Urgent Alert

Battery storage

Keep the power on during planned or unplanned outages

Extend power for your essential devices and vital equipment during outages.

These items may include:

  • Medical equipment
  • Refrigeration
  • Air conditioning or electric heating
  • Lighting
  • Electric well pumps

 

To protect customers and communities, PG&E may enable Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS). Or, we may need to shut off power for safety when wildfire risk is high. We’re here to help you prepare.

Find out if battery storage is right for your home

Through the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), PG&E provides incentives when you install a battery storage system and offers increased incentives if you are more vulnerable during power outages (as long as program funds are available).

Learn about Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Backup power

  • We may need to turn power off for safety during periods of high fire risk.
  • Wildfire safety outages have the potential to last several days.
  • Batteries can supply you with backup power.

The length of time your system can provide backup power is based on the size of the battery and the amount of power you need.

  • A battery storage system paired with solar can help power devices for days.
  • Your storage provider can help you assess how long a battery is expected to last.

 

Reduce energy costs

If you install battery storage but don’t own an electric vehicle, you may qualify for the Home Charging EV2A rate. As of January 19, 2024, there were about 10,000 storage-only participants. Space is limited to 30,000. 

The two main function of battery storage systems

Charging

  • If your home has a rooftop solar system, a battery storage system can store the power it generates. 
  • Store power from the grid when electricity is less expensive. Then use this "cheaper" stored energy at a later time. 
  • Prepare for an outage by storing energy. Some storage providers can send your battery a signal to fully charge before a storm or planned outage.

 

Discharging:

Your home can use the energy stored by your battery to power your home: 

  • When the price of electricity from the grid is more expensive
  • At night when your solar system isn’t producing (if your home has solar)
  • During an outage when you need backup power

home battery storage for solar

important notice icon Note: You do not need a home solar system to benefit from battery storage. A battery storage system can charge solely from PG&E’s grid. Pairing solar with your battery, however, may help you save on your bill and make backup power last longer.

 

Key components of a battery storage system for homes

 

  • Battery: The batteries used for most home storage systems are Lithium-ion. These batteries are compact. They can charge and discharge quickly and efficiently. Other types of batteries may be less efficient and less flexible.
  • Inverter: Inverters help convert battery power to the power used by your home and PG&E’s grid. Inverters also set the upper limit of how much power your battery can provide at any given moment.
  • Wiring and backup power configuration: Your battery can be set up to power your whole home or only essential loads during a power outage. Under a “whole home” setup, power needs to be manually reduced so the battery doesn’t drain too quickly. This may be challenging if you are not at home when the outage begins. Under a “partial home” setup, your battery may power only essential devices. This setup can reduce power use and help devices stay powered longer. Your storage provider can help you decide which setup is the best fit for your needs.
  • Smart energy management software and communication technology: Your battery will most likely have special software. This software checks system performance to ensure the unit is safe and reliable. It can be set up to charge your battery when energy is cheaper and discharge when it’s more expensive. If a power outage is expected, some storage providers can send a signal to your battery to begin charging.

Determine your primary energy goal

Please talk to your storage provider about your energy goals. They can suggest sizing and programming for your needs.

 

Find the right contractor

Choosing the right contractor to install your system and connect you to the PG&E grid is vital. Use the following guidelines when evaluating your vendor options:
 

  1. Get multiple bids from different storage providers.
  2. Compare the following when you are evaluating bids:
    • System cost.
    • The amount of energy the battery can hold and provide at any given moment. Check with your storage provider to ensure the battery has a power rating that will meet your needs. Some appliances like pumps and air conditioners may need more power to start up than to run. They may require a special battery inverter.
    • Warranty and provided maintenance. To get incentives through the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), the warranty must be for 10+ years. It should also note how battery age will affect performance over time.
    • Bill savings you expect to see.
       
