Renewable energy sources provide a fantastic way to help lower your home’s carbon emissions, and the right investments can help give your home the safety, freedom and control you need, all while saving money (and energy) in the process.
Sound too good to be true? It's not! OhmConnect has teamed up with SunPower, a leading residential solar energy company, to help you get there with their SunVault® Storage solar battery systems. Here's how OhmConnect members can make the most of energy-saving events (and get rewarded) by making the solar switch.
First things first, what is a solar battery anyways, and how do they help power your home?
Let's break it down step by step — starting with solar power.
Solar power provides a renewable supply of electricity. It's consistent, low-maintenance and can help you reduce your utility bills — plus, installation is more accessible and affordable these days than ever! Solar panels, typically installed on your home's roof, absorb light from the sun, converting it into electrical energy used to power the devices and appliances you rely on.
But in order to maximize the energy your system produces, you need somewhere to store it! This is where solar batteries come in. Solar batteries store the excess solar energy you generate, creating a reliable source of power you can draw from to power your home.
Batteries like SunPower's SunVault Storage system are made from Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) - a battery technology that can support varied needs through system capacities ranging from 13 kWh to whole-home backup. The average household consumes 30 kWh per day. And, the larger your system size (aka, the more kWh), the more energy your battery can store, leaving more room for backup power during outages and additional capacity to supplement your everyday electrical needs, especially during your utility’s peak demand times.
We love SunPower's SunVault Storage system for its intuitive monitoring capabilities and various settings that allow you to conserve energy, run essential appliances and devices during power outages and cut costs during peak times through energy arbitrage. All of these features can be easily accessed and managed through the mySunPower ® mobile app. But if you're looking to explore other options, it's important to remember that not all solar batteries are created equally. Consider factors like how you'll be able to manage the stored power, warranty options and the amount of storage a system offers when deciding how best to invest.
The benefits of investing in a solar battery system are plentiful. Let's run through a few of the biggest takeaways — starting with you.
Solar storage offers independence, flexibility and peace of mind for homeowners looking to lessen their reliance on the electrical grid. They empower homeowners by offering options for how to use their stored energy, whether that's sending excess power back to the grid (for further savings on your monthly bills) or storing it for future use during an emergency or high-demand periods (pssst, think OhmHours!).
Your solar battery gives you the ability to use stored power during times of peak use as well as stay powered on during unexpected outages. This means that as an OhmConnect member, you can drastically reduce your grid energy use during OhmConnect’s energy-saving events while still staying plugged in on the devices you need most. Getting rewarded while still catching up on the latest HBO shows? Yes, please!
Plus, as our weather systems become increasingly unreliable, the chances of getting caught off guard by an unpredictable event are, unfortunately, more likely than ever. But with backup energy stored in your solar battery system, you can have peace of mind during whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
And then, there are the ways that solar battery systems can benefit the community as a whole. For instance, solar energy systems can help to enhance grid reliability. The more homes that invest in renewable energy sources like solar and battery storage, the fewer homes remain entirely reliant on the electrical grid. This means that utility providers can focus on circulating energy to a smaller number of homes in the community, helping to better support your neighbors during high-demand times.
And finally, we can't talk about widespread benefits without stating the obvious. Solar power is a renewable energy source which means making the switch helps to support a move to cleaner, more sustainable living for our planet — and it’s more affordable than burning fossil fuels!
Now you might be thinking, sure, this all sounds great, but what will a home solar energy system cost me? In reality, the cost is an important factor to consider when deciding whether or not you're ready to make the switch.
The good news is, though, a new tax credit from the federal government's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is helping to make investing in solar and storage a little more accessible if you’re looking to purchase your system.
As of January 1st, 2023, you can now claim 30 percent of the cost of solar and storage investments (including spending related to labor, permits and inspections) with an uncapped limit on the total purchase price as a credit on your annual income taxes. The credit is available to be applied retroactively on upgrades made in 2022 and will be available to homeowners until 2032, although it's important to note that credit is expected to drop down to 22% starting in 2033.
Tax credits, unlike rebates, are applied directly to the amount of taxes you owe each year, working to offset your bill rather than providing a direct refund. This means savings may look different for everyone, so talk to your tax advisor if you're interested!
You can learn more about the IRA's new tax credit opportunities for 2023 in our blog post here.
Did you know that SunVault storage owners can now join the SunPower Virtual Power Plant powered by OhmConnect directly in the mySunPower app?
System owners can earn rewards by using storage reserves, helping the grid keep the lights on in your neighborhood and reducing the need for fossil-fuel burning power plants. The best part is, you're in control. You can change the battery's reserve level, opt the storage system out altogether and opt in and out of energy-saving events depending on what works for you! How cool is that?
As for those rewards, you can cash out via PayPal, select a gift card to your favorite store, enter weekly giveaways for tons of cool prizes and so much more! Ready to get started? Click here to learn more.