All residential solar energy systems connect to the main electrical grid through their utility company. The weather is unpredictable, so you can’t rely on solar energy system as a sole power source. Otherwise on cloudy days or during the winter you wouldn’t be able to get the power you need to run your household.
How Residential Solar Works
There will be times when a house running solar uses more energy than it produces. At those times the household will need to purchase energy from the utility company from the grid. Peak solar energy generates through out the day, when power demand is lowest on the grid and production is highest. Meanwhile, at night energy stops generating and power demand increases.
If a system produces more energy than it is using this energy is sent back to the grid. In exchange the customer receives a credit from their utility company, which helps cover their monthly utility bill. This process is referred to as net metering.
While it’s nice to get a credit, utility companies have begun to reduce the credit rate. Customers that add batteries to a system can now store the surplus electricity their system generates. With batteries homeowners are in total control of the energy surplus they are generating. This allows using more of your own power at night (lowering off-peak usage rates) or dispense the excess during “on-peak” hours when rates will increase.
For SDGE customers rates only increase on weekdays from June through October (from 4pm to 9pm). This accounts for 100 total days in a calendar year that you could use a battery system to sell energy back to the grid (sometimes referred to as “arbitration” or “energy shaving”). The same benefits of adding a battery system to avoid these peak rates can be achieved by adding panels to a system. For the average customer increasing energy production by 5 to 20 percent will help them exceed their annual energy consumption.
Panels or Batteries?
Should you add panels or a battery to your solar energy system? Currently you will save far more by adding panels to your existing system. Adding a battery in San Diego will provide a reliable back-up power supply to a home. It will help in the event of a power outage, but it won’t help save much money presently. As energy rates continue to change there may soon come a time when adding a battery to your system is an easy decision to make. But for now, you have a multitude of options depending on your energy needs.
Sunline is here for all of your solar storage solutions – contact us today for a free consultation.