More than Back-up: New GMP Program Helps Battery Owners Help their Neighbors

We launched our Home Energy Storage Program with a few goals in mind.  Battery back-up offers solar customers the ability to run their homes on solar power during electrical outages.  Check! But that’s just the beginning. A network of batteries with stored solar power at the ready means a stronger, more resilient, and lower cost electrical grid for everyone – not just those with batteries:  

Home energy storage systems can provide power to neighbors through the electrical grid, helping to ease periods of high energy demand and replacing dirty, expensive energy with clean energy made by the sun.  

Green Mountain Power, Vermont’s largest utility and a fellow B Corp, has created a program to do just that.  

GMP is essentially crowd-sourcing power from home batteries when they need it most.   In return, GMP will pay battery owners between $850 and $8,500 depending on how they opt into the program.

GMP’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program

GMP has laid out two different ways that energy storage owners can use their batteries to support the grid – and get paid for it!  

Option 1: Integrating your home energy storage with the grid.

Customers can choose to have their batteries fully integrated into the electrical grid.  This means that GMP would be able to access some or all of the battery’s stored energy during peak demand periods.  GMP would recharge the batteries as soon as possible and keep them topped off so they’ll always be ready when needed for an outage or to support the grid.

Key Benefits:

  • Batteries are more consistently filled – meaning peace of mind for you.  Batteries can be quickly recharged by the grid, after GMP uses the stored power or you do during an outage.
  • Batteries are put to use when you don’t need them – lowering electricity costs and building a brighter future for all.

What are the financials for this option?

You can receive a single, upfront incentive payment between $1,900 and $8500, depending on how much power you allow GMP to draw from your batteries.  Or you could choose to receive a bill credit between $19 and $94 every month for the duration of the 10-year program.

Battery access given to GMP Monthly payment option (10 years of payments) Or: Upfront, lump sum option
Half of 1 Powerwall $18.70/mo $1,912
1 full Powerwall $37.40/mo $3,825
2 full Powerwall units $84.15/mo $7,650
Max access — 2.2 units $93.50/mo $8,500

Battery systems can only receive the federal tax incentive when they are exclusively connected to, and charged by, a solar array.  So for option 1, the battery will not be eligible for the 30% income tax credit. However, GMP’s incentive payments can make up for that.

Option 2: Running your home off of solar power, day and night, to ease demand on the electrical grid.

Customers can choose to use their batteries each evening when the sun sets, using energy from their stored solar power instead of from the grid.  This reduces demand on the electrical grid during the time of day when lots of folks are arriving home and all needing power at the same time.

With this option, the battery is connected only to the home’s solar system and not to the grid at all.  So unless the solar panels are covered with snow, the battery will charge up under the daytime sun and then discharge over the evening hours, running the home on stored solar power.  As we all know, Vermont has its seasons, so more solar power will be available for battery charging in the summer and less in the winter.

Note to solar CSA members: because your solar panels are in a community array and not attached to your home, your battery needs to be hooked into the grid in order to charge. You would therefore not be able to utilize Option 2.
Solar powered home maintains some electricity during an outage with a solar battery home energy storage solution

Key Benefits:

  • Energy independence and total control.  Your solar system powers your home, you fully control your battery, and you still benefit from GMP’s incentive.  
  • The largest financial benefit, for most.  Accessing the federal tax credit and another $850 through this program will add up to the largest total incentive for most of our storage customers.

What are the financials for this option?

Because your batteries will be charging exclusively from solar, you can access the federal tax credit worth 30% of the system price.  That’s a good-sized check. Plus, GMP will pay you $850 in a one-time, upfront payment for the benefit your battery offers the electrical grid.  

All in all, these are two great options to put your home energy storage system to work benefiting everyone and building a cleaner, more reliable electrical grid.

Already have battery storage?

If we’ve already helped you install battery storage, you can save your spot on the GMP website. Be sure to click “Save My Spot.” (Enrollment’s not quite ready.)

Want to install battery storage?

Sign up to learn more about home energy storage with solar.

For all the details and fine print, visit GMP’s website at: https://greenmountainpower.com/bring-your-own-device/

Want more info on how solar works with your utility?

We build solar systems that work with your utility. That means you can produce more solar than you need all summer long, and use those credits in the winter when your system is producing less energy. You can to enjoy the benefits of on demand energy and zero out your energy costs, swapping your utility bill for a solar payment. Find out more about how solar works by clicking below.

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