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Ask These Questions Before You Install A Home Battery or Solar System

The Learning Curve for understanding home batteries and solar systems is steep. Your battery system education will require mastering at least twice as much jargon, TLAs (that’s Three Letter Acronyms), specifications and industry gossip than ordinary solar systems. So if you don’t want to get bamboozled by an aggressive salesperson, this week’s podcast is a great place to start.

Some of the topics and questions include:

  • What is the best way for me to expand my existing solar system?

  • What are the important assumptions -- such as shading, battery location and equipment compatibility — that I should verify with my salesperson?

  • How long will my battery last during a blackout?

  • Can my backup battery start large equipment, such as my AC or pool pumps?

  • What’s the difference between AC- and DC-coupled battery systems, and why should I care?

  • What changes do I need t make to add a battery to my existing solar system?

  • What are the building code and fire code restrictions on battery installations in my city?

  • Can I install two batteries alongside my house or in my garage?

  • Should I install an Essential Loads Panel, or just go with Whole Home Backup?

  • How can I connect a generator to my batter system?

  • What are my alternatives to doing an electric service upgrade?

Answers to the questions above are not obvious, and vary significantly based on your location, existing solar equipment, and the electrical wiring in your house. For all the details, please tune into this week’s Energy Show podcast at


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