Households across the US would not be able to function without a steady or consistent supply of electricity for their many devices inside the home. American homes are full of appliances and running electrical operations, like never before.
Homeowners rely on all sorts of systems to run the home, stay entertained and make their life easier. This means an increasing demand for energy. The main problem here is that while energy use increases, so do the cost.
Electricity bills continue to rise for many homes, businesses and other consumers. Some struggle to pay their power bills and need an alternative solution. A battery power back-up could be the answer to the problem.
Batteries Help Reduce Electricity Bills When Off-grid Solutions Are Too Drastic
The alternative for many Americans is to go off the grid – either partially or entirely. There are some that install solar systems and other renewable generators for a clean energy supply. Some do so with such efficiency that they don’t have to worry about high energy bills ever again.
Others have a couple of panels, or other pieces of tech, to lighten the load and reduce reliance on the grid. This lowers costs and creates a better understanding of energy use. One of the best ways to do this is to install a battery.
Batteries in the home are more appealing for the following reasons:
- they are a great way of saving money on electricity bills
- they work with renewable energy generation to cut energy usage
- they store energy via grid-based power for more efficient usage
- they provide effective backup power for emergencies
- they are now more user-friendly
Cutting Costs with more Efficient Energy Usage
The problem with grid-based power is that we don’t always pay attention to how much energy runs the home. Also, we fail to notice how much we waste. Battery-powered systems provide a more precise account of usage and store the excess. This means that homeowners can better manage their energy use. In turn, this limits reliance on the grid and overall costs for electricity bills.
How Do Users Save Money With These Batteries?
It is all about buying the grid energy down those cheaper, off-peak hours and storing it up in the battery pack. Owners can then use that store in times of need and high usage to cut their costs. So power companies will buy surplus energy back to the grid in certain areas. This combination of tactics can make a massive difference to all those struggling with energy costs. The only problem is that it does require a little more management and thought than a typical system.
User-friendly Backup Power Solution
This store of energy offers a source of power to call upon when needed. This is perfect for occasions when energy usage may spike, or for power cuts. Parties and other events in the home can be costly regarding energy. They may leech plenty of grid energy, leading to big spikes on the electricity bills. Power supplied by the batteries eliminates this need to turn to the grid. The savings could be significant.
Then there is the use of the battery in an emergency. Power cuts and blackouts are a nightmare in many communities. An hour without power can be a nightmare for businesses reliant on lighting, heating and computer systems. A natural disaster could wipe out the energy supply for days.
One solution here is to use a generator, but this can be expensive. A battery power back-up covers small periods without grid energy with no extra cost. Electricity use may become limited in this period. However, it is better than nothing.
User-friendly Battery Solution Means More People Will Save Money
The great thing about modern battery packs is their development and suitability for the modern home. These batteries are more efficient than ever before. This is thanks to research and development of their tech and capabilities.
The main starting point here is the capacity of the battery. As time goes by, the capacity continues to increase. This allows for a more efficient storage solution for the home, but also for large institutions with high energy demands. There is also the ongoing development of the type of battery used.
There was a time where lithium-ion was the new, impressive way to store power. Today they are the standard for all kinds of electronic devices. Most battery power back-up systems continue high-capacity lithium-ion models. However, many developers are also keen to look into the potential of gel solutions. Technological development continues with the converters, safety features, and other connections.
They are also more appealing to consumers because of their decreasing size and lower costs. The capacity of these devices may be on the rise, but the actual size of the device has shrunk. There was a time with battery power backup solutions were unappealing because of their size.
Homeowners needed a considerable amount of spare space in which to house them. Today, these batteries are small enough to fit on the wall – and they aren’t all completely ugly. The increase in competition between brands also means falling costs. These batteries are surprisingly cheap compared to their predecessors. This means a solution that is affordable to many average homeowners.
Tesla leads a strong pack of developers with their Powerwall batteries.
Naturally, there is plenty of competition between developers to create the best possible battery. Any new area of technology and development soon leads to an opportunity for product creation and profit. Someone has to provide the best possible battery packs, at the best price, to ensure these great savings for consumers.
There are plenty of investors and developers that are eager to get ahead of the pack. The companies that are the front-runners include:
- LG ESS
The current Tesla Powerwall is the most well-known battery solution that can help with the electricity bill. This powerful beast offers a 14 kWh battery pack. This should store enough power to run a 1,000-square-foot house for a whole day. This is ideal for those that want to provide a safe back-up in times of emergencies.
The other benefit here is that this is a modular solution. Up to nine of these Powerwalls can fit together for an impressive backup solution. There are costs involved here. Each unit is $5,500 with a $1,500 installation charge. This is a great investment for many homes and businesses.
It is important to note here that this Powerwall is not new for 2017. Tesla leads the pack here because of this, not a first-gen product. Instead, this is an improvement on the 2015 Powerwall that wowed people two years ago. This highlights those developments in tech and shifts in consumer demand that shape the current industry.
Arpa-E Continues Research Into Battery Technology
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (Arpa-E) is a branch of the Department of Energy. They too have focused on the potential of battery solutions and new forms of technology.
Here the aim isn’t so heavily focused on the consumer market. Instead, Arpa-E looks at high-efficiency grids for disaster relief and military capabilities. A key focus here is a shift away from a contemporary lithium-ion solution to more effective tech. There is also a desire to make energy management more fun.
This final point is interesting because of the increased need for management of electricity with these battery solutions. Homeowners have to put the work in to make the savings and use the right source at the right time. User-friendly devices and apps are a crucial part of that.
LG Offers Alternative To Consumers
Then there is LG – an electronics company known for high-tech battery powered devices. This development is still pretty new in the US, but it has been selling in Europe and Australia. There are various solutions on the market for homeowners to consider. There is a choice of a 48V or 400V system with different capacities up to 9.8 (kWh). It isn’t the most impressive option so far, but it is the most well-known household name.
These affordable, accessible battery systems from Tesla and others are essential for decreasing energy bills.
There are lots of people that can benefit from the use of a battery power back-up in their building.
- homeowners can decrease utility bills and manage energy use more effectively
- businesses can save significant sums while running high-cost systems
- hospitals can enjoy a secure, 24-hour performance to help patients
- schools and colleges can run their tight budgets a little more efficiently.
The opportunities for businesses and their electricity bills are particularly exciting.
It is easy to focus on the impact of one battery in the home. Here we see the effect of those connected battery packs on larger buildings and outputs. The Tesla system, for example, is adaptable enough to suit businesses of different sizes. This approach can save thousands of dollars if implemented well.
There are many businesses in California and New York that are well aware of this potential. These states saw battery costs fall and utilities rise, leading to great savings. Recent developments in Georgia, Colorado, Michigan, Texas, Florida and New England saw a similar trend. Therefore, businesses here that invest in battery power back-ups are sure to save on their bills.
Future Outlook For Residential Batteries For Energy Storage
The problem with some of this scheme and hope with clean energy and off-grid solutions is the change of administration. There was a great hope for climate-friendly solutions under the Obama administration. The Trump administration has other priorities. Still, this doesn’t mean that citizens can’t still lower their electricity bills and enjoy reliable power back-up.
The biggest concern regarding electricity production is the plan to subsidize coal and nuclear energy. Experts say that this will cost US taxpayers somewhere close to $10.6bn annually. There is a great focus on coal for renewable energy and grid-based electricity.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry aims to boost coal and power plants to avoid power outages in “times of supply stress.” He refers to the recent rise in a natural disaster and the subsequent demand for grid power.
Then there is the plan to drop the electric vehicle tax credit. This takes the focus away from electric cars – which are sure to be the future – and back into outdated approaches. This would look to a loss of a $7,500 credit on the Tesla’s Model 3 among other models. It seems that Trump and Tesla aren’t on the same page at all.
This highlights a conflict of opinions between the Trump Administration and solar champions.
The idea here is that the US relies on grid-based energy so much that the US must subsidize its production. They seem to believe that this is the only way to handle the risk of power cuts during natural disasters.
Solar power systems and battery packs would solve that problem. When the grid energy goes out, the backup energy supply stored in the battery is used. It also ignores the fact that hurricanes can wipe out production in these plants if hit.
As for the cars, this just highlights the extent of the administration’s view on traditional energy sources. The good news is that even if they focus on coal, there is still room to save on electricity bills with a battery.
The Future of Energy Management Has To Be Battery Powered
It doesn’t matter who was first to the table with these battery packs. The important thing is that these companies continue to develop great tech in an accessible manner. This is the only way that they can help families and businesses to lower their energy costs.
Energy use in the US is unlikely to decrease. The threat of power outages has increased. The industry is changing, and energy use must adapt to it. Tesla is now leading the charge with what is suddenly a necessity for many homes, not a luxury.
This all means the need for a reliable source of energy. There are two routes here. The one favored by the government is to focus on coal and more traditional energy generation. The other is to turn to climate-friendly renewable sources. Whatever the future holds, there is no doubt that families and businesses will benefit from battery backup solutions.