  3. Ensure you are working with a credible provider:
  4. Ask your storage provider these questions:
    • Backup power:
      • How should the battery be set up to power my devices during a power outage that may last several days?
      • How are you ensuring the battery’s reliability to provide backup power?
      • If an outage occurs, will the system be able to switch from grid to battery power?
      • Do you offer a system that signals the battery to charge when a power outage is approaching?
    • Financial return:
      • Will I save money over the life of the battery?
      • What is my expected return on investment?
    • Safety, equipment warranties and maintenance:
      • What is the warranty on the battery and associated equipment?
      • Who is responsible for ongoing maintenance?
      • How are maintenance and repairs handled? Are these covered in the purchase or lease warranty in the contract?
      • If the hardware fails, does your company get an automatic notification? If so, do you send technicians out to address the issue?
      • How can I monitor usage and performance?
      • How is the system prevented from overheating?
      • If I lease the battery, will I own the equipment at the end of the lease commitment?

 

Explore financial options

Once you decide that a battery is right for you, you can:

  • Buy your system directly
  • Get a loan to finance the purchase, or
  • Lease your battery system

Leases generally last 10-15 years. Be sure to look at all options before choosing how to finance the system.

Note: To understand the benefits and risks of each, check out the Solar Consumer Protection Guide (PDF). Starting on page 12, it has information on solar financing that is also applicable to storage.

 

Save with incentives

Consider the following to determine if and how SGIP incentives could work for you:

  • Higher incentives are given to those most in need. You may be eligible depending on your:
    • Income status
    • Energy requirements
    • Location
    • Likelihood to experience a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)

More information about funding, incentive rates and program rules can be found on our SGIP webpage.
 

  • Tax credit for solar paired with storage
    • You may receive a Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) if your battery storage system is paired with renewable energy.
    • In August 2022, the ITC was raised to 30% for installations that take place between 2022-2032.

Frequently asked questions

The financial incentives that pay for your battery don't count as income. So, your eligibility for MediCAL/Medicare benefits won’t be affected.

The information on your application is only used to confirm SGIP eligibility. It will not impact your immigration status.

Pairing your battery with solar can benefit you at any time.

 

During an outage:

A battery storage system paired with solar can help power devices for days. It also lets you recharge your battery during the day to make your backup power last longer. How long your system can provide backup power is determined by:

  • Your battery size
  • Your critical energy needs
  • Weather conditions (if paired with rooftop solar)

Talk to a battery storage provider to learn more.

 

On an everyday basis:

If you are on a PG&E Time-of-Use rate or Home Charging rate, you can charge your battery when power is cheaper. You can also use it in your home when the cost of power is higher. This helps you get the most bill savings. It also reduces your carbon impact.

Before you invest in a system, we suggest you review the expected financial return.

If you rent, please first work with your landlord to determine if you're able to install a home battery.

Yes, batteries can supply backup power during an outage. If a power outage is expected, some storage providers can send a signal to your battery to begin charging. This can help you stay powered for as long as possible.

During a power outage, your solar system will not provide power to your home unless designed to do so. This is to ensure your solar system doesn’t send power to the grid when it could be unsafe for electrical workers. For more details on accessing your home’s solar power during an outage, call your solar provider.

Ready to go solar? Learn about your solar options.

How long a home battery charge will last is determined by:

  • Your battery size
  • Your critical energy needs
  • Weather conditions (if paired with rooftop solar)

Household usage varies and depends on factors such as:

  • The size of your home
  • The amount of power your devices and appliances need
  • The weather (you’re more likely to use more power on hot days for air conditioning)

Note: Every home is different. Please work with your storage provider to find the best option for you.

Most battery storage systems use Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries. In most instances, the battery and the components that come with it should last at least 10 years. They should also be warrantied for 10 years.

No. Having battery storage does not mean that you are off the grid. Batteries do not generate power. They need to be charged either by PG&E's grid or by home solar systems. Most customers need grid power to support their needs.

You/your household

  • Decide if you are interested in a battery storage system.
  • Choose a qualified battery storage provider (see Getting Started" above).
  • Determine if you are eligible for SGIP incentives. Your community partner or battery storage provider can help you learn more.

The battery storage provider

  • Submits an application.
  • Helps you choose the right system for your home.
  • Programs the battery to best fit your needs.
  • Describes how the battery works and answers your questions.
  • Installs your system.
  • Deals with any battery performance issues after it is installed.

