The Napa Valley lifestyle is among the most exceptional in the world, but the beauty and grandeur of an estate home here comes with a price. I’ve talked before about some of the challenges facing Napa Valley homeowners because of the California wildfires. These, along with the increasing prevalence of storms, grid insufficiency, and resulting PG&E power outages, mean that there has never been a better time for you to invest in a solar energy or backup generator system for your home.
Whole-house Generators vs. Solar Energy Systems for PGE& Power Outages
Some homeowners have turned to traditional whole-house generators as an answer to the frustrations of PG&E power outages and the security concerns created by the prevalence of natural disasters. However, these systems have a number of drawbacks:
- Aside from the system’s initial cost and the cost for installation, these systems require a great deal of fuel to run, usually propane or natural gas. In the event of an earthquake, wildfire, or other natural disasters, these supplies may become unavailable or dangerous to access.
- As a mechanical engine, generators require a great deal of upkeep and maintenance. Within 24-48 hours of constant use, they will need to be inspected and serviced — something that won’t be possible during a long-term power outage.
- Whole-house generators are noisy, making them frustrating and unpleasant for long-term use. In addition, loud, round-the-clock generators may run afoul of local noise ordinances.
By contrast, solar energy is clean, quiet, and can be captured under a wide variety of conditions. In addition, once the system is in place, you only need regular ongoing upkeep — there is no cost for fuel and little or no cost for system maintenance.
Whether you currently have solar panels installed or are looking to put an entirely new system in place, it is essential for you to understand both the financial and logistical factors involved in choosing the right system for your home’s needs. One of my favorite options is the Tesla Powerwall, with or without their Solar Panel system, because of its integrated and user-friendly approach.
Tesla Powerwall: The Home Battery
The Tesla solar energy system can work in two different ways.
- It captures power from solar panels or from a solar roof in order to power your home, then stores excess energy in the Tesla Powerwall.
- It draws energy directly from the grid then stores it for later use — either during a service interruption or during periods of peak consumption.
The Powerwall offers constant storage and a fully integrated, whole-house backup generator that kicks in seamlessly in the event of an interruption in power.
Powerwall can provide energy for more than seven days in the event of a long-term power outage. If connected to solar panels, it can continue to store additional solar capture while powering your home. This gives you peace of mind for ensuring that your home’s systems continue to run even in the event of one of our famous California blackouts.
Powerwall is easy to install and requires no maintenance. It is water-resistant and dustproof, allowing it to be installed either indoors or outdoors. It is touch-safe with no exposed wiring or hot exhaust vents, so it can be installed in homes with pets and children. For estate homes, Powerwall is easily expandable — up to ten can be stacked together to increase available energy output.
Powerwall operates with almost no noise, offering a distinct improvement over other generators. In addition, it monitors the power grid and weather conditions in order to provide seamless backup power in the event of an interruption and provide alerts to the homeowner.
One of the key differences between Powerwall and a backup generator is the ability to fully integrate Powerwall into your ongoing, daily energy needs. With time-based controls, Powerwall can optimize energy usage in your home by drawing from the grid during the overnight, off-peak hours and providing free, clean power during peak-demand hours.
If you also have an electric vehicle (EV), you’re in luck. The Powerwall can integrate an EV charging station as well, offering additional peace of mind and keeping your household fully operational no matter what happens to the grid.
If you are interested in solar power solutions but are looking for a more attractive, fully integrated look than solar panels can provide, consider the Tesla solar roof. Insulation and integrated air gaps under the roof tiles provide superior cooling in addition to the power generated by the solar cells in the tiles themselves. With an infinite glass warranty on these tempered glass roof tiles, you will experience unparalleled peace of mind and cost savings.
The current Tesla roof tiles are aesthetically similar to standard roof tiles, however Smooth, Tuscan, and Slate tiles are under development, offering a variety of looks for different architectural styles.
If you have existing solar panels…
The Tesla Powerwall system can be installed to work right alongside an existing solar capture system for homeowners with solar panels already installed. Attempting to integrate the two systems is not recommended, as it can interfere with system performance and may void both warranties.
California Blackouts – Homeowners Save Big When Installing Solar in 2019
For Napa Valley homeowners, there is no time like the present to have a home solar power system installed. That’s because the federal government’s Investment Tax Credit (ITC) grant begins stepping down in 2020 on the way to its eventual expiration.
If your system is up and running by the end of 2019, you receive an ITC of 30% of the purchase cost of the system. The 2020 credit is 26%, 2021 is 22%, and 2022 is 10%. There is no ITC after January 1, 2023.
One great feature of this program is that it does not have a maximum limit. You can claim the full 30% California solar tax credit no matter how much your system costs. In addition, you can take the tax credit all at once on the 2019 taxable year or prorate it over multiple years.
The credit is available whether you pay cash or finance your system, but it is not available for leased systems.
If you are interested in home improvements that make your Napa Valley Vineyard or Winery real estate more energy efficient and add to its long-term value, let’s discuss some of the most desirable home upgrades available today. I am here to provide the expertise you need to choose improvements that make your home work better for you now, while increasing its long-term value.