Battery-powered homes one step closer to reality

by | Jun 9, 2015 | Blog, Green / Sustainability Ideas, Home & Lifestyle

Denver green sustainable living real estateWith the advent of smart homes, there’s no question that homes are operating at more energy efficient levels all the time. But energy is still a necessity, and a basic question remains: Where will our energy come from in the future?

That’s a major debate. But one exciting idea recently surfaced in a Washington Post article that speculated on the growing cost-effectiveness of battery-powered homes in conjunction with solar panels.

“[I]mproving technology, falling prices and backing from electric-car giant Tesla could make the battery-powered home cheaper and easier than ever, challenging the long-held utility model of dependence on outside energy – and revolutionizing how America flicks on its lights,” notes the Post.

Traditionally, homes using solar panels have faced obstacles, as the panels don’t work at night or on cloudy days. But batteries can store extra solar energy captured during the day and make it available for homeowners at night or during blackouts. Unfortunately, such technology has proved expensive in the past.

Enter Tesla. The company recently unveiled a home battery, dubbed Powerwall. “The size of a kitchen cabinet, it makes no noise, needs no maintenance and can be installed in an afternoon,” reports the Post. The unit costs around $7,000 installed.

Some debate its effectiveness. While it can be useful during blackouts, it’s still not powerful enough to run many “power-hungry” household systems, such as air conditioning, they argue.

But even critics recognize that Powerwall brings homeowners closer to a battery-powered solution than ever before. And industry observers predict that the unit’s price will decrease as the company amps up production in its new mega-factory in Nevada next year — which should add a little sunshine into everyone’s day.

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