If you plan to install solar panels on your home to lower your energy costs in California, you’ve likely come across a consumption-only battery. For many California residents, a consumption-only battery is an important part of a residential solar energy system, especially after Net Energy Metering (NEM) 3.0 went into effect in April of 2023.
This new policy contained several controversial changes that reduced the buyback value of renewable energy for homeowners in the Golden State. Fortunately, consumption-only batteries are here to save the day. This post will provide an in-depth review of what a consumption-only battery is and its benefits to Californians under the current NEM 3.0.
What Is a Consumption-Only Battery?
Consumption-only or non-backup batteries refer to a new generation of affordable batteries that only store enough energy to power a home. These new batteries do not send excess power to the grid, nor do they have the capability to provide backup power to homeowners during grid outages.
Because these batteries are not designed for backup storage, they are typically smaller and less complicated than a traditional battery setup. This not only reduces equipment costs but also lowers installation costs as well. Combined, these factors make consumption-only batteries more affordable than standard battery storage.
Why Consumption-Only Batteries Thrive Under NEM 3.0
The biggest change caused by NEM 3.0 was the significant reduction in solar energy export rates. Under NEM 2.0, Californians could sell excess solar energy for 7-8 cents per kWh, and more than 50 cents per kWh during peak hours. But NEM 3.0 has slashed energy export rates by about 80% on average in California. This makes it more cost-effective for homeowners to store and use their solar energy on-site rather than sending it to the grid. And that’s where consumption-only batteries come into play.
Before NEM 3.0, home batteries stored daytime solar energy for nighttime use and acted as backup power sources. With NEM 3.0, the load-shifting capabilities of battery storage are crucial for savings, but not all homeowners want the backup features of traditional batteries.
This has led to the rise of consumption-only batteries, offering load-shifting capabilities without backup functions. These batteries are more affordable to install than traditional backup batteries. Choosing a consumption-only battery cuts installation costs and shortens payback periods within the scope of NEM 3.0. This affordability and effectiveness make them an increasingly popular choice among homeowners.
Consumption-Only Batteries with Solar Optimum
The solar landscape in California saw a shift with NEM 3.0, diminishing the advantages of solar-only systems and amplifying the role of batteries. Enter consumption-only batteries, a response from the solar industry to NEM 3.0. These batteries offer a streamlined approach. By excluding backup power components, consumption-only batteries retain the load-shifting benefits of traditional options, all at a more affordable price. Ideal for homeowners seeking to maximize energy savings without frequent grid outages, consumption-only batteries bring cost-effective efficiency to the new reality of residential solar in California.
When you’re looking for a reliable solar installer, it’s important to choose one that is experienced with consumption-only batteries. That’s where Solar Optimum comes in. As an Enphase Platinum Installer, we have extensive experience with Enphase products, including consumption-only setups. Our comprehensive home energy solutions ensure you receive the maximum benefits of your new solar array — even under NEM 3.0. To kickstart your energy independence, reach out to our team today.