Hurricane season is as unpredictable as it is devastating. It’s never too early to prepare for what the season may bring, and the very real possibility of losing power when you need it most.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to invest in solar with battery storage. Adding battery backup to your solar panels can help you prepare for a hurricane by taking a proactive approach and ensure you’re not left in the dark if you lose power.
Consider this: Anyone who has a residential solar system installed without battery backup lacks the ability to store and use power at a later time, like during an outage. This is because solar panels only generate power in real time when the sun is shining, meaning you have to use the energy as it’s created. During rain or heavy cloud cover, your solar production will be limited – and you won’t be able to produce or consume any solar energy while the grid is down.
During an outage, your home solar system will automatically turn off. This is a safety measure to prevent solar energy from flowing through the utility grid while repair crews fix any downed power lines or other failures. When the power returns, your home solar system will automatically turn back on.
Therefore, it’s critical to have battery storage with your home solar system as part of your hurricane preparedness plan. Unlike a solar-only system, a solar system plus battery enables you to continue producing solar energy while also storing excess energy so you can power your most needed lights and appliances during a power outage.*
A Home Battery or Generator — Which Should I Choose?
Generators and solar batteries are both good options if you’re wondering how to prepare for a hurricane. There are two main types of generators on the market: portable (or pull-start) models and standby generators. All backup power solutions need a fuel/energy source to run – whether you have solar panels converting sunlight into usable energy, or a gas-powered generator. When planning for hurricane season, here are three resiliency options:
Professionally installed outside your home and wired into your home’s electric panel. Often fueled by natural gas or liquid propane, these whole-home generators can power many of your home’s essential appliances.
Used for emergency backup power, these gasoline-powered generators are a last resort for temporary power and don’t require professional installation.
Solar with battery storage can provide your home with clean solar energy for days at a time (if sized properly), should you lose power. If you already have solar panels installed, a backup battery is an easy add-on to any system. It offers additional benefits, such as allowing you to draw less electricity from the power grid even when there is not a power outage.
When it comes to generators, standby generators are the safer, more reliable option since they’re permanently installed outside your home. A solar + battery storage system runs on the sun, so as long as there is enough sunlight (even if it’s not full sun), your system will remain powered.
And for the greatest reliability in times of crisis, we recommend having both a standby generator and solar battery, if possible. When it comes to safety, it’s never a bad idea to be prepared and diversified with your energy solutions.
Hurricane Preparedness Tips
Preparing for a Hurricane
Many homeowners take photos of their valuables and other treasured belongings as proof of the condition of these items, should they need to file a claim with their insurance provider for future damage to them. This is also a good strategy for your solar panels.
It’s a good idea to take photos of your solar panels and battery storage system before a hurricane. Store hard copies of the pictures with your insurance policies and other essential documents.
When you have Sunnova SunSafe® solar + battery storage, you’ll have resilient backup power to run your essential appliances if you lose power during a hurricane. If you choose our solar lease or PPA option, you’ll be covered by our 25-year Sunnova Protect® Platinum Plan, which covers the equipment and labor to repair the system if it sustains any damage during a hurricane or hailstorm. If you live in Puerto Rico, Sunnova will cover any customer-owned system that becomes damaged by a tropical weather event and your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t provide coverage. Customers who live outside of Puerto Rico and own their systems are responsible for insuring them through their homeowner’s insurance.
Regardless of where you live, you should contact your homeowner’s insurance company for specific information about their coverage for wind and storm damage to your home. Make sure you do this sooner rather than later, as part of your hurricane preparedness planning.
After a Hurricane
After a hurricane has passed, take a good look at your home solar panels to check for any damage.
If your home solar system is not working, you should take photographs of any sustained damage from a safe distance and notify your solar service provider who will send someone out to inspect your system.
Never attempt to repair or inspect damaged solar panels yourself. Do not get on your roof – it’s unsafe and could even pose a threat to your home. You should also be careful not to touch any loose, damaged or displaced panels or wires, as they could still be energized and producing power.
If you’re a Sunnova customer and your solar panels are damaged during a hurricane, send an email to email@example.com or call 855.277.6379. We’ll take care of any damage and get your system back online without delay.
Hurricane Preparation is Key
Your best defense for protection from power outages caused by a hurricane is a home solar system plus battery storage. To learn how solar battery storage can help you prepare for a hurricane, request a no-obligation quote today.