In recent years, the concept of residential home battery packs has flourished into a small market with the increased growth of solar installations. The idea is to help homeowners cut down on their energy costs. In the United States where many areas are inundated with renewable energy during the off-peak time of use (like the afternoon), these battery packs can store the energy for later use during peak periods of use like later in the evening and at night when the prices go up.
Storing energy for later use is called “load shifting” – the battery storage systems basically provide utilities in a handy way that allows a homeowner to benefit from periods of low-priced over-supplied energy.
Does this apply in Canada, however? For the most part, many experts think it doesn’t and that it won’t take off here.
Existing “feed-in-tariff” programs allow Canadian homeowners’ to sell their solar electricity to the power grid to make a fair return on investment that offsets their energy costs.
These programs also have an incentive of creating participation in clean energy practices – and storing the energy for personal uses doesn’t make sense in comparison to what these programs offer.
However, some believe that it offers Canadians an effective way to balance their power usage between peak times when the prices are higher and non-peak times, when they are lower.
There is still a belief that this can bring down monthly bills through “smart metering” and that eventually when the cost of lithium ion batteries goes down, that this could be a more favorable option for Canadians.
Home battery packs could also be an appealing for those who want to be off the grid completely, as well.
Still some ways to go
However, when it comes to wiring a home with battery packs, customers will have to pay certified technicians to install them on a wall and wire it into a home or building’s main electricity panel.
This can easily double the price as wiring, installation and an inverter that will convert the electricity from direct to alternate current, will be additional costs to the battery pack on top of the cost of solar panels.
Critics have also pointed out that these packs can have relatively low capacity – and more than one will be needed to run most household lights and appliances. Having to have several packs in place will also be an even greater expense.
The prospects of these batteries are still uncertain – however it is a push toward more sustainable energy practices!