Winter is coming. Are you ready?
December 15, 2023
By: Bret Biggart
A lot of us are still haunted by memories of freezing temperatures and power outages, both in 2021 and last winter.
Back in February, I wrote about Elizabeth Andrews’ harrowing experience with 2021’s WinterStorm Uri — the storm left her and her family without power for nine days.
Stuck in a dark, freezing home, she felt powerless and “out of control” — and she came out of it determined never to face a situation like that ever again. Elizabeth equipped her home with Freedom Solar Power’s rooftop panels, as well as battery units to store excess electricity. That helped her keep the lights on during last winter’s ice storm, when most of her neighborhood again went dark for days.
Experts say Texas may avoid such devastating blackouts this year. I certainly hope so. But the weather is only getting more extreme; while it’s good to be hopeful, it’s better to be safe — especially if it will save you money in the process. Texans want to be energy independent. Well, energy independence requires solar power and batteries.
Solar panels help you generate your own electricity every day, no matter what’s happening on the power grid. Battery storage allows you to hold onto that electricity, tapping into it when the power goes out or gets expensive, or even selling it back to the grid when utilities need it and you can spare it.
This summer vividly demonstrated the vital role that solar power can play when summer temperatures peak, energy is scarce, and the grid is teetering. As the calendar turns to cold- weather worries, we once again see the critical role that solar power and battery backups can play in keeping us, our businesses, and our families free and safe from high bills and blackouts. In fact, a recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that solar panels can produce up to 20% more electricity in cold weather than in hot weather.
Across the state, utilities and generators are preparing for the worst. So should we. Solar’s obviously not the only answer — we need to ensure that Texas never again sees the widespread failures among thermal generators and gas supply infrastructure that were the main cause of the 2021 blackouts.But solar and storage have a key role to play, both this winter and for our broader energy future. They protect homeowners and business owners from extreme weather, and they help lower electric bills the rest of the year.
Winter is coming. But next summer is too. So are volatile, skyrocketing power bills, likely in the near future.
Live more powerfully — and be prepared — with solar power and energy storage.
Photo credit via Arun Kuchibhotla on Unsplash.com