In this ongoing series, we look at how people across the United States are finding new ways to save money and reduce carbon emissions through clean energy through the Energy Reduction Act. ‘inflation. In this scenario, a couple in California wants to add a solar battery to their rooftop solar system to provide resiliency during power outages. But would the investment pay off?
Kate and her husband, Sam, live in a suburban neighborhood of Stockton, outside of San Francisco. They have had several outages this year. In fact, the power outages got so bad over the summer that the food in their refrigerator went bad. Kate is a nurse at the local hospital, but Sam works from home and it’s been a tough summer for him. When the electricity was cut off for three days in a row during a end of summer Heat wavehe finally decided something had to give.
When Kate and Sam bought their house two years ago, they were happy to see that the previous owners had recently installed SunPower solar panels on the roof. The 10kW system significantly reduced their electricity bill, which saved more money. While talking with a neighbor down the street, the couple also learned that SunPower’s SunVault storage system can be used to generate additional energy savings. SunVault gives homeowners the ability to choose what they want to do with their excess electricity. While storage for grid outages is certainly the most talked about feature, the solar storage system can also be activated during peak hours to cover additional electricity costs. This feature, coupled with its ability to trip in the event of a power outage, made SunVault a very attractive clean energy solution for Kate and Sam.
Kate has seen the massive investment in backup generators the hospital has had to make to keep power going. Adding energy storage to his home’s solar system always seemed out of reach financially. But she heard about the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act on her way to work and now she wonders if the incentives might improve their situation. She and Sam are willing to use at least some of their $300-400 a month savings from solar power if solar storage can guarantee they will never lose power.
How could the IRA help them reach their solar storage + goal?
Let’s look at the numbers. To get the most out of their 10kW solar system, Kate and Sam should invest in a 13kWh energy storage system. Fortunately, their SunPower solar panels pair well with SunPower Sunvault energy storage system, which ensures seamless transfers from mains power to battery power and vice-versa.The SunVault allows customers to set their own preferences for storing energy for later use or returning it to the grid for even greater savings. They can choose to always have enough backup power, use stored power to charge an electric vehicle, or share any excess with the grid when their solar power is really firing up, which frequently happens during the long summer days.
The IRA provides for a 30% tax credit on the purchase of an energy storage system. How much would that save Kate and Sam?
SunVault cost (including installation): $18,000
30% investment tax credit: $12,600
How long would it take Kate and Sam to see a return on their energy storage investment?
Current annual savings with solar power: $4,500
Additional savings with energy storage: $60
Monthly energy storage loan: $90
Kate and Sam decide that making sure their electricity never goes out is worth the small monthly investment, especially as California moves toward a zeroreport energy coming.
Learn about energy storage and calculate your backup potential here.
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