Is battery storage right for you?


Battery storage can provide you additional control over powering your home, allowing you to keep essential devices (such as medical equipment, refrigeration, air conditioning, electric heating, lighting, and electric well pumps) powered during outages. Due to PG&E’s need to mitigate wildfire risk through Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events, customers may experience outages more frequently. PG&E is here to provide guidance on whether battery storage is right for you and how to invest in storage for your home.



You may be eligible for incentives


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). Incentives can cover up to the full cost of a battery if you live in a High Fire-Threat District or have been shut off in a PSPS event more than two times AND meet one of the following eligibility criteria:


  • Have incentives reserved in the income-qualified solar programs (SASH or DAC-SASH)
  • Use medical life support equipment
  • Meet income-qualified eligibility standards
  • Rely on an electric well pump for water

Learn about the Self-Generation Incentive Program


Understand the potential benefits of battery storage for your home

Batteries can supply backup power during power outages and help you manage your electricity use to save money. If you have solar, a battery enables you to use more of the power produced by your solar system.


Battery storage enables you to:


  • Have backup power: Due to the growing risk of wildfires in California, and the need to shut power off for safety during periods of high fire risk, outages have the potential to last several days. Batteries can provide critical backup power for your essential devices and appliances, such as medical equipment, refrigeration, air conditioning, electric heating, lighting, and electric well pumps.

    The length of time a battery storage system can provide backup power for your home depends on the size of the battery and the amount of electricity you need. Your storage provider should help you assess how long a battery — or a battery paired with solar — should be expected to last under backup power operation.

    Under favorable solar conditions with limited home electricity use, pairing solar with a battery storage system can help your devices stay powered for multiple days.
  • Potentially reduce your energy costs: If you are on a PG&E Time-of-Use rate or Home Charging rate, your battery can charge when electricity is cheaper and discharge for use in your home when electricity from the grid is more expensive.

    Explore rates that could be beneficial for battery storage customers:


    LEARN ABOUT THE HOME CHARGING (EV2A) RATE
    LEARN ABOUT TIME-OF-USE RATES

  • Use more of your at-home solar energy: If you have a solar system at your home, a battery can store any excess electricity generated by your solar system during the day for use after sunset. This can help you get the most bill savings under Net Energy Metering and optimize the carbon-reduction impacts from your solar system.

    LEARN ABOUT NET ENERGY METERING

See the Getting Started tab (below) and talk to a storage provider to see if a battery storage system is right for your home.

Home battery storage systems are typically connected to both the grid and your home’s electric panel to perform two main functions:


  • Charging: you can store power generated by your home rooftop solar system — or from the grid when electricity prices are lower — to be used at a later time. If an outage is imminent due to a storm or shut off event, some storage providers are able to send a signal to your battery to fully charge before the outage, in preparation to provide backup power.
  • Discharging: you 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 you have solar), or during an outage when you need backup power.

Rooftop solar panels on your home feed your storage batteries. The batteries then send power back to your home or to the PG&E grid.Opens in new Window.

Please 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 to be used for backup power and to shift your use of grid energy to lower-price times of day. Pairing solar with your battery, however, can provide additional benefits, such as longer-lasting backup power and increased bill savings.

Key components of a battery storage systems are the battery, the inverter, the wiring to your home’s electric panel, and energy management and communication software.


  • Battery: Most batteries currently used for home storage systems are Lithium-ion, a type of battery technology that is compact and able to charge and discharge quickly and efficiently. Lithium-ion batteries are used in laptops and phones as well as hybrid-electric and electric vehicles. Some off-grid home systems use lower-cost lead-acid batteries, but these batteries are less efficient and flexible for use.
  • Inverter: Inverters are necessary to convert stored direct current (DC) electricity from your battery to alternating current (AC) electricity which is 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 configured to either power your whole home or only essential loads during a power outage. Under a “whole home backup” setup, you would need to manually reduce electricity usage to ensure that you don’t drain your battery too quickly. This may be challenging if you are not at home when the outage begins.

    Under a “partial home backup” setup, your battery and electric panel can be configured to power only essential devices and appliances such as medical equipment, refrigerators, electric well or sump pumps, and anything else that you deem essential. With a partial home backup, you will be less reliant on manual interventions to reduce your electricity use, which may prolong the time your essential devices and appliances can stay powered. Talk to your storage provider to determine what backup power setup is best suited to your needs.
  • Smart Energy Management Software and Communication Technology: Batteries used for home storage generally include software that automates charging and discharging, and monitors system performance to ensure product safety and reliability. This software can be programmed to automatically charge your battery when energy is cheaper and discharge when it’s more expensive. Some storage providers also provide communication tools that will alert your battery system to remain at full charge when a power outage is imminent due to a storm or power shut off event.

Frequently asked questions