Wildfires in California are getting worse. Record-breaking fires have ravaged the state each year for the last three years.
So what is the solution?
Unfortunately, there are many causes, so there is no one single solution. But there are many small solutions people can do to help. We’ll get into that momentarily.
Keep reading for great news about solar power and the lower price of backup battery storage…
Blackouts Across California
PG&E is the primary example of a cause, and its blackouts are examples of solutions.
For decades, major power companies ignored maintenance and repair of their electrical grids. Now, their power lines are susceptible to sparking wildfires, especially in rural areas.
But just because a fire starts in a rural area doesn’t mean it won’t affect homes and cities. In 2018 alone, PG&E in Northern California and SoCal Edison in Southern California each caused billions of dollars in fire damage.
When strong winds blow, it can cause a variety of accidents. Trees may fall on power lines; poles themselves may sway and fall. The aging equipment can give off sparks, even if they don’t completely fall.
This creates extreme fire danger, especially after a hot, dry summer. Coupled with fast, dry winds to carry embers, this creates disastrous conditions.
Public Safety Power Shutoffs are when utilities shut off power across the grid. This helps keep their old infrastructure from sparking more wildfires.
It’s not perfect. It’s not exactly an elegant solution, and it can’t prevent all wildfires, but it’s a step that they must take.
Rolling blackouts are the result. They are the utility companies’ answer to the wildfire danger for which they bear responsibility.
And now, thanks to their decades of neglect, we all pay the price.
Paying More Money for Less Electricity?
Being found liable for the damages of the wildfires is one thing. Passing the costs on to the customers they serve is another.
Utilities keep asking the California Public Utilities Commission for permission to charge customers more.
This is on top of extended periods of getting no electricity at all. Homeowners will very likely be paying more and more for electricity each year. And they’ll be getting less for it.
What Can Homeowners Do to Avoid Blackouts and Rate Hikes?
According to PG&E’s own CEO, the process to upgrade and repair the electrical infrastructure could last a decade.
Are you willing to deal with blackouts for ten more years?
For those homeowners looking for a solution, there’s excellent news.
Climate Central, an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists, recently reported great news about the cost of battery storage:
Since 2012, the cost of electricity storage in megawatt hours has dropped by 76 percent.
The report itself focuses on commercial and large scale renewable generation. The carryover effect, though, is very good news for homeowners.
Solar panels with a backup battery for storage means that avoiding blackouts is not just possible, it’s affordable.
The Better Solution for Homeowners: Solar Panels + Battery
With solar panels, you can keep critical devices and appliances active during the day.
With a backup battery for storage, you can keep them active even when there’s no sunshine.
And there has literally never been a better time to switch to solar with a backup battery.