Batteries have long been considered the missing link to maximize the potential of solar throughout the day and night. In short, batteries allow you to store your excess solar energy for use whenever you want, including nighttime hours or when more expensive on-peak hours fall later in the day.
With that said, there's good news for APS customers in the form of a newly-announced battery pilot program that offers ut to $3,750 in rebates for adding a battery to your home.
While battery pricing has come down in recent years, the cost of adding energy storage is still the most significant barrier cited by potential buyers. But for APS customers, batteries just got a lot more affordable, thanks to this new pilot program that offers qualifying customers up to $3,750 in rebates.
If you've been thinking about adding a battery, the time has never been better—especially for APS customers. Please read on to learn our top 4 reasons why the new APS battery pilot program is a game-changer.
1. APS customers have two battery rebate choices
There are two ways battery customers can participate in the APS battery pilot program. In general, the more you participate, the larger your rebate will be. The two options are listed below, and for more details, we encourage you to visit: APS's FAQ.
Option 1: Data Only
In this model, customers agree to share only their battery system performance data with APS. In exchange, these customers are eligible for up to $500 per installed kW of battery capacity, with a maximum incentive of $2,500 per home.
Option 2: Data and Battery Management
This program requires a bit more participation. Customers agree to give APS access to system data and up to 80% of the battery’s capacity to be used by APS for a maximum of 100 discharge events per year. Customers participating in this program are eligible for up the same $500 per installed kW (up to $2,500) of battery capacity available in Option1, plus an additional $1,250 for allowing APS to discharge up to 80% of the batteries capacity several times throughout the year. Combined, this results in a maximum incentive of $3,750 per home.
2. You can apply the 26% solar tax credit, but only in 2022.
Suppose you install a qualifying APS battery and combine it with a new or existing solar energy system. In that case, you can take advantage of the 26% solar investment tax credit as long as your battery is configured to charge 100% with solar energy. 2022 is the final year for the 26% solar tax credit. Unless Congress extends the program, this lucrative incentive will decrease to 22% on January 1, 2023, before ending entirely for homeowners in 2024. Unless Congress acts, the current federal tax credit and APS rebate offer the best possibility to maximize the return on your solar and battery investment.
3. Batteries typically work in two ways
Most residential battery systems typically work in two ways: backup for critical loads only, or whole home backup. The first category just covers your most essential appliances when the power is out, the second configuration covers the entire house for those time periods when energy is most expensive. Let's look briefly at both.
Option 1: Squashing costly on-peak utility fees
With a whole-home backup system, you can add just enough batteries to offset the most expensive on-peak utility hours, or add more to keep your house operational during an extended power outage. These types of systems are highly customized and unique to each family and utility rate plan. In some cases, an upgrade to your electrical panel may also be required. Our experts will advise during the free consultation phase.
Option 2: Emergency critical load backup
Power outages will occur with greater frequency as our national energy grid continues to age. A battery backup system will run your most critical loads – or a designated room – during a grid failure when your solar panels aren't producing. Batteries are charged by your panels during the day for use during the night. This process repeats until grid power is restored.
4. Be prepared for a busy and hot summer
Installation schedules will fill up quickly as we move quickly into the warmer months. Some solar companies may even have most of the summer booked. By waiting too long, you risk pushing the finished project into fall. While you would still see savings, the peak of the season may already be gone without the help of solar or batteries. So, if you're interested in having a cooler and more affordable summer this year, now is the time to start your solar project. You'll have your system installed in time to offset those expensive summer bills, claim your APS rebate, and the 26% solar tax credit before it's gone!