Hurricane season is as unpredictable as it is devastating. It’s never too early to prepare for what this season may bring our way, and the very real possibility of losing power when you need it most.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to invest in a solar battery storage system. Having a solar battery storage system can help during power outages caused by a hurricane so you’re not left in the dark.
If you have a solar system in place at your home and you do not have a battery, your home solar system will not work during a power outage. You will not be able to produce or consume solar energy while the grid is down.
During a power outage, your home solar system will automatically turn off. This is a safety measure to prevent solar energy flowing through the utility grid while repair crews fix any downed power lines or other failures. When the power comes back, your home solar system will automatically turn back on.
This is why it is critical to have battery storage with your home solar system!
Unlike a solar-only system, a solar system plus a 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.1
During power outages, solar battery storage systems allow you to become completely energy independent. This independence can mean the difference between living life as normal or having to wait weeks for your power to come back on.
Home Battery or Generator… Which Should I Choose?
Generators and batteries are both good options for resiliency during a power outage. However, there are definitely some things to consider when making the decision on which is best for you and your family.
All backup power solutions need a fuel/energy source to run. Whether it is a solar panel converting sunlight into usable energy for a home or a generator needing diesel, gasoline or natural gas to run. While generators provide backup power during outages, they also still rely on fuel, which could be costly. Also, in extreme weather situations when roads are inaccessible and stores and gas stations closed for prolonged periods of time, if that fuel runs out you may be out of luck. With a solar + battery storage system, however, the power source is the sun – so your panels can continue to generate solar energy and recharge your battery with clean, renewable energy as soon as there is enough sunlight, even if it is not full sun. Check out the chart below for more detail.
And for the greatest reliability in times of crisis, we recommend having both, 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
Before 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.
We recommend you take photos of your solar panels and battery before a hurricane and store hard copies of the pictures with your insurance policies and other important documents. It’s also a good idea to keep digital copies of the photos as well, in the event you need them as backup for your hard copies.
The good news for Sunnova Easy Plan™ customers equipment lease customers is that you’re covered by our 25-year Sunnova Protect® warranty - it covers the equipment and labor to repair the system due to damage, theft and loss. You can find more information about Sunnova Protect® in your Sunnova service agreement, or by watching the video below.
Finally, but not least, 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, so you’re prepared before a hurricane occurs.
After a Hurricane
After the hurricane has passed, you should take a good look at your home solar panels to be sure they’re not damaged.
In the event that your home solar system is not working due to damage from a hurricane, you should take photographs of any sustained damage from a safe distance and notify your solar power provider. They can instruct you on proper protocol and send someone out to inspect your solar panels if necessary.
You should never attempt to repair or inspect damaged solar panels yourself. Do not get on your roof – it’s not safe for you and it 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 be still be energized and producing power.
If you’re a Sunnova customer and your solar panels are damaged during a hurricane, you should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855.277.6379 right away. We will take care of your solar panels right away.
Hurricane Preparation is Key
Your best defense for protection from power outages caused by a hurricane is a home solar system plus battery storage. For more information on Sunnova SunSafe® home solar + battery storage, visit our Knowledge Center, or request a no-obligation quote.
1 The amount of power available from the battery during a power outage is limited, depending on the loads connected, customer usage and battery configuration (i.e. batteries in certain areas may be set up to provide you with the best economic benefit, which may affect the amount of back-up power available). Solar systems and/or batteries may require repairs after weather events and such repairs may be delayed due to forces outside of our control. No assurances can be given that the solar system or the battery will always work. You should never rely upon either of these to power life support or other medical devices.