PG&E

  • Reviews the application.
  • Completes any required system upgrades.
  • Gives approval when it is safe to connect your system to the grid.
  • Provides SGIP funds to either you or your battery storage provider.

Maintenance and repair are often included in the contract. Discuss this with your storage provider before you sign.

 

Your system may come with remote monitoring software. This means that, if hardware fails, the battery company will be notified. The company can then send technicians out to address the problem. We recommend you check your contract for these types of services.

Home battery storage system size mostly depends on your energy needs. Most battery storage providers offer a range of sizes. For a typical home, a garage will provide enough space to install the battery. Your storage provider can help you select the right place for your unit.

Most suppliers can offer you both indoor and outdoor options. If you get an outdoor system, make sure the enclosure is Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-certified or National Electrical Manufacturers Association-rated.

Battery storage systems are generally safe. The main concern is overheating. Your provider should prevent this by:

 

  • Checking the cooling system
  • Separating the battery cells
  • Using packs with built-in safety circuits
  • Monitoring the system temperature
  • Observing charging/discharging rates
  • Providing remote shutoff software

Make sure all hardware meets safety criteria from Underwriter Laboratories. and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Ask a provider to confirm their hardware meets these standards.

The noise generated by a battery storage system is minimal. It generally will not interfere with normal activities in your home. Peak volume is usually less than or equal to the noise level of an air conditioner.

Battery storage for businesses

A battery storage system may be right for your business if:

  1. You're looking to manage energy costs.
  2. You want to keep the power on during a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) or other type of outage.
  3. You want to harness the full benefit of your investment in solar energy.

Our battery storage-specific rate schedules and incentives further increase the value of an investment in battery storage for those who qualify. Visit the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).

 

Potential benefits

 

Save on bills

  • If your business faces high demand charges, adding an energy storage system will save you money.
  • Deploy your stored energy during periods of peak demand, when energy is most expensive.
  • PG&E offers a range of rate options for customers who use distributed generation technologies. 

 

Maximize solar or renewable investments

Get the most out of your investment in rooftop solar.

  1. Store solar power during the day.
  2. Deploy that clean energy during peak-cost periods when it will save you the most on your electricity bill.
  3.  Support the California power grid and the environment.

 

Backup power

  • PG&E must shut power off for safety during periods of high fire risk.
  • Outages have the potential to last multiple days.
  • During these outages, batteries can provide critical backup power for your business.
  • How much storage do you need? Your storage provider can help you assess how long a battery or a battery-and-solar system will last during an outage.

 

Potential incentives

Explore the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) and find incentives for installing a battery storage system at your business. Also, find details on eligibility, current incentives rates and how to find an SGIP-approved developer. Visit the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Is battery storage right for your business?

How it works

There are two main functions of a batter storage system:

  • If your business has a rooftop solar system, a battery storage system can store the power it generates. 
  • Store power from the grid when electricity is less expensive. Then use this "cheaper" stored energy at a later time. 
  • Prepare for an outage by storing energy. Some storage providers can send your battery a signal to fully charge before a storm or planned outage.

Your business can use the energy stored by your battery to power your business: 

  • When the price of electricity from the grid is more expensive
  • At night when your solar system isn’t producing (if your business has solar)
  • During an outage when you need backup power

Commercial battery systems are often sold in two-hour or four-hour discharging capacities. However, the exact amount of time your battery could be discharged will depend on your business: 

  • Needs
  • Budget
  • The technology you deploy

Renewable Generation/Storage Rates

  • Option R rate modifier for large commercial customers with renewable generation or storage
  • Option S rate modifier for large commercial storage
  • B1-ST rate modifier for storage

Eligibility:

“Option R” is a limited rate option available to customers who:

  • Install solar, wind, fuel cells or other eligible onsite Renewable Distributed Generation Technologies (as defined by CSI or SGIP)
  • Install behind-the-meter storage whether a) it is paired with renewable distributed generation; or b) it is standalone storage
  • Use Permanent Load Shifting (PLS) technologies

Benefits

Option R lowers the demand charge and increases the energy charges during the peak and part peak periods on PG&E’s non-residential “B” and “E” rate schedules.

