Have you ever been without power in your home when you really needed it? Have you ever had to fumble around your house with a flashlight between your teeth, or to light every candle you own? Or have you ever been without power for so long that you hesitated to open the fridge, not wanting to let any precious cold air out?
For those of you that have experienced a power outage, especially a long one, you know exactly how unpleasant it is. Yet, in 2019, power outages will be the price that many Californians will pay in order to help avoid disastrous wildfires.
California electric companies have started taking more proactive measures in order to prevent wildfires, like the deadly Camp Fire that killed 85 people in 2018. According to Time, California’s wildfires have only gotten more frequent and more costly in the last few years. Through research and debates, electric companies have discovered that fallen power lines or other electric accidents can be major contributors to these terrible fires. With that in mind, they have decided to implement outages when fire danger is especially high.
Californians should expect to see these power outages this summer. When winds are high and humidity is low, electric companies like PG&E are planning to shut off all power to at-risk areas until the danger is lower. PG&E will also specifically be implementing other fire-safety changes like clearing brush and conducting more regular inspections.
So what does that mean for the average Californian? In short: more rolling blackouts. Whether you’re under PG&E, Southern California Edison, or Sempra Energy, you can expect your power to be shut off–sometimes for days at a time. This raises an important question: what can you do about it?
Of course, there are all kinds of ways to prepare for a blackout. You could stock up on flashlights and candles, or have battery-powered lights easily accessible. You could also keep insulated bags on hand for your freezer food. Remember to keep extra ice packs for your other food in your fridge–and some for yourself, because no power in the hot California summer also means no air conditioning! Finally, whether you’re expecting a blackout or not, it’s always a good idea to keep extra containers of drinkable water on hand.
Will My Solar Panels Work in a Blackout? Yes—Through Battery Storage!
However, there’s another, much easier way of dealing with an energy shut-off: having your own power supply. When other Californians may be sitting around candlelight, still sweating in the summer nights, you have another option. Californians all over the state are installing solar panels for all kinds of reasons, including saving money on electric bills, “going green,” and increasing home value. One of the most beneficial reasons to install solar panels, however, is having your own power supply when the grid’s power is cut.
Solar panel systems can now be installed with battery storage, which means long-lasting energy stored for extra energy or for emergencies such as a power outage. These batteries are connected to your solar energy system and store any extra energy that your system produces. Not only are they great for emergency power shut-offs, but they can also strategically sell back some of that extra energy to the grid during peak hours. This means that your system can save extra energy and money, no matter what your energy circumstances!
Semper Solaris Offers the Tesla Powerwall
There are several energy storage systems available, though two of the most popular are the LG Chem battery and Tesla’s Powerwall. Semper Solaris is proud to carry both. In fact, though over half of solar energy installers report that consumers are asking for Tesla’s Powerwall above any other system, only 12% of installers actually have the Powerwall available.
The manufacturer of the Powerwall, Tesla, is constantly growing in consumers’ minds, likely due to exciting news coverage and technological developments. For example, in the fall of 2018, Elon Musk’s space car passed by Mars, meaning that it had traveled many more miles than any other car on the face of the Earth. It’s no wonder that Americans are asking for anything Tesla develops, and many solar installers are simply not equipped to fill the growing demand.
Semper Solaris is proud to partner with companies like Tesla in order to provide exactly what customers want and need, including battery storage. Though battery storage has always been an excellent addition to any solar power system, it will become essential during this summer’s rolling blackouts. No one should suffer from being unable to sleep in hot summer nights. No one should have to deal with perfectly good food going bad due to a turned-off fridge. And no one should have to sit around in the dark with their family and friends in their own home!
In the end, these rolling blackouts are a cost that many are willing to accept if it means that lives can be saved. No one wants to see more horrible wildfires or any more homes burned to the ground. Many are praising California’s electric companies for doing whatever they can in order to help. However, this doesn’t mean that dealing with the blackouts will be easy!
Though no one wants to endure a blackout, the response from consumers doesn’t need to be frustration and anger. Instead, consumers can respond by taking the necessary steps to make sure they’re prepared for what’s coming. By gathering their own energy from solar panels and storing it, people all over California can do their part to help prevent wildfires without sitting in the dark.
Contact Semper Solaris today to install your solar energy system, including battery storage, before the summer fire season hits. While your neighbors may be enduring spoiled food and dark rooms, your family will be comfortable and enjoying your lights and air conditioning. In fact, after installing your new battery storage, consider inviting your neighbors over so they don’t have to suffer, either!