The Situation: Blackouts and Power Outages
Still thinking of backup power as one of those once-in-a-decade needs? Think again.
Back in February 2021 the U.S. was slammed with three severe winter storms, back to back. Parts of Texas were colder than Anchorage, Alaska and due to a “perfect storm” of weather factors and (ahem) questionable decisions, this resulted in a massive state-wide electricity generation failure. Which then caused dangerous shortages of water, food and heat.
Texas wasn’t the only state in deep trouble: One of those storms covered 75% of the country in snow and was directly responsible for nearly 10 million people losing power. Homeowners with generators or backup battery power systems were able to weather the storms in stride while those without endured life-threatening conditions and costly damages.
Now a summer heatwave and drought conditions are threatening large swathes of the country, and energy providers are warning about blackouts and outages again. And consumers who are using more and more power at home for telecommuting and hybrid learning are scrambling to find generators or battery backup solutions for their house before it’s too late.
Although it seems obvious, the time to consider backup power for your house is before an emergency, not in the middle of it. Making decisions about costly equipment while waiting in line to buy one of the last remaining generators is not ideal. Nor is trying to get a backup battery system installed in your house during a natural disaster.
Take some time to read up on power generators, battery backup systems and alternative energy storage options for your house now rather than later. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
The Solution: Power Backup for Homes
Although extreme weather may be part of the “new normal,” it doesn’t have to cause such devastation. Having a home backup generator can literally be a lifesaver in a prolonged power outage. Installing power backup for home emergencies can protect your entire house and help avert disruptions and disastrous expenses. It’s a solid investment to consider in these changing times.
What are the options? New power backup solutions provide a range of protections for your house or business. In addition to a traditional backup generator, there are now more eco-friendly and energy efficient solutions to consider as well — from add-on solar energy storage to a whole home battery backup system to protect every circuit in your house.
In addition to covering your home backup needs, these new systems can also cut energy costs in the long run. Responsive technology that allows for automated load management throughout your house and remote control from a smartphone make it easy and efficient.
How does it work? Solar plus storage systems like the one from Lumin use a large-capacity solar battery for energy storage as well as power backup for home appliances and networks. The battery can be added to an existing solar PV system already in your house or installed as an integrated solar, storage and power backup package (by a registered electrician). It works by harnessing and storing the energy from the sun.
So then, if electricity is cut to your house due to a storm or grid outage, a solar battery wired for backup power gets to work — using your stored solar energy for free! Generators work for backup home power as well but generate toxic emissions.
The Independence: Reduce Your Home’s Reliance on the Utility Grid
Although the Clean Air Act has helped to reduce air pollutants over the years, U.S. power plants still produce CO2. The electric power sector alone produces about 33% of the energy related CO2 emissions in the U.S. Which is just one reason so many residential customers are opting for alternative energy and off grid living.
What does it mean to be truly energy independent? With home power backup in place, you have more freedom, not just security. Install a personal or hybrid micro-grid and you can break away from the utility grid. Go “off-grid” for good or choose when to use it based on your solar energy storage supply, peak vs. off peak electricity rates, or simply your personal preferences. Equipped with power backup for home emergencies as well as everyday usage, you’re in control. And, thanks to regular battery backups, you won’t fall victim to blackouts when the power grid goes down.
A battery backup for home emergencies or off grid living allows you to be more energy independent — without the need for generators or expensive electricity. Alternative power systems give you more ways to save costs throughout your house while reducing your impact on the environment.
The Alternatives: Cleaner Energy Batteries vs Generators
How can you keep your internet, refrigerator, heating or cooling and entire house running during an outage? An emergency power generator has long been the conventional choice for home backup power. Now there are cleaner energy options to consider as well.
Although cheaper upfront, generators need fuel and refueling to power your house, which adds up over time. Powering a whole house generator can be expensive.
Backup generators don’t just generate power; they also generate emissions from diesel, gasoline, propane or natural gas. High levels of CO2 as well as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter create air pollution as well as health concerns.
According to an article on air pollution and diesel generators during outages, during a three-day blackout in 2020, diesel backup generators powering hospitals, police stations, and other buildings around Los Angeles and Orange County “belched more toxic emissions into the air than the largest petroleum refineries in the region.” The generators emitted an estimated 6 tons of nitrogen oxides a day during those outages alone.
That’s one reason why more people are opting for a home backup battery instead of generators. A backup battery offers many of the same backup power functions as conventional generators but without the need for dirty fuel. Solar plus storage power systems provide a house battery backup plus a whole new way to generate, store and use clean energy. Read on for a comparison of battery backup options versus conventional generators.
When doing a battery backup vs. home generator cost analysis, be sure to consider a number of factors:
Cost: Installing battery backup power in your house can be an cost-effective alternative to fuel-powered generators. While upfront costs for a backup battery are higher, they can be offset by long-term savings on your electric bills.
Clean Energy vs Dirty Fuel: Generators require gas or diesel fuel while solar batteries are powered by the sun. Backup battery power is cleaner and quieter. Generators produce air pollution and noise pollution — both inside and outside your house.
A home backup battery provides security, cost savings and peace of mind. Think of it as an automatic backup generator — without the dirty fuel.
Generators rely on expensive fuel and pollute the air, whereas battery backup power systems provide clean energy on the spot.
Whole Home Power Backup Systems for the Home
While generators can provide power in an outage, whole home backup power systems go way beyond. They provide you with complete control over which electrical circuits to power and which to switch off throughout your house. You direct the energy and you call the shots. When considering power backup for home offices, appliances, heating/cooling and more, consider the flexibility and fuel source and look at the big picture.
Whole-home battery backup means having access to all the circuits in your house — so you decide which appliances, devices and systems to power in a grid outage. Based on factors like lifestyle needs, time of year, solar production, battery size, and backup battery charge state, the system can respond and adapt.
Lumin’s energy management platform, for example, comes with battery backup for home energy security plus smart technology to optimize energy efficiency. It works by making ordinary circuits smart! In other words, it activates responsiveness to a range of complex energy conditions throughout your house — including grid outages, circuit schedules and demand limits, as well as battery charge state and capacity. Naturally, it also responds to your own inputs and preferences as well.
This responsive technology brings added flexibility to energy storage systems, allowing you to reconfigure power backup plans as needs arise. With a smartphone app, you can easily control the energy flow throughout your house.
Automating Backup Power: Lumin’s Responsive Energy Management Platform
Power backup for home energy systems is now being seen as more of a practical need than a luxury. A full house battery backup system provides comprehensive coverage: It protects your house during power outages and meets your everyday energy needs.
With Lumin you get the benefits of clean energy storage, backup battery power and load management all in one. Our advanced energy management platform works by proactively sensing the most critical needs and making backup automatic.
In blackouts, Lumin strengthens system resilience in “off grid mode” by prioritizing your critical circuits, conserving power, and extending battery operation through automatic load shedding. It provides smart control and more ways to save energy and electricity costs.
Backup power is a precious commodity. With climate change and more reliance on home energy than ever, it makes sense to budget for this sooner rather than later. The good news is that clean energy solutions like solar paired with backup power can save you money over time.
And a technologically advanced product like the Lumin smart panel paired with energy storage can deliver a return on investment on day one.