 

Additional Requirements:

  • Enrollment on one of PG&E’s non-residential “B” rates or “E” rates of B19 Mandatory or Voluntary, B20, E19 Mandatory or Voluntary, or E20.
  • Eligible renewable generation systems and PLS systems must have a net renewable generating capacity or load shift capacity equal to or greater than 15% of the customer’s annual peak demand, as recorded over the previous 12 months.
  • For standalone storage, the system must have a minimum discharge capacity equal to or greater than 20% of the customer’s annual peak demand, as recorded over the previous 12 months.
  • There is no maximum limitation on individual customer peak demand, however, limitations on maximum peak demand that are required on other schedules or programs are not waived by enrollment onto Option R.

important notice icon Note: For arrangements with benefitting/aggregated accounts

  1. The generating account is eligible for Option R
  2. The benefitting accounts for NEMA, NEM2A and RES-BCT may be eligible if they have a generator on the benefitting account that independently meets the Option R requirements (note: this type of setup is uncommon). Otherwise, benefitting accounts are not eligible.

Enrollment cap

Total enrollment under Option R is capped at 600 Megawatts (MW) in PG&E’s service area.

 

The table below shows the current, reserved and remaining Option R capacity in MWs as of the date shown. The table will be updated monthly until the 600 MW cap is reached.

 

Last updated:  12/21/23

Reservation process

To reserve capacity on the Option R rate, email the following to OptionR@pge.com:

  1. Name of customer of record for the service agreement
  2. PG&E interconnection application ID
  3. Service agreement ID (SAID) that will be served by the system
  4. Selected rate (B19, B19-V, B20, E19, E19-V, E20 )
  5. Technology you are installing to qualify for the rate
  6. The kW capacity you would like to reserve for the project
  7. Your customer-signed PG&E interconnection agreement

 

Once submitted, your reservation request will be checked for completeness, and you will be notified of the status of your request within five business days. If there is not sufficient capacity available for your project, you will be offered a place on the waitlist.

 

PG&E will check if you qualify for the rate after you receive Permission To Operate (PTO) your system.

 

Reservation period and extensions

 

Once your reservation is confirmed, the reserved capacity will be held for 18 months. If your project does not reach PTO within 18 months, you may request up to two (2) six-month extensions.

 

To request an extension, email OptionR@pge.com prior to the end of the initial 18-month reservation period, as extensions are not automatically granted.

 

If a pending service upgrade by PG&E delays your project’s PTO beyond your two (2) six-month extensions, the reservation will be extended until PG&E performs the needed upgrades and you receive PTO.

 

Already Received Permission to Operate (PTO)

Have you received PTO for your project and already have a reservation? Simply reply to the reservation confirmation email you received from PG&E with your PTO letter and request to be put on your chosen rate.

 

Have you already received PTO for your project but do not have a reservation? Email the following to OptionR@pge.com:

  1. Permission to Operate (PTO)
  2. Name of customer of record for the service agreement
  3. PG&E interconnection application ID
  4. The service agreement ID (SAID) that will be served by the system
  5. Selected rate (B19, B19-V, B20, E19, E19-V, E20)
  6. Technology you have installed to qualify for the rate
  7. The kW capacity you would like to reserve for the project
  8. Your customer-signed PG&E interconnection agreement

Once PG&E has received your request for an Option R reservation, we will process it to ensure available capacity.

 

important notice icon Note: It may take two or more billing cycles before your bill reflects the new Option R rate. The new bill date for the Option R rate will begin from your requested enrollment date.

Eligibility

“Option S” is a limited rate option available to customers who install storage.

 

Benefits

Without Option S, customers on the “B” rates are charged demand charges ($/kW) on a monthly basis. With Option S, a portion of the demand charge revenue is collected through daily demand charges and monthly demand charges are lower than those for customers who are on the regular “B” rates. This reduces exposure to higher demand charges that result from infrequent periods of elevated load.

 

How it Works

  • When demand charges are assessed monthly, a period of elevated load within the month sets the applicable demand charges for that month.
  • When demand charges are assessed daily, a period of elevated load will result in higher demand charges for that day, but a customer is able to manage demand charges on other days in that month.
  • This can result in a customer on Option S paying a monthly sum of demand charges that is less than what their monthly demand charges would have been on a regular business rate.

