Power storage is essential to a dependable clear vitality future, however in follow, there’s been some main boundaries to getting batteries up and working. One of many largest obstacles is value: batteries, each small and large-scale, require fairly a little bit of upfront funding.
Whereas many utilities use this as an excuse to keep away from storage altogether, Vermont’s largest utility, Inexperienced Mountain Energy, is embracing it, via its modern Convey Your Personal Machine program. First launched in 2018, this system gives value incentives for householders to put in battery storage, whereas giving the utility entry to an entire new community of saved vitality to assist relieve stress on the grid.
It appears like a win-win; householders get to put in photo voltaic batteries at a fraction of the worth and Inexperienced Mountain Energy will get to maintain its working prices low. However on account of its limitations, the Convey Your Personal Machine program may not be the fitting alternative for all householders, even when it does lower down on the upfront funding wanted for a photo voltaic battery.
- The Again Up Solely incentive throughout the Convey Your Personal Machine program limits householders to solely utilizing their battery as a supply of backup energy throughout grid outages. Nonetheless, it permits householders to earn an incentive fee of between $850 and $950 per kilowatt enrolled in this system.
- Enrolling 5 kW of vitality storage while you select the Again Up Solely incentive will earn you a rebate quantity between $4,250 and $4,750.
- Owners who wish to use their battery for extra than simply backup energy can declare the Self-Consumption incentive, which is a one-time upfront incentive of $850.
- Solely sure batteries are eligible for the Convey Your Personal Machine program, together with the Enphase IQ, Generac PWRCell, Tesla Powerwall 2, sonnen batteries, and SolarEdge StorEdge appropriate techniques.
- The Convey Your Personal Machine program might be helpful to householders who need entry to backup energy or want to maximize their photo voltaic vitality utilization. Nonetheless, the acquisition of a battery is not going to offer you further vitality invoice financial savings.
How does Inexperienced Mountain Energy’s BYOD program work?
There are two incentives so that you can select from beneath the Convey Your Personal Machine (BYOD) program: the “Again Up Solely” incentive and the “Photo voltaic Self-Consumption” incentive. The motivation you select determines the quantity of your rebate. The motivation you select additionally is dependent upon how you intend on utilizing your battery. Allow us to clarify.
Again Up Solely
Below the Again Up Solely BYOD incentive, you need to set up a professional battery system in your property for the sole function of utilizing it throughout an influence outage. It can’t be used for the rest – as an example, you can’t cost the battery with photo voltaic panels in the course of the day after which use that saved vitality later that evening to energy your home equipment.
Not solely are you restricted to utilizing the battery solely as a backup energy supply, you are also giving GMP permission to make use of the vitality saved inside your battery throughout ‘Peak Occasions’ for 10 years. GMP describes a Peak Occasion as “a time period during which clients collectively use essentially the most vitality”.
Throughout these peak timeframes, that are mentioned to happen a mean of 5 to eight instances per 30 days for 3 to 6 hours a time, GMP can use the vitality saved inside your battery to alleviate stress on the grid.
There are two incentive charges accessible primarily based on what number of hours you permit GMP to discharge your batteries for:
- 3 hours at $850 per kilowatt
- 4 hours at $950 per kilowatt
Those that select the Again Up BYOD possibility will obtain compensation as a one-time, upfront fee.
You additionally get to decide on how a lot of your battery you give GMP permission to make use of, in kilowatts (kW). Which means, if you buy a battery with an influence output of seven kW, you possibly can select to enroll solely 5 kW for a decrease incentive than in the event you had enrolled the total quantity.
To determine how a lot your incentive could be, multiply the variety of kilowatts you might be enrolling by the inducement fee that corresponds to the period of time you might be giving GMP entry. So let’s say you enroll 5 kW and permit GMP 4 hours of entry, you’ll get an incentive of $4,750. That’s nearly half the price of a typical photo voltaic battery set up!
The Self-Consumption incentive possibility is nice for householders who wish to set up a battery, however don’t wish to be restricted to solely utilizing it as backup energy.
By selecting this feature, you possibly can, because the title suggests, use your battery in Self-Consumption mode. So when you have photo voltaic panels, you possibly can retailer extra photo voltaic vitality produced in the course of the day after which use the saved vitality to energy your home equipment at evening.
Whereas this feature provides you just a little extra freedom with how you utilize your battery, there may be nonetheless one limitation – you need to use the facility saved in your battery for your entire period of all Peak Occasions.
Those that select the Self-Consumption BYOD possibility will obtain a one-time, upfront incentive of $850.
$850 is a a lot decrease incentive quantity than what you’ll get in the event you allowed GMP to entry your battery via the Again Up Solely possibility, however you are not as restricted in how you should utilize your battery.
What batteries qualify for the BYOD program?
Solely sure batteries are eligible to obtain the BYOD incentives, together with:
It is just a little unclear what battery fashions this system does and doesn’t cowl. For instance, GMP states the Tesla Powerwall 2 is eligible, nevertheless it does not say something in regards to the latest model of Tesla’s battery, the Powerwall+. It is also unclear if all sonnen-branded batteries are eligible, or if just one mannequin qualifies.
We’ve reached out to Inexperienced Mountain Energy for affirmation, however have but to obtain a response.
Watch out for charges! GMP states that some gear could include a further set of producer and community charges. The one factor we might discover on its web site is that any system that makes use of StorEdge inverters can have a further month-to-month price of $6.67 added to its invoice. We’ve reached out to GMP in hopes of receiving a full checklist of those charges.
