Everyone is talking about the vanishing gap between household incomes and the affordability of rooftop solar, and that’s a good thing. Throw a home battery energy storage system into the mix, though, and the gap reappears. Now add the virtual power plant model, and the gap could turn into a yawning chasm of benefits, with none accruing to households that could use the most help with their energy bills. That’s not just a social equity issue. If rapid decarbonization is the game, the name is making both rooftop solar and home energy storage accessible for more households.
Household Incomes & Home Energy Storage: It’s Complicated
The Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been tracking the numbers, and they have spotted a narrowing trend in the income gap for rooftop solar adoption. The lab’s April 2021 report ran the numbers for 2019, and noted that “solar adopters generally skew towards higher incomes, though that trend continues to diminish over time.”