Consult with your storage provider to see if you would benefit from the Option S rate modifier.

 

Additional Requirements:

  • Enrollment on one of PG&E’s non-residential “B” rates of B19 Mandatory or Voluntary, or B20.
  • The rated capacity of the installed storage system must be equivalent to at least 10% of the customer’s peak demand over the previous 12 months

important notice icon Note: Customers on the following tariffs are not eligible for Option S:

  1. NEMV, NEMVMASH NEM2V, NEM2VMSH, NEM2VSOM
  2. NEMA, NEM2A, NEMBIO, NEMFC, RES-BCT
  3. Customers with EMR meters
  4. Customers on 100% Standby (SB) rates

Enrollment cap

Enrollment on the Option S rate is capped at 150 Megawatts (MW) in PG&E’s service area. There are three separate 50 MW caps for each of the rate categories

 

The table below shows the current, reserved and remaining Option S capacity in MWs as of the date shown. The table will be updated monthly until the 50 MW cap for each rate is reached.

 

Last updated: 12/21/2023

Reservation process

To reserve capacity on the Option S rate, email the following information to OptionS@pge.com:

  1. Name of customer of record for the service agreement
  2. PG&E interconnection application ID
  3. The service agreement ID (SAID) that will be served by the storage system
  4. Selected rate (B19, B19-V, B20)
  5. The kW capacity you would like to reserve for the project
  6. Your customer-signed PG&E interconnection agreement

Once submitted, your reservation request will be checked for completeness, and you will be notified of the status of your request within five business days. If there is not sufficient capacity available for your project, you will be offered a place on the waitlist.

 

PG&E will check if you qualify for the rate after you receive Permission To Operate (PTO) your storage system.

 

Reservation period and extensions

Once your reservation is confirmed, the reserved capacity will be held for 18 months. If your project does not reach PTO within 18 months, you may request up to two (2) six-month extensions.

 

To request an extension, email OptionS@pge.com prior to the end of the initial 18-month reservation period, as extensions are not automatically granted.

 

If a pending service upgrade by PG&E delays your project’s PTO beyond your two (2) six-month extensions, the reservation will be extended until PG&E performs the needed upgrades and you receive PTO.

 

Already Received Permission to Operate (PTO)

Have you received PTO for your project and already have a reservation? Simply reply to the reservation confirmation email you received from PG&E with your PTO letter and request to be put on your chosen rate.

 

Have you already received PTO for your project but do not have a reservation? Email the following to OptionS@pge.com:

  1. Permission to Operate (PTO)
  2. Name of customer of record for the service agreement
  3. PG&E interconnection application ID
  4. Service agreement ID (SAID) that will be served by the storage system
  5. Selected rate (B19, B19-V, B20)
  6. kW capacity you would like to reserve for the project
  7. Customer-signed PG&E Interconnection Agreement

Once PG&E has received your request for an Option S reservation, we will process it to ensure available capacity.

 

important notice icon Note: It may take two or more billing cycles before your bill reflects your new Option S rate. The new bill date for the Option S rate will begin from your requested enrollment date.

  • Has a bigger difference between peak and off-peak energy prices than the B1 rate. 
  • Can save you money when you store off-peak energy to use during peak periods.

Talk with a storage developer to see if the B1-ST is right for your business.

Getting started with battery storage for your business

Talk with your contractor about programming the battery to meet your energy goal.