Enrollment phrases to maintain an eye fixed out for
Thus far, we’ve coated essentially the most fundamental phrases for the BYOD program, however there are just a few others that it’s worthwhile to hold an eye fixed out for, together with entry necessities, what occurs in the event you promote your own home, termination procedures, and privateness issues.
So as to take part within the BYOD program, it’s worthwhile to guarantee that you’ve got a gradual web connection so GMP can correctly monitor and handle your battery system. GMP will ship a discover if there’s a communication concern, and it should be resolved inside 30 days of receiving the discover.
If the difficulty just isn’t fastened inside 30 days, GMP will cost you $12.70 per kW enrolled within the BYOD program per 30 days till it’s been resolved. For instance, when you have 5 kW of your battery enrolled within the BYOD program and GMP can not entry it after 30 days discover, GMP will cost you $63.50 per 30 days till the battery might be accessed once more.
Change in property possession
So as to take part within the BYOD program, you need to personal the property the place the battery is put in. In the event you promote the property earlier than the tip of the 10-year program time period, you possibly can switch the settlement to the brand new property proprietor.
Nonetheless, if the brand new house owner doesn’t wish to take over the settlement, you must terminate your enrollment and pay the related charges.
In the event you resolve the BYOD program simply isn’t for you, otherwise you promote your own home and the brand new proprietor doesn’t wish to overtake the settlement, you’ll have to pay GMP again for the inducement the corporate supplied you. What you owe will depend upon what number of months are left within the lease settlement and which incentive (Again Up Solely or Self-Consumption) you selected.
Let’s check out two examples:
Situation 1: You resolve to decide out of the Again Up Solely BYOD program with 30 months remaining within the time period, and also you enrolled 5 kW that GMP can use for 3 hours at a time.
(30 months remaining/120-month time period) * $850 per kW = $212.50 per kW enrolled owed to GMP
$212.50 * 5 kW enrolled = $1,062.50 whole owed to GMP
Situation 2: In the event you decide out of the Self-Consumption BYOD program, you’ll merely divide the variety of months left within the time period by the full 120-month time period, and multiply it by $850:
(30 months remaining/120 month time period) * $850 = $212.50 whole owed to GMP
Privateness is one thing that almost all householders most likely wouldn’t assume twice about after they’re making use of for a battery storage incentive, however it’s one thing to bear in mind with this specific program.
If you join the BYOD program, you consent to disclosing your vitality utilization and consumption knowledge, in addition to some personally identifiable data to assist with monitoring, reporting, and programming for GMP. You additionally consent to this data being shared with third-party distributors.
If you don’t want your data to be shared, it’s best to take a better take a look at GMP’s privateness coverage earlier than agreeing to the BYOD incentive.
Can you continue to get the federal photo voltaic tax credit score in the event you take part within the BYOD program?
So long as your battery system is put in alongside a brand new or present photo voltaic panel system, and will probably be 100% charged utilizing the photo voltaic panels, you possibly can declare the 26% federal solar tax credit when participating in the BYOD program.
To remain eligible for the tax credit, your installer will help you set up your battery so that it only charges via solar panels, and GMP will not send commands to recharge your battery from the grid. This also means that if a GMP Peak Event occurs after sundown, your battery will not be able to recharge until the next day.
How much will a solar battery cost with the BYOD incentives?
Exactly how much you spend on your battery installation will depend on the battery system (brand, size, how many batteries, etc.), your installer, and which incentive you choose. With that said, let’s go over a few examples so you can get a general idea of what to expect.
Cost of a battery with the Back Up Only incentive
We’re going to look at the Tesla Powerwall as an example. Say you decide to enroll 5 kW of a Tesla Powerwall, which costs about $11,000 for the equipment and installation, in the Back Up Only incentive.
If you choose to give GMP access to the battery for 3 hours, you would get an incentive of $4,250, which would bring your total Powerwall installation cost to $6,750. If you also qualify for the federal solar tax credit, the cost would drop even further, to about $4,995. Not bad!
If you gave GMP access to your battery for 4 hours, the cost for the battery and installation would fall to $6,250, and down to $4,625 after the federal solar tax credit.
Cost of a battery with the Self-Consumption incentive
As we said earlier, the value of the Self-Consumption incentive is much lower than the Back Up only incentive options.
For the same Powerwall battery, you would only receive an incentive of $850. That would mean the total cost would be $10,150, instead of $11,000. When you include the solar tax credit, it would cost about $7,511.
Is it worth it to install a solar battery with GMP’s BYOD program?
If you really want to install battery storage with your solar panels, then you should definitely consider Green Mountain Power’s BYOD program.
However, from a financial perspective, pairing a solar panel system with solar batteries doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, since GMP offers full-retail net metering to its solar customers. All this really means is that installing a battery doesn’t offer any additional savings on your electricity bill.
You see, the average solar panel system in Vermont will pay for itself in a little less than 10 years, thanks to GMP’s net metering program. When you add a battery to that, it will take about 15 years to pay for itself, even with the BYOD incentive and federal tax credit considered. While this isn’t a horrible payback period, it’s still longer than if you just install solar panels on their own.
But if having access to backup power in the event of a grid outage and maximizing the amount of solar electricity your home uses is important to you, then the additional cost for a solar battery could be a worthwhile investment.
The best way to figure out if solar-plus-storage is worth it for your home is by using our solar savings calculator. Not only does it give you an idea of how much solar can save you, but it also shows you how much your investment is impacted by including batteries with your installation.