Battery surge: The technology is here, but ‘demand rates’ might be key to promoting them

While some rooftop-solar energy advocates have opposed “demand rates” from Arizona utilities, other companies see the rates as an opportunity to launch a new market for household-battery and solar systems that benefit customers and the power grid.

The demand charges, which base monthly rates on a customer’s highest hour or half-hour of use, are luring companies that sell systems allowing solar customers to store excess power for their own use in batteries that are about the size of a rifle cabinet. Tabuchi Electric of Japan and JLM Energy of California say the technology can help users lower the demand rates, as well as reduce strain on the grid.


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