  • Achieve energy cost savings through demand charge reduction and reduction in peak use
  • Maximize your solar or renewable investment
  • Have backup power for your property

Choosing the right contractor to install your system and connect you to the PG&E grid is vital. Use the following guidelines when evaluating your vendor options:

 

  • Get multiple bids from different storage providers.
  • Questions to ask your contractor:
    • How long will the battery storage system be able to offset your energy needs? This is measured in energy (kilowatts) over time (hours), or kilowatt hours (kWh). 
    • What is the maximum energy (kW) that can be discharged by the battery? This is important for managing demand charges.
    • What functionality, automation, and reliability are built into the energy management software?
    • How long is the warranty? We advise 10+ years.
    • What kind of maintenance is included?
    • What other projects has the developer completed?
    • How much are their past customers saving?
    • Am I on a rate schedule with demand charges? 
    • If I am on a rate schedule, how much savings should I expect on-demand charges?
    • If considering leasing, who is responsible for the equipment at the end of the lease commitment? 
    • Do you have an option to buy the equipment? 
    • Who is responsible for disposal?
    • What battery safety measures are being taken to prevent the system from overheating?
    • How is maintenance and repair handled? 
    • Is maintenance covered in the purchase or lease warranty in the contract?
    • In the case of hardware failure, does the battery company receive an automatic alert? 
    • In the case of a failure, do they send a technician out to address the issue?
    • How can I monitor usage, performance, and bill savings?

  • The battery's ability to reduce electricity bills depends on several variables:
    • The energy use of your specific business
    • Your PG&E rate schedule
    • Weather

Talk to your contractor about how much you can expect to save.

 

Once you decide that a battery is right for your business, you have the option to either buy or lease your battery system. Lease terms vary from 3-15 years. Be sure to fully investigate all options before selecting financing. 

The PG&E Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) program provides financial incentives for commercial customers installing qualifying battery storage for more than just backup use.

 

Consider the following to help determine if and how incentives could work for you:

  • Incentives decline over time, so the amount of your rebate depends on when you install storage.
    • Incentive rules prohibit energy storage systems from being used solely as backup power.
  • Program rules require commercial energy storage systems to discharge a minimum 52 times per program year to be eligible for the incentive. Talk with your contractor about programming the battery to comply with these rules.
  • Talk to your contractor about whether incentives will be routed to you directly or built into the contract.

For more information on available funding, incentive rates and program rules, review the Self-Generation Incentive Program.

 

Demand Response Programs

  • Owning battery storage enables business customers to participate in PG&E's Demand Response programs.
  • Customers can receive compensation from PG&E for reducing the on-site energy usage when overall demand for electricity is highest (known as peak demand "events").
  • By agreeing to charge the battery system prior to these events and discharge during these events, you could save money and help the power grid.

For more information on program eligibility, rules and deadlines, review our Demand Response programs.

Frequently asked questions

Battery storage systems are generally very safe. The primary safety concern is the potential for overheating. Your contractor should address overheating through several safety measures, including:

 

  • Ensuring an adequate cooling system for the batteries
  • The inclusion of dividers between individual battery cells
  • Electronic protection circuits built into the battery pack
  • Real-time monitoring of system temperature, rate of charging and discharging
  • Remote shut-off via smart management software

Customers should confirm with prospective battery storage providers that all included hardware (not just the battery) meets the safety criteria of reliable third-parties. UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association set safety standards for most battery storage components.

The lifespan of your battery will depend on the type of battery technology and the manner of its application. For a basic, Lithium-Ion (Li Ion) battery, warranties are usually 10 years but vary.

Discuss the maintenance of the battery with your developer before buying it. Maintenance and repair are typically included in the purchase or lease contract.

The management software included with each battery storage system allows for round-the-clock remote monitoring and adjustment of performance. In the case of hardware failure, some battery companies receive automatic alerts. They can send field service personnel out to address any problems.

System size depends on the customer's energy needs and battery technology selected. Almost every battery storage company offers a scalable technology. Most design storage systems according to a business's energy use and site constraints. Sizes can range from a small room to large battery containers on a rooftop or an unused outside space. Your contractor can help you select the right place for the battery storage unit.

Most battery storage suppliers offer both indoor and outdoor options.

Note: If installing an outdoor system, ensure that the battery storage enclosure meets the safety standards of UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Your contractor will handle the installation and interconnection process. It’s a good idea to talk through the steps, costs and expectations with your contractor ahead of time. Learn more about interconnection and timelines.

Visit customer Interconnection essentials

Learn more about the interconnection process for multiple technologies, such as PV and storage.

Visit the Net Energy Metering Multiple Tariff overview

Learn more about the interconnection process for Energy Storage.

Visit the energy storage interconnection overview

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