The basic case for going solar (without batteries) these days is quite straightforward: Electricity prices are high, and producing your own solar energy helps you reduce the amount of energy you need to purchase from the grid, thereby reducing your energy bill. Payback periods on batteries are in the range of 3-5 years in the right circumstances.
The problem is that not everyone is home to use their solar energy during the day. This is where battery storage comes in. Batteries offer the promise of making stored solar energy available even after the sun has gone down. Unfortunately, the price points for battery storage are still relatively high, making it difficult to find situations where they deliver attractive returns or make sense on pure financial grounds.
But batteries promise more than just financial benefits; households are attracted to the prospect of increased energy independence and having backup power in the event of a blackout. Furthermore, battery prices, while still relatively high, have entered the realm of the affordable – and the ‘early adopters’ are already making moves to have battery banks installed.
While payback periods for batteries can still frequently be in the 10+ year range, the households who are investing in them are just throwing their money around. Instead, the battery storage early adopter is someone looking for a balance between the advantages of increased energy independence and measurable energy bill savings. Even if the returns are not fantastic, they want their batteries to work to earn their keep; this means a system that is as well-suited to their needs as possible.