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Winter Preparedness

Jan 15, 2024 | Uncategorized


We are still excited by the work of Seeing Energy in a Different Light.

With winter at our doorstep, let’s