Austin Suburbs covered in Snow after dangerous and deadly winter storm Uri leaves texas without power and in the cold February 19th 2021In Texas, where winter (and summer) power outages are becoming increasingly common, many Longhorn customers are installing battery storage to protect their home from weather-related grid events.

Installing a battery backup system with a solar power system allows homes and businesses to store excess clean energy generated during the day for use at night or during a power outage. 

Texans had a wakeup call about the unreliability of our electricity grid during the winter of 2021, when power outages across the state were responsible for hundreds of deaths. It became clear that the state’s standalone electricity grid needed major upgrades. 

While some improvements to the grid have been made since then – including  better winter weatherization of power plants – officials at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the state’s main power grid, recently admitted that there is still an “unacceptable” risk of a power grid emergency during a strong winter storm.

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that energy use in Texas continues to grow as the state’s population expands. 

Tesla Powerwall Battery Backup for Solar PanelsFor many, the best way to protect their home or business from unexpected outages — as well as spikes in utility bills – is to install an energy storage system, such as a Tesla Powerwall.

Energy Storage Reduces High Bills During Peak Demand

The benefits of battery storage in Texas go far beyond energy security. When installed correctly, an energy storage system also helps shift use of solar energy to times when peak demand charges are highest. 

Typically, peak demand occurs at night for homes, when people come home from work and start cooking, doing laundry and using TVs or laptops. For businesses, peak demand time is different, since most energy use occurs during the workday. 

Save Money on Battery Storage Systems with Tax Credits

Adding battery backup to your solar energy system is now more affordable than ever, thanks to the incentives passed through the Inflation Reduction Act. The IRA’s Residential Clean Energy Credit enables homeowners, renters and businesses to receive a tax credit covering up to 30 percent of the costs of installing both solar and battery storage, through at least 2034. There’s no annual or lifetime limit on the tax credit, so if you previously received a credit for going solar, you can add energy storage and receive the credit again.

Prior to the IRA, battery storage systems were only eligible if they were fully charged by onsite solar panels. Now, Texans can access the 30% tax credit for energy storage systems with a capacity of 3 kilowatt hours or more, whether their energy comes from rooftop panels or the grid. You must claim the credit for the tax year when the property is installed, not purchased.

Battery backup systems are a great way to avoid power outages while protecting your home or business from rising electricity prices, peak demand charges and weather-related spikes. For more information about installing an energy storage system for your home or business, contact your Longhorn solar advisor.