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Tropical Storm Isaias’ pass through Western Massachusetts was brief but destructive. “There are trees down all over,” read one Masslive headline that reported power outages in Easthampton, Belchertown, Montague, Northampton, and elsewhere. WWLP reported that more than 200,000 Massachusetts residents were without power Tuesday night during the height of the storm. Amidst a pandemic, a tumultuous political landscape, and social issues that seem to be flaring up across the country, Isaias was the exclamation point at the end of a long, run-on sentence.
Safety, security, and comfort are words that have taken on so much more meaning over the past few months. Home, the place we used to retreat to at the end of the day is now the place we work, eat, play, and care for children. Our homes are our sanctuaries. Here are a few ways you can make your home even more secure so that you can be ready for just about anything as winter prepares its return to New England.
People are always looking for ways to save money by reducing monthly bills. With all of the uncertainty we are experiencing, there is one thing you can be certain of—your utility bill is not going away and rates will increase over time. Some households spend hundreds of dollars every month on utility bills. In fact, Massachusetts residents spend more than $3.42 billion on electricity every year! What’s worse is that money goes to out of state investor owned utility companies like Eversource and National Grid instead of staying in the local economy, enriching our downtowns and stimulating growth right where we live.
By itself, solar power for your home is a great way to reduce the impact you have on the environment, and it can drastically reduce (or eliminate) your monthly electric bill. But residential solar is tied to the grid, so when the grid goes down, so does your power at home. Tropical storms, blizzards, accidents, and downed trees can bring the power down in a heartbeat—but there are ways to guard your home from unexpected power interruptions.
Imagine having all the benefits of solar power with the added security of battery backup power. There are some really great battery options available to consumers today and they will keep the lights on and the appliances running in the event of a grid outage. Batteries are safe, effective, and more affordable than ever.
Solar batteries work by storing the extra energy your solar panels produce. When a storm hits or a tree takes down a power line knocking out power, your solar battery kicks in automatically. Lights, the refrigerator, and other appliances will continue to operate with minimal interruption.
Northeast Solar master electrician Dave Baird recently installed Enphase battery back-up in his home. He and his family lost power on Tuesday as a result of the storm and power was not restored until Wednesday afternoon.
“Power was out for about 24 hours,” Dave said, “we ran the water pump, furnace, refrigerator, and the cable router outlet. The battery only drained about 6% overnight and started charging again as soon as the array started generating power the next day.”
Dave’s home solar array and battery system worked together while the grid was still down to keep vital appliances up and running with no effort required.
“The batteries kicked on automatically and silently,” Dave said.
Solar and batteries are a great combination technology that will save you money, support the local community, and let you and your family breathe a little easier the next time a Nor’easter or summer storm rolls through town.
Batteries come with generous state and federal incentives making them more affordable than ever before. With more and more companies, from Enphase to Sonnen making state-of-the-art batteries for consumers, the market is ripe with innovative ideas that will upgrade your home and prepare it to accept other sustainable technologies in the future.
Northeast Solar was chosen by Enphase to beta test their new and highly anticipated Enphase Ensemble solar plus battery system. The Ensemble system is the only all-in-one smart energy system giving you the freedom to generate, store, and use your own solar energy. Plus, the Enphase app will let you monitor your energy production, storage, and usage all on your smartphone.
Northeast Solar has been installing Enphase products for years, so we know the technology and how to install it, making the switch to solar and batteries seamless.
Learn more about the Ensemble system by watching this video.
Northeast Solar is the only Platinum Installer in Western MA and we are ready to help you get started.