Wildfire Risks in California Leave 48K Customers Without Power

by Anna Gretz
October 1, 2019
Home Battery

PG&E is shutting off power to thousands in California. Home batteries are looking really good right now.

Things are getting really dark in Northern California. It's dry. It's windy. And PG&E knows that's a recipe for wildfire disaster. That's why they shut down their equipment Wednesday morning to lower the risk. It sounds like a smart idea, but it leaves 48,200 customers without power.

Feel like this has happened before? You're right. In fact, it's the second time it's happened this week. On Monday, 24,000 customers were left in the dark because of similar threats, and the power stayed off until 6 PM.

Further south, SoCalEdison is thinking about something similar. 152,000 customers are "under consideration" for a public safety shutoff if things start looking bad.

Are there any rules about these shutoffs? Actually, there are. The California Public Utilities Commission gave previous permission for electric utilities to shut off power whenever they thought their equipment could cause a wildfire. Dry days with high winds fit that bill.

It's frustrating, but there is a good reason for the power outages. Remember 2019 Camp Fire? (California's deadliest, most destructive fire ever?) Southern California Edison is pretty sure their equipment was responsible, and they don't want to see a repeat. So, they're shutting the equipment down, and with it, a lot of people's power.

In times like these, we NEED home batteries.

When power starts getting shut off, the conversation about home batteries heats up.

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.”

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.