Once the battery is installed, it must interconnect with PG&E and any other home energy sources, such as solar panels. You must also obtain permission from your local jurisdiction. Because of security issues and the complexity of design and licensing, it is recommended that you hire a licensed professional to help you determine, design, and install your energy storage system.
The battery size depends on what you are backing up. An installation professional can estimate how many kilowatt-hours of storage you will need by examining the equipment you will be using during the outage. You can also look at your monthly bill to calculate your approximate daily energy usage.
If you are integrating a battery with a solar system, you can take advantage of the new storage space by plugging the device directly into the wall. The storage installer can even help you connect specific devices to your storage system to automatically receive power during a power outage. If you are using a portable storage system, appliances and devices can be plugged directly into the battery.
If you do not currently have solar power and are interested in low-cost solar and storage solutions, consider using a portable battery option. You can buy batteries, as well as portable solar panels. Depending on the size of the battery, you may be able to power essential equipment and appliances, a small refrigerator for storing medications or other important perishables, and a cell phone or laptop.
Try to meet with several professionals before deciding on your installation plan. Getting a variety of opinions will help you choose the storage size and design that best suits your needs; It will also give you an idea of the cost range. To find a contractor, conduct an Internet search and look for word-of-mouth recommendations.