About 15 years ago, I went toÂ a briefing saying that byÂ 2015 or so, due to increasing demand for electricity and the growingÂ possibility of cyberÂ 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 thereâ€™s beenÂ an increasing trickle of stories about power blackouts as well as the more apocalyptic â€śblack sky eventsâ€ť (or massiveÂ power outages).
What if you could give your home, business and vehicles 100 per cent power security and save a huge amount â€“ up to 75 per cent â€“ on energy costs and do the right thing environmentally? Thatâ€™s the promise of a growing movement towards home batteries, and the leading light in the field,Â like it or not, is the electric-power innovator supreme, Elon Musk.
The Tesla Powerwall, in its second iteration and now accessorised by the TeslaÂ Backup Gateway 2 unit to address total blackouts, is such a home battery: andÂ thereÂ are installers in the UK. A single Tesla Powerwall 2 â€“ charged up either byÂ solar panels or by off-peak conventionalÂ power â€“ can keep all systemsÂ go in the average house for a fewÂ days. According to a Guildford installer,Â Glenn Ashby of Techfor Energy, one multi-batteryÂ system he has set up in aÂ large Surrey home could power 200 smallÂ homesÂ for weeks. This bank of Powerwalls,Â Ashby says, is replenished byÂ aÂ tennis court-sized network of solar panelsÂ and keeps the ownersâ€™ Tesla carsÂ charged on the side. Tesla has also managedÂ to make a big, white oblong boxÂ look cool.
Pricing is complicated. For a large house installation with solar panels, Ashby suggests ÂŁ17,500 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 ÂŁ7,500 per unit