In our last issue of Mountain Homes, we featured an article on solar-panel energy systems. In response, we were contacted by a representative from JLM Energy about battery storage systems that work in conjunction with solar panels and offer even more control and savings.
Currently, if you have a solar panel system, your utility (Xcel or IREA) will buy any electricity you produce over the amount you use, so it may seem that you don’t need a battery storage system. But utilities in other states (and other utility companies in Colorado) are converting their billing systems to charge more during peak hours—called Time of Use or Load Factor Adjustment rates, so that even though your utility buys electricity you don’t need, if you use electricity during the peak rate periods, you may be charged at the higher rate.
By combining a battery storage system with solar, electricity you produce can be stored for use during the expensive peak evening hours to reduce or eliminate the amount of electricity you get from the utility during peak hours. This may provide you even more control and independence from your utility. And, at least through 2019, solar energy storage qualifies for a 30% federal investment tax credit.
Call your utility for information to find out about the effect a solar and/or battery storage system would have on your monthly bill.