The cost-saving benefits of solar energy have been well-known for years. From reducing your carbon footprint to cutting down on monthly energy bills, solar power is becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners. However, with the introduction of the Net Billing Tariff (NBT) program, many homeowners are now looking towards batteries to maximize their savings on solar energy. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of the NBT program and how adding a battery to your solar system can help you save even more.
Under the NBT program, Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE) pays homeowners wholesale rates for any excess electricity their solar systems generate and sell back to the grid. In return, PGE charges them retail rates for any electricity they purchase from the grid. The catch? The price PGE pays changes throughout the day, with the lowest rates paid when PGE needs the least amount of electricity and the highest rates paid when PGE needs the most.
This is where batteries come in. Solar panels typically generate electricity during the day, when energy prices are at their lowest, and homeowners tend to use the most energy in the evening, when electricity rates are at their highest. By adding a battery to their solar system, homeowners can store excess electricity generated during the day and use it to power their homes during peak hours, when energy prices are highest. This can significantly reduce their reliance on the grid, and subsequently, their energy bills.
Moreover, the State of California designed the NBT program to encourage homeowners to install batteries. Because of the imbalance between the times when solar energy is produced and when homeowners use energy, grid charges (the charge for kilowatt hours) are never reduced to zero. Therefore, most solar designers aim to produce roughly 100% of a homeowner’s historic consumption using a solar system, with batteries acting as an effective way to store excess energy – to be discharged in the evening.
In addition to cost savings, installing a battery provides homeowners with greater energy independence. In California, power outages are becoming increasingly common due to wildfire preparedness measures, and having a battery backup ensures that your home will have a reliable power source during these disruptions. Furthermore, batteries offer greater control over your energy usage, allowing you to monitor your energy consumption and adjust accordingly to optimize your savings.
The NBT program has been a game-changer for homeowners looking to maximize their savings from solar energy. By adding a battery to their solar system, homeowners can reduce their reliance on the grid and save money on energy bills. Moreover, batteries offer greater energy independence and control over energy usage, making them an increasingly attractive addition to solar systems. If you’re considering investing in solar energy, be sure to explore the benefits of adding a battery to your system.