About 15 years ago, I went to a briefing saying that by 2015 or so, due to increasing demand for electricity and the growing possibility of cyber terrorism, extended power cuts were going to become part of everyday life. In short: we needed to start thinking pronto about home power plants.
It sounded like a scare story but, as with many future-gazers, the group may only have been a fraction early with their consciousness raising; in 2020 there’s been an increasing trickle of stories about power blackouts as well as the more apocalyptic “black sky events” (or massive power outages).
What if you could give your home, business and vehicles 100 per cent power security and save a huge amount – up to 75 per cent – on energy costs and do the right thing environmentally? That’s the promise of a growing movement towards home batteries, and the leading light in the field, like it or not, is the electric-power innovator supreme, Elon Musk.
The Tesla Powerwall, in its second iteration and now accessorised by the Tesla Backup Gateway 2 unit to address total blackouts, is such a home battery: and there are installers in the UK. A single Tesla Powerwall 2 – charged up either by solar panels or by off-peak conventional power – can keep all systems go in the average house for a few days. According to a Guildford installer, Glenn Ashby of Techfor Energy, one multi-battery system he has set up in a large Surrey home could power 200 small homes for weeks. This bank of Powerwalls, Ashby says, is replenished by a tennis court-sized network of solar panels and keeps the owners’ Tesla cars charged on the side. Tesla has also managed to make a big, white oblong box look cool.
Pricing is complicated. For a large house installation with solar panels, Ashby suggests £17,500 or up, but there are many variables. For example, VAT is reduced for buyers who are over 60 years old. Best have a chat with him or another installer. Google throws up several.
Tesla Powerwall 2, from £7,500 per unit
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