Solar Energy & How to Prepare For a Power Outage
Extreme weather events are causing increasing numbers of power outages, and power outages can impact your life and your livelihood—maybe you have to throw out a freezer full of spoiled food, or you are cut off from loved ones during a storm, or can’t shower before work. It’s important to have energy alternatives that can help you meet your essential needs and keep your home habitable, maybe for an extended period, during power outages. Most people say water, food, warmth, and communication rank as essential needs. To help meet those needs, people are increasingly looking for new uses of solar energy that can help them protect their homes during outages. Here’s why.
With solar energy, you own your power
Solar generators can keep you self-sufficient. Producing your own electricity and storing it or selling it back to the utility gives you control over your power. Solar panels take in sunlight and convert it into electricity you can use in your home, store in a battery, and sell to your utility for a bill credit. Net metering is the state policy that requires the utility to give you retail price for your electricity, plus a bonus (currently three cents and soon to be dropped to two cents per energy unit). When you make your own electricity and store it, it’s like growing your own veggies and pickling or canning them to eat later. You do it to have security for the future, to know exactly what you are consuming, to ensure your long-term health, to save some money by producing it yourself, and because it’s enjoyable.
Solar offers free power into the future
Solar generates free power and, unlike the electric grid, it gives you control over how much you will pay for electricity for the next 25+ years. Solar installed today has a required safety feature that powers it down when there is a power outage, unless you have it paired with a battery. So, if you want solar power when the electric grid goes down, then you will need a battery paired with solar to store that power for later. A solar generator (solar plus battery storage) can replace the need for a gas generator and provide quiet, clean, and free power with no messy refueling or leaks. It can be used even when the power is on to save you money on your utility bills, making it more useful than a gas generator.
Power when you need it most
An accessible option for many, given the price tag on a home battery system, is a portable solar generator. You can charge them with foldable lightweight solar panels that can be set up anywhere there is sun, or you can charge your generator from any wall outlet to be ready for a storm. If you have solar panels already, it’s the perfect way to take your sunshine with you in a suitcase. The portable solar generator replaces a portable gas generator for greater flexibility in powering your life. It’s quiet, clean, never leaks, and the fuel is free and available every day.
Solar energy puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to taking care of your essential needs. Whether you’re waiting out a power outage, going camping, or trying to accomplish a big project in a remote location, it can be a relief to know that you’ve got electricity to power your tools, light your way, keep you warm, or simply cook a meal.
About Danielle Laberge
Danielle Laberge lives in Dorset and works as a NABCEP certified technical designer and salesperson for Grassroots Solar, a local solar installer. Grassroots Solar partners with VSECU to help customers get the most out of energy improvement offerings like the VGreen loan. You can find more information about solar generators, portable generators, and request a home or business solar consultation at www.GrassrootsSolar.com.