News Briefs

GMP partners with SunCommon for solar storage at no upfront cost

Green Mountain Power and SunCommon Sept. 14 announced a partnership that will allow customers to store their solar power for security during a power outage. The first-of-its-kind program in Vermont partners a utility with a solar company to offer home storage that both strengthens the grid and allows homes to power from solar during outages.
Through the program, everyday Vermonters can add a SunCommon solar system and the Tesla Powerwall to their homes with no upfront cost and a fixed monthly payment.
“We are excited to work with SunCommon, a fellow Vermont B-Corp, and together we will empower our customers to control their energy use, keep costs low and increase reliability all year long,” said GMP President and CEO Mary Powell. “Leveraging the latest innovations like battery storage, we are working with customers to move away from the antiquated bulk grid, to a cleaner and more reliable energy system, where power is generated closer to where it’s used.”
The home battery can be paired with home solar to store locally generated energy. During a storm or emergency, the battery powers essential parts of the home like lights, refrigerator, and heat pump home heating system. Alone, the Powerwall can keep a home’s essentials running for hours. The technology was designed to pair with solar to be recharged when the sun shines.
During a recent summer storm, one customer in Lincoln was able to power her home for 14 hours. Normally, when an outage occurs the solar on a customer’s roof can’t power the home, but by adding the battery the solar system becomes a backup power source. Customers can also leverage time of use rates to charge and discharge the battery at times that will save them money and reduce peak power costs over time.
“By charging a home storage unit with solar power, homes can become self-sufficient during outages—keeping the Internet connected, phones charged and the fridge chilled. We’re excited to work with Green Mountain Power to bring this opportunity to Vermonters at a heavy discount. GMP’s forward-thinking recognizes the huge value of local storage to our grid; adding storage will mean a smarter, more reliable grid, ready to host more renewable energy as we build it,” said James Moore, co-president of SunCommon.
Through the partnership, customers will have a streamlined process for both the solar panels and the Powerwall. Together GMP and SunCommon offer a flat monthly price with no upfront costs to ensure these products are affordable and accessible. Customers can lease a Powerwall for $37.50/month, and finance their solar system to save as much as 20 percent on their home energy costs in year one.
“I switched to solar to save money and become more energy independent. The more I can power my life with solar the better off I am. With the battery back-up, I can store sunshine to use during an outage making the most of my solar production,” said Rhonda Phillips, the joint program’s first customer.
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