Acquiring permits for solar battery storage installations in New York City homes is challenging due to local fire and building codes. These regulations often present obstacles that make it nearly impossible to install solar batteries in residential properties within the city.

While the current regulatory landscape may not permit solar batteries in NYC homes, there are alternative options available for residents looking to utilize the benefits of solar energy! Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of solar batteries and why net metering provides a better value in NYC.

Understanding Solar Battery Storage

The popularity of solar has led to the rise of another renewable technology – solar batteries that can store extra solar power for later use. Homes with solar battery storage can store excess power onsite, largely circumventing the need for net metering. Since solar batteries store energy at your home, they offer short-term backup power in the event that there’s an outage, providing homeowners with an extra level of energy security. 

While this pairing is still relatively new, the growth over the next five years is expected to be significant. According to SEIA, it is estimated that by 2025, more than 25% of all behind-the-meter solar systems will be paired with storage, compared to under 5% in 2019.

The use of solar battery storage is expected to continue growing in the near future.

How Does Solar Battery Storage Work?

Solar battery storage systems store excess energy generated by solar panels during the day for use during periods of low sunlight or at night. These batteries typically utilize lithium-ion technology and are connected to the electrical grid to provide backup power or reduce reliance on grid electricity.

Pros and Cons of Solar Battery Storage in NYC

Considering the unique characteristics of New York City, it’s essential to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of solar battery storage systems:

Pro: Provides Backup Power

In a city prone to extreme weather events and occasional power outages, solar battery storage systems offer a reliable source of backup power. During emergencies or grid failures, stored energy can keep essential appliances and devices running, enhancing household safety.

Pro: Provides Cost Savings

While the upfront costs of installing solar battery storage systems in NYC may be high, they can yield long-term savings. By storing excess solar energy and using it during peak demand periods or at night, homeowners can reduce reliance on grid electricity and lower utility bills over time.

Pro: Grid Resiliency

Solar battery storage systems enhance grid resiliency by reducing strain during peak demand periods and mitigating the impact of power disruptions. By storing energy locally, these systems contribute to a more stable and resilient electrical grid, especially in densely populated urban areas like NYC.

Con: Installation Costs Are High

One of the primary drawbacks of solar battery storage systems in NYC is the high upfront costs associated with installation. From purchasing the equipment to hiring professionals for installation, homeowners will  face significant expenses, which can deter some from adopting this green technology.

Con: Maintenance and Lifespan

Solar battery storage systems require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. From monitoring battery health to replacing components as needed, ongoing maintenance costs can add up over time. Additionally, batteries have a limited lifespan and may need replacement after several years of use, further increasing long-term costs.

Con: Limited Capacity

Most solar battery storage systems on the market have limited capacity and may not meet the energy demands of larger households. Also, as energy consumption patterns evolve or households expand, the capacity of existing systems may become insufficient, demanding upgrades or additional investments.

Is Solar Battery Storage Allowed in New York City Homes?

The short answer is – no. Obtaining permits for solar battery storage installations in New York City homes is challenging due to local fire and building codes. These regulations present obstacles that currently make it impossible to install solar batteries in residential properties within the city.

It’s important to note that efforts are underway to address these regulatory barriers and work towards making solar battery storage more accessible in New York City.

While the current regulatory landscape may not permit solar batteries in NYC homes, this should not deter you from pursuing solar! There are alternative options available for residents looking to utilize the benefits of solar energy. The primary alternative is net metering.

What is Net Metering?

When the sun is shining, solar panels in NYC produce a significant amount of electricity. That power is typically consumed immediately by the home or building that the solar panels are connected to. But a typical solar system produces more power than is needed at any given moment throughout the day.

Thankfully, New York’s net metering program pushes excess solar back through the utility meter and into the grid. Con Edison tracks this export which is returned to the solar owner as a full retail value energy credit on their bill. This can be used in the evening or during the darker times of the year when a system isn’t producing.

a descriptive graphic explaining the term net metering in NYC. Brooklyn brownstone with solar panels on top.

In this sense, Net Metering functions somewhat like a battery. It allows you to fully benefit from your solar production, even when the sun isn’t shining. This approach provides a means to maximize solar savings without installing a solar battery storage system.

Importance of Net Metering Programs

Net metering supplies energy at peak times when producing and acquiring energy is most costly, like at nighttime. It not only reduces the need for transmission upgrades or new generation, but it contributes to overall reliability and NYC’s clean air goals. 

Net metering provides substantial economic benefits in terms of jobs, income and investment. It increases demand for solar energy, which creates jobs for the installers, electricians, and manufacturers who work in the solar supply chain. The solar industry currently employs 250,000+ American workers in large part due to strong state net metering policies which have allowed it to thrive.

Threats to New York Net Metering

While current net metering policies offer an excellent incentive for solar energy adoption in New York, homeowners must remain vigilant about potential threats to these benefits. The stability of these policies is subject to change due to evolving regulatory landscapes and political climates, as evidenced by shifts seen in states like California.

Recognizing the uncertainty surrounding future net metering frameworks, we encourage homeowners to act now to secure their benefits. By entering into our current net metering arrangement, you’ll be locked into full value net metering for 20 years, regardless of any subsequent policy changes. 

This proactive approach ensures financial security and stability for solar investments, allowing homeowners to maximize their savings and minimize risks associated with future policy changes.

Solar Battery Storage vs. Net Metering in NYC

In certain instances, pairing solar battery storage with net metering can yield optimal savings depending on the state’s net metering framework. However, the scenario differs in New York City due to its full value net metering system, which offers superior long-term value. Under full value net metering, the installation of batteries has minimal impact on savings.

Even if battery storage becomes more easily accessible in the future, the significant upfront costs may render it an unattractive option for many. Therefore, the best course of action would be to embrace solar energy now without waiting for battery storage approval. Delaying solar adoption could result in missed opportunities for substantial energy savings.

Take Advantage of Net Metering and Secure Your Solar Savings

The time to act is now. Embracing solar energy and leveraging net metering in New York City can secure significant savings and pave the way for a more sustainable future. Don’t delay – take advantage of net metering today and maximize your solar savings!

Talk to a solar expert today to learn more about how net metering will work for your home.

Brooklyn brownstones lined up in background with over laying text "Want to learn more about solar in NYC? Download our NYC homeowner's Guide for the latest on NYC rooftop solar." Free download button.

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