Those of us who are privileged to be able to work from home throughout the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders are at the mercy of our utilities for reliable power. During last year’s wildfire season, planned public safety power outages plagued California for months, and this past week, Utah experienced a 5.9 magnitude earthquake and seasonal severe weather knocked out power to thousands. Considering that “non-essential” businesses like coffee houses, libraries, and shared workspaces have closed their doors, a residential power outage impedes our ability to work. So how do we protect against these threats to our abilities to earn an income from home?
The answer is installing a safe, long-lasting home battery. The right energy storage system can back up essential loads like your computer, office lights, Wi-Fi router, and solar panels when the grid goes down, and even have the capacity to keep your whole house running. And yes, you read that right… your solar panels won’t actually work if the power is out, even when the sun is shining. Counter-intuitive, I know. A home battery can solve that problem for you so you can run your home on solar power by day and charge-up your battery for use when the sun goes down — without impacting your home office setup.
The safest, longest-lasting, most reliable batteries do carry a price tag, but so does your ability to work. Say you’re a CPA working from home who charges $150 per hour for your services. A single two-day power outage has now cost you $2,400. Multiply that times a couple power outages over the course of a year, and you’ve paid for the net cost of your system. What is the cost of your ability to treat patients if you’re a doctor who provides virtual, non-emergent appointment services? What if you make high-stakes deals for a living with mission-critical meetings that can’t be rescheduled? Or what if you run an IT company where your customers’ ability to work relies on your ability to work? A home battery is your solution to stay powered through it all.
If you install a home battery with solar in 2020, you may qualify for the Investment Tax Credit which reduces the cost of solar plus storage by a whopping 26%. This credit provides you with a nice tax shelter that’s good for your bank account and the environment, especially if you’re concerned about the capital gains hit from all that stock you just sold. With a home battery, you’ll have control of your energy at a time when power bills are rising, an investment that provides you clean, reliable power day and night, and resiliency at home 24/7 to continue working and earning from home.
You may be thinking, why don’t I just install a generator instead of a battery? While generators are superior at backing up loads such as air conditioners, there are many reasons why batteries are superior for backing up your home and home office including noise considerations, a lower net cost, and reliability without the need for maintenance. Plus, batteries do not need a foundation placed underneath them and require no maintenance to maintain their warranty.
Once we’ve flattened the curve and our movement restrictions are removed, this work-from-home mandate will hopefully have evolved business behavior for the better and prove to employers that remote-work is possible (and profitable!). We also can’t deny that remote work reduces our emissions and time spent commuting, sustains productivity, provides a better life and work balance, and of course, makes our dogs happier. A home battery is the key to a resilient home and home office during this unprecedent time and a clean energy future.