Tesla Powerwalls replace conventional meters in VT with ‘battery-as-a-meter’ solution

(Credit: Tesla)

Tesla Energy is taking part in a Vermont utility company’s efforts to push its customers towards sustainable energy solutions. Dubbed as the Resilient Home program, the initiative aims to bring Tesla Powerwalls to an initial 250 homes, all of which will be using the battery storage unit as backup power and as a replacement electric meter.

The program is being launched by Vermont-based Green Mountain Power, which prides itself for being one of the most climate-conscious utility companies in the United States. Customers who are part of the Resilient Home pilot will be able to acquire two Tesla Powerwall 2 units for $30 a month or a $3,000 upfront fee. Apart from allowing customers to get more benefits from wind and solar and providing backup power during outages, the Powerwall 2 units will also be measuring customers’ energy use, effectively replacing conventional meters.

(Photo: Green Mountain Power)

In a statement to Bloomberg, Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell stated that the company’s goal is to deploy batteries to every home that it services, which is a crucial step towards its target of using all renewable energy by 2030. “Our vision — our dream — is that there ends up being a battery in every home and business,” Powell said.

The Resilient Home pilot stands to benefit Green Mountain’s customers who take part in program. The cost of the system at $30 a month is a bargain, and having two batteries in every home ensures customers that there is more than enough backup power during emergencies, such as storms and other unexpected circumstances. The capability of Tesla’s Powerwall during unexpected blackouts has been proven in the past. In February alone, a Powerwall 2 owner from Sydney, Australia was able to weather a power outage that affected around 45,000 homes in his area, thanks to the battery storage unit.

Green Mountain and Tesla have worked together in the past. Last year, a “virtual power plant” comprised of homes equipped with Tesla Powerwalls saved customers around $500,000 during a heat wave in Vermont. Under the VPP program, customers were able to either purchase a Powerwall 2 for $1,500 or rent one at $15 a month, provided that homeowners allow Green Mountain Power to draw electricity from their batteries when needed.

Tesla’s Energy business holds a lot of potential, with legendary investor Ron Baron estimating that the division could be worth as much as $500 billion on its own by 2030. While Tesla Energy has taken a backseat in the past due to the Model 3 ramp, Elon Musk has noted that 2019 will be the year where the company will make a serious push of its energy products. “This is definitely going to be the year of the Solar Roof and Powerwall,” he said during the unveiling event of the Tesla Model Y.

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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