Are you considering installing a solar battery in the Granite State? Fortunately, there are a few financial incentives available to help you save on costs, especially if you’re a customer of Eversource or Liberty Utilities. Full disclosure: these incentives…rock (we know, cheesy NH joke…just couldn’t help ourselves.)
Eversource’s ConnectedSolutions program
Are you a customer of Eversource? If so, one battery incentive you should be aware of is the ConnectedSolutions program.
The ConnectedSolutions program is a demand response program that pays you an annual incentive in exchange for allowing your utility company to access and use the electricity stored in your battery during times of peak demand.
For example, let’s say that temperatures around Nashua are higher than 100 degrees, and everyone’s blasting their air conditioning. Days like this put a lot of stress on the grid because demand for electricity is higher than usual. To meet customer needs, Eversource may have to turn on “peaker plants” (or temporary power plants). Doing so costs them and, consequently, you more money. However, when they have the ability to access and distribute electricity from your charged battery during these times, they can use that electricity to curb their need for peaker plant generation, allowing them to save money and allowing you to reap the benefits of the ConnectedSolutions incentive.
In New Hampshire, you can receive $225 per kW for summer events (i.e. times when they pull electricity from the battery). If you choose to participate in this program, you’ll experience between 30 and 60 events from June 1 to September 30th. A single event can last no longer than three hours. Of course, your overall incentive benefit will depend on the number of events per year and how much power your solar battery can provide, but according to Eversource, “A typical home battery could contribute an average of 5 kW per event. This would earn $1,125 for the summer season.”
Keep in mind that not every storage system is eligible for this incentive: you can find a list of the current battery storage systems supported by the program on Eversource’s website.
Also, if you’d like to learn more about the ConnectedSolutions program, check out our overview of the incentive.
Liberty Utilities’ battery storage pilot program
Liberty Utilities provides its own pilot program for homeowners interested in installing one of the most popular battery products: a Tesla Powerwall.
With this program, Liberty Utilities allows you to lease up to two Tesla Powerwalls for your home. You can participate in this pilot with or without a home solar panel system.
Similar to the ConnectedSolutions program from Eversource, Liberty Utilities will draw electricity from the battery during peak events to help reduce stress on the electricity grid. But when the power goes out, you’ll benefit from a source of backup energy. According to Liberty Utilities’ website, the battery will provide 8 to 12 hours worth of backup power depending on the charge level and the number of devices drawing power from it.
Liberty Utilities offers two different leasing payment options: monthly payments of $25 per battery for ten years, or an upfront payment of $4,866. Either way, because this is a lease, Liberty Utilities owns and maintains the battery throughout the lease agreement.
Federal solar tax credit
In addition to the utility-specific incentives listed above, your solar battery purchase is also eligible for the federal investment tax credit (ITC). If you install a solar battery in 2020, the solar tax credit allows you to claim up to 26 percent of the cost of your solar battery as a credit towards your federal taxes.
Importantly, standalone storage is not currently eligible for this tax credit: to claim this incentive for your battery purchase, you need to charge the battery with an on-site renewable energy resource (like rooftop solar). If you decide to charge your battery with electricity from the grid, you cannot claim this credit.
Interestingly, commercial solar-plus-storage systems have a bit more leeway when it comes to claiming the credit: if you install a solar-powered battery on a commercial property, you can claim the tax credit so long as your storage system is charged by your solar panel system more than 75 percent of the time. However, the exact value of the credit depends on how frequently you charge your battery with renewable energy. For example, if you charge your battery with solar 90 percent of the time, it is eligible for only 90 percent of the 26 percent ITC – equivalent to a 23.4% percent credit (90% x 26% = 23.4%).
For most homeowners, the ITC can help decrease the cost of a battery by an additional $3,000 to $4,000. You can learn more about the federal investment tax credit here.
Compare battery options on EnergySage
Looking to claim these battery incentives, and take advantage of the other benefits of home energy storage? EnergySage is here to help – sign up on the EnergySage Marketplace to receive up to seven custom solar-plus-storage quotes from installers located right in New Hampshire. If you’re interested in a particular battery system like a Tesla Powerwall 2, simply note it in your account so that installers can quote according to your preferences.