Texans have endured their fair share of power outages over the last few years and have experienced unprecedented blackouts, leading many of us to experience a phenomenon that’s becoming ever more common as our climate changes: energy insecurity.

Energy insecurity isn’t just the feeling of not being sure if your power will be there when you need it. It’s also the economic risk of relying on grid power. How many times this summer did you turn up your thermostat, instead of down – as your body may have wanted – to avoid an astronomical bill? 

Many customers ask us about the ability of energy storage – in particular, the Tesla Powerwall – to “cut the cord” from the grid. In the context of energy insecurity, cutting the cord may not feel like the right choice. Let’s explore the perks of having a battery backup system and evaluate how a Powerwall can step in to power your home when the grid unexpectedly goes dark.

What does a Tesla Powerwall do, exactly?

A Tesla Powerwall is a backup power device – otherwise known as a battery or an energy storage system – designed to optimize your home’s energy use. Paired with a rooftop solar system, a Tesla Powerwall gives you the ability to power your home completely from the sun.

Texans are blessed with an abundance of sunshine – so much, in fact, that your solar system may generate more clean power than your home needs some days. The Tesla  Powerwall home battery enables you to store every bit of that energy for use at night, or in the event that your power goes out. During a storm, for instance, you can prevent any power loss by configuring your Powerwall to run off backup power. 

Whole Home Backup

The Tesla Powerwall has the ability to back up virtually all the power needs in your home during an outage – from lighter loads such as small appliances and lights, to heavier electrical equipment such as air conditioning, electric water heaters, pool pumps, water wells and of course, EV charging. 

How long your Powerwall can provide backup power depends on multiple factors such as your home energy consumption, the size of your home solar system, and the quantity of Powerwalls in use.

Cost Advantages

The Tesla Powerwall’s energy storage capabilities have important cost-saving advantages, particularly if your local utility offers time-of-use rates. Your Powerwall can be configured to use stored solar energy during times of day when the utility charges higher electricity rates, and rely on the grid when lower-cost electricity is available. 

Longhorn Solar can help you set up your Powerwall to take advantage of these time-of-use differences, which in some cases even enable customers to experience a negative utility bill

Understanding Your Home’s Energy Use

A powerful (no pun intended) capability of the Tesla Powerwall is its ability to monitor your home’s energy use. And since the best use of energy is energy that’s not used at all, this capability is a great way to further reduce your carbon emissions.

While whole home backups are certainly possible, if you choose a partial home backup, you can select which loads are essential for your daily use. Most people choose lighting and outlets. But the choice is up to you.

What does the Tesla Powerwall NOT do?

If you use lots of heavy electrical equipment in your home, you may need more than one Powerwall to ensure uninterrupted backup support at all times.

While the Tesla Powerwall is a powerful energy backup tool with tremendous cost-savings and resilience benefits, its effectiveness is dependent on how well it’s configured. Learning how to use your Powerwall is crucial to making sure you take advantage of all of its powerful features.

Your Longhorn Solar team is ready to answer any questions about the Tesla Powerwall and will install and configure your backup battery system so you can have all the benefits of uninterrupted power. 

Contact us to learn more.