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.
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:
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:
Explore rates that could be beneficial for battery storage customers:
See the Getting Started tab (below) and talk to a storage provider to see if a battery storage system is right for your home.
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.
We recommend talking with your storage provider about sizing and programming the battery to meet your energy goal(s):
Choosing the right storage provider to install your system and connect you to the PG&E grid is an important step. Please use the following guidelines when evaluating your options:
Once you decide that a battery is right for you, you have the option to buy your system directly, get a loan to finance the purchase, or lease your battery system. Leases generally have a 10-15 year duration. Be sure to fully investigate all options before choosing how to finance the system. To understand the benefits and risks of each option, this Solar Consumer Protection Guide (PDF, 3.8 MB) has information on solar financing that is also applicable to storage starting on page 12.
The PG&E Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) provides financial incentives when you install a qualifying battery storage system. Consider the following to determine if and how incentives could work for you:
For more information on available funding, incentive rates, and program rules, review PG&E’s Self-Generation Incentive Program web site.
The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is available for battery storage systems that are paired with — and charged by — solar or other renewable energy. You can receive a credit for 26% of the total installed cost in 2020, and 22% credit if installed in 2021. After 2021, the credit will not be available, unless it is extended by the US Congress.
The financial incentives that pay for your battery don’t count as income and won’t affect your eligibility for MediCAL/Medicare benefits.
The application information is used only to validate eligibility and will not impact your immigration status.
Pairing your battery with solar provides benefits during outages and everyday life.
During an outage:
Pairing your battery with solar can enable you to recharge during the day — as long there is sufficient sunshine — to extend your home’s backup power for potentially multiple days. How long your system will provide backup power depends on your battery size, critical energy needs and, if paired with rooftop solar, weather conditions.
Talk to a battery storage provider to learn more about your specific needs and options.
On an everyday basis:
If you are on a Time-of Use-rate or Home Charging rate, your battery can charge when electricity is cheaper and discharge electricity for home use when electricity from PG&E’s grid is more expensive. When paired with solar, a battery can help you get the most bill savings under Net Energy Metering and optimize the carbon-reduction impacts from your solar system.
PG&E recommends that you review the expected financial return on solar batteries prior to investing in a system.
If you rent your home, please work with your landlord to determine if you’re able to install a home battery.
Yes, if properly connected to the grid and programmed to do so, your battery will continue to work during a power outage and supply power to your home. Some storage providers 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 a power shut off event. This is to help you stay powered for as long as possible.
During an electric power outage, your solar system will not provide power to your home unless designed to do so. This is to ensure that your solar system does not send power to the grid when it could be dangerous to electrical workers. For more information on accessing your home’s solar power during and outage, call your solar provider.
Ready to go solar? Learn more about your options.
The length of time your battery storage system can provide backup power depends on the size of your battery, the amount of electricity you need, and the availability of sunlight if your battery is paired with a solar system. Household usage varies and depends on factors such as the size of your home, the amount of power your devices and appliances require, and the weather (you’re more likely to use more electricity on hot days for air conditioning).
Assume your whole household normally uses 20 kWh of electricity per day. You work with your storage provider and estimate that you could reduce your electricity usage during a power outage to only 5 kWh per day to power your essential devices and appliances. You would like to be able to keep those devices powered for two days during a power outage, so you would need a battery that can discharge at least 10 kWh.
If you have — or were to add — solar, your battery can be charged by your solar system. A 5kW solar system can produce more than 10 kWh per day, as long as there is sufficient sunshine, and would have the potential to keep your battery charged during a multiple-day outage.
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. Excluding special circumstances, the battery (without replacement) and all other included components are designed to last at least 10 years and should 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, and most customers need grid power to produce enough electricity to support their typical electricity needs.
BATTERY STORAGE PROVIDER
It’s important to discuss the maintenance of the battery with your storage provider before signing a contract. Maintenance and repair are typically included in the purchase or lease contract.
The management software included with each battery storage system may include round-the-clock remote monitoring and performance adjustment. In the case of hardware failure, some battery companies receive automatic notifications and can send technicians out to addresses problems. We recommend that you check your maintenance contract for these types of services.
Home battery storage system size is largely dependent on your specific energy needs. Almost every battery storage provider offers a scalable technology and designs products according to your energy use and home needs. For the typical home, a garage or backroom will provide sufficient space to install the battery. Your storage provider can help you select appropriate placement for your battery storage unit.
Most battery storage suppliers offer both indoor and outdoor options to suit your needs. If you decide to install an outdoor system, ensure that your battery storage enclosure is Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-certified or National Electrical Manufacturers Association-rated to meet applicable safety standards.
Battery storage systems are generally safe. The primary safety concern is the potential for overheating which your storage provider should address through several safety measures, including:
You should confirm with your prospective battery storage providers that all included hardware (not just the battery) meets the safety criteria of reliable third-parties, such as Underwriter Laboratories and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, who set safety standards for most battery storage components.
The noise generated by a battery storage system is minimal and generally will not negatively affect normal household activities. The peak volume of operation for a typical system is less than or similar to noise levels associated with an air conditioner.