Why Everyone Needs a Home Battery

by Anna Gretz
November 9, 2017
Home Battery

Home batteries are making their way into conversations… and homes… everywhere. If you’re not familiar with this revolutionary energy technology, it’s time to get educated. Home batteries aren’t something you want to be left in the dark about. If you own one, you won’t be left in the dark at all. Here’s your complete rundown on home batteries, and why so many people are upgrading their home energy system to include one of their own.

“Everyone needs a home battery.”

We didn’t say it… Elon Musk did. Over the past few years, Elon Musk has expanded the focus of his company, Tesla Motors, from just an electric vehicle operation to a solar-powered, carbon-free lifestyle brand, marketing ways to energize every aspect of your home. In his quest to develop “the world’s only vertically integrated sustainable energy company,” Musk has spent a tremendous amount of personal energy creating the Tesla Powerwall, an affordable battery made for use in every home, especially homes with rooftop solar.

“Without a home battery, excess solar energy is often sold to the power company and purchased back in the evening,” Musk argues. “The mismatch adds demand on power plants and increases carbon emissions.” This is why Elon Musk believes so strongly that everyone needs a home battery… but let’s back up a minute. What is he actually saying here?

Most people who have rooftop solar have a certain mismatch in their energy supply and demand. Think about it: when are solar panels generating the most power? When the sun is high in the sky… and you are likely out of the house. The arc of solar power generation is a steady, predictable rise and fall that corresponds to the rising and setting of the sun. The power usage in your home, however, follows a very different trajectory, with a small bump during the morning rush, and a predominant peak during the evening hours… when the sun is going down. Needless to say, they don’t match. Because of this, households with rooftop solar alone end up feeding most of the power they generate back into the power grid, keeping them dependent on your utility company to meet your evening power demand.

In fact, even though selling excess solar back to the grid will put cash or bill credit in your pocket, you will probably end up buying the same amount of energy back from the grid… but at a higher price. This is because many utility companies have started implementing “peak demand charges,” or higher prices when there’s a higher demand for electricity. The hours of peak demand are usually between 6 - 9 PM, when people are getting home from work, and the sun is going down. This means rooftop solar owners are going to be looking to the grid to supplement their energy supply as well… that is, if they don’t have a home battery.

Home battery owners don’t have to kiss their well-earned solar-generated electricity goodbye… they can store it on-site in a home battery, and have it ready whenever they need to use it. Home batteries act like an energy reservoir, storing up all of the excess energy under your roof, and keeping it there. It’s pretty awesome. Not to mention that this can be clean, free energy from the sun if you have solar panels installed. You can’t get a more ideal setup than that.

But even if you don’t have solar panels, a home battery can still be a lifesaver, quite literally. Short-lived power outages can be a pain, but prolonged periods without power can yield a downright dangerous outcome. Take a look at any area hit by a natural disaster resulting in a long-term power outage: after a few days, fresh food gets scarce, clean drinking water starts to dwindle, and anyone relying on electrical medical equipment is in really rough shape. Our lives depend on electricity, and when it’s not available, things go downhill very, very fast.

Home batteries can be used as a short-term back-up power solution for any home, giving you the peace of mind of real energy security. Home batteries don’t have to be charged up by solar panels--they can store power straight from the grid as well, giving you some stored-up power ready for use in the case that the grid goes down. The more home battery storage you have, the longer you’ll be able to maintain resilient power for your home, even when the grid goes completely dark. Unlike generators, home batteries provide seamless, silent energy that doesn’t harm the environment. It’s power you can feel good about.

Home batteries are small, indoor/outdoor boxes that can be installed on pretty much any residential property. Since the demand for residential and commercial energy storage is always rising, prices are dropping all the time. In fact, Swell has a program called EnergyShield, which offers a home battery plan that starts at just $1 a day. It’s a bundled package of premium black panel solar generation and a compact lithium-ion storage cell that provides total security for your home, no matter what happens.

This is why we agree with Elon Musk when he says that everyone needs a home battery. Not only does everyone need one, but now, they’re economically within most everyone’s grasp. Hit up a Swell representative if you’re on Team Musk, and want to continue the conversation.