California is currently experiencing another month with extreme heat waves and wildfires that have led to some of the worst air quality the state has ever experienced. For the utility grid, the implication is greater power demand for indoor cooling. The various challenges impact the vast majority of the state, from San Diego all the way to the Oregon border and from coast to desert.
In response to the overwhelming surge in electricity demand and the potential risk to electrical equipment, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) – the major utility across northern and central California – was forced to conduct rotating power outages, impacting over 9 million people. The utility has already notified its customers that this will be a recurring phenomenon until the current weather conditions subside. The sad truth for California residents is that these events are becoming commonplace.
Given the increasing quantity of these extreme events, should California households be taking matters into their own hands when it comes to their energy needs? The short answer is yes. Let’s break down why and how.
The Problem: Climate change and extreme weather in California
California residents are all too familiar with wildfires and heat waves. However, given the record-breaking nature of the current weather events, we are seeing the negative outcomes that scientists have been predicting for years: forest fires, unhealthy air quality, and soaring temperatures will become more frequent across the state due to climate change.
The evidence is clear. In August 2020, the state experienced one of the hottest temperatures ever recorded on earth at 130 degrees. Woodland Hills made headlines with a 121 degree high temperature on September 6 that was an all-time record in Los Angeles County. In the past few weeks, California has also witnessed six of the 20 largest wildfires in modern history and over 7,000 fires have broken out already this year. The amount of land that has been burned in this year's series of wildfires is more than double that of 2018, which was at the time double the amount burned in 2017.
Unfortunately, this means that Californians can expect higher utility costs and power shutoffs in the years to come.
The Solution: Future-proof your home with reliable energy
The current and future impact of these events means that California homeowners should take control of their home’s energy needs by adding solar and storage. Having an all-in-one solar plus storage system allows homeowners to generate, store, and control electricity on their own.
Enphase has a unique solar plus storage technology, called Ensemble™, whereby all components of the system, including microinverters, energy storage, and monitoring work together to create a micro-grid for your home. This allows homeowners to reduce demand from the grid, lower energy costs, and maintain power during a grid outage. With Storm Guard™ technology, the system can even automatically detect a storm approaching and prioritize battery charging in preparation for a blackout.
In addition to your own benefits from solar and storage at your home, you are actually providing benefits to the overall electricity grid by reducing your demand during peak power periods. As more and more households add their own energy generation, the aggregate impact will result in fewer large power plants and a cleaner grid.
If you live in California, you are acutely aware of the increasing risks of climate change. By becoming energy independent, you can reduce the impact on your home while also contributing to a more reliable electricity grid that is better suited to the demands of a state impacted by climate change.
Explore Ensemble™ technology
Picking the right solar and storage system requires careful evaluation. To see how much energy storage capacity you might need for your home, check out the Ensemble Estimator or speak to a local member of the Enphase Installer Network.