My electricity bill is between $25 and $70 every month, depending mostly on heating. As we head into winter, my power bill will increase. I’m on a time of day rate plan, so energy used at night is cheaper than energy used during the day.
There are two ways I could reduce my costs:
- Generate my own solar or wind power.
- Store energy harvested from the power grid at night for use during the day. There will be an efficiency cost due to the storage.
(1) isn’t practical for me, both because there isn’t enough wind, and because I don’t have anywhere to put a turbine or a meaningful number of solar panels. (2) is possible but we need to do a break even analysis. Since I’m still using power from the grid, I’m still going to have electricity costs in the short run. The batteries will cost something upfront, but it’ll be less than the cost of solar panels.
Break even analysis!
Sad fact: The more money I pay out in energy, the faster it will break even. So if the goal is to save money on energy, using less will trump any fancy cost offset solution.
The article says the payback period is 10-15 years. This takes into account the degradation of the battery over time. So if you don’t use much power in the first place, with a $15k installation charge, even if I saved $50/month for 15 years, that’s only $9000. To make sense, the solar would also need to power a neighbor.