenance-free, and can charge and discharge thousands of times without losing function. It’s pretty awesome.

Cleaning Up the Power Industry

Clean, green energy has been making major headlines… not just lately, but for a long time now. Renewable energy is taking over more and more of the power industry, and it’s leaving behind an impressively small carbon footprint. Many people predicted that renewable energy would never fully take over because of the problem of intermittence: both wind and solar energy generation depend on a resource that isn’t constantly there; the wind dies down periodically, and the sun checks out at least once every day. Energy storage, like home batteries, completely solves the problem of intermittent renewable energy. By storing solar and wind energy, it can be made available consistently and reliably. Now, the only major barrier between us and a complete renewable energy takeover is… us.

There’s never been a better time to install a home battery.

If you’re still on the fence about the greatness of home batteries, you might be ready to take the leap after you hear about the funding available for households who install on-site energy storage. Californians can take advantage of SGIP, the Self-Generation Incentive Program that virtually pays homeowners to upgrade their home energy systems, and many others have local and federal funding available for battery installation as well. At Swell, we take it upon ourselves to know what’s out there, so we can get you as much money as possible to put towards a home battery. Hit us up if you have any questions.

So… what is a home battery? It’s an energy-storing, money-saving, security-giving powerhouse that you can set up in your own home, putting your power back into your hands. Need we say more?