Vermont Business Magazine The latest winter storm in Vermont left more than 4,000 utility customers without power and that’s a small number compared to a November storm that knocked out power to more than 100,000 homes and businesses. According to Waterbury's SunCommon, a growing number of Vermonters are choosing to protect themselves from a less reliable electricity supply with solar powered batteries that kick in when the power goes out.
“It’s amazing because, with solar panels and a battery backup, there’s no interruption during a power outage. The clocks don’t even blink when it switches from the grid to the powerwall. We still had lights, we could use the phone and we didn’t have to stress over the food in our freezer.”
Eric Bauernschmidt, West Windsor
Eric Bauernschmidt lost power in West Windsor, Vermont for four days after the November storm. Like Bauernschmidt, St. Johnsbury resident Mary Anne Gummere doesn’t worry anymore when winter storms are forecast to hit. Unlike the old days when she relied on a generator, her battery backup just kicks in and the app lets her know that it’s working.
“We’re both in our sixties and we can’t go down to the brook and haul water and a generator is getting harder to use. That’s why we got the Powerwall. We had no idea that it would be so seamless.”
Mary Anne Gummere, St. Johnsbury
Recent analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy shows that Vermont is one of the top five states facing longer power outages. The average total duration of interruptions nearly doubled between 2016 and 2017, when including major weather events, according to analysis from the Energy Information Administration. The report states that the average customer in Vermont went 15 hours without power in 2017.
“If you feel like we’re having longer outages, you’re right. That makes our work bringing clean energy to Vermont even more important. You can protect yourself with a backup battery that connects to your solar panels. It's cleaner and easier than a generator and way more environmentally friendly.”
Tom Berry, VP of Marketing & Sales, SunCommon
SunCommon crews are installing solar powered backup battery storage across the state right now. In the last week, customers have taken the power into their own hands in Vergennes, Waterbury
Center, Middlesex, Fairfield and Springfield. Next week crews will be installing backup batteries in Underhill, Westford, Ludlow, Peacham and Randolph Center.
SunCommon is also hosting storage workshops around the state to answer questions about solar powered battery backup systems.
U.S. Dept. of Energy Energy Information Administration Analysis:
A list of statewide storage workshops hosted by SunCommon: