Green Mountain Power (GMP), the company that brings electricity into my home, is piloting a program to provide willing customers with the Tesla Powerwall 2. The Tesla Powerwall 2 is a battery backup that would provide about twelve hours of power to my home during an outage.
In the past month, we’ve had two outages of note. We were prepared for the first one and had filled buckets of water for drinking, washing and flushing, but the second one happened in a flash of lighting, downing a tree and leaving us in the dark for fifteen hours.
The dark’s not really the problem, especially when we’re asleep. The main problems are pumping water and losing all the food in the freezer.
Our water is pumped from our well, and the pump needs power.
The freezer is filled with our homegrown food, from asparagus to zuchinni and our flock of meat birds. In theory, food should keep in the freezer for three days without power as long as we don’t open it; in practice, we haven’t had to test it – and don’t want to.
One way to prevent a great thaw would be to invest in a generator, and we were talking about doing just that when we learned about renting a Tesla Powerwall 2 from GMP.
It’s a sweet deal: According to the Tesla website, a Powerwall 2 would cost $6,600, plus installation, and we’d be on the hook for maintenance or malfunction. GMP is offering us a Powerwall for $1,500 – and offering financing as well.
We won’t own the battery, which means we won’t have to pay for maintenance or repair. After ten years, GMP will recycle it.
HOW IT WORKS
If the power fails, the battery will take over the essential circuits: the water pump, the fridge and the freezer, for sure, and probably a few lights. When the power is on – which is most of the time, GMP will dip into the energy stored in the battery to handle peak demand without having to buy it from away. This will help keep electricity prices down for all GMP customers.
We’re already generating power for the power company through a community solar array installed on a commercial building in Brattleboro. The power from these panels feeds right into the grid, and the credit for it builds up in our account. By investing in the panels, we’ve essentially bought twenty-five years’ of electricity for our household use.
It was a significant capital investment, for sure. It’s also another way we have reduced our carbon footprint. Perhaps most significantly, however, these panels help decentralize power generation and help decrease the need for more power plants.
There’s a two-month wait list for the Tesla tech to come out and do a site visit. We’re waiting. Like the solar panels, we think of the Tesla Powerwall 2 as another way to live locally, yet another benefit of Living In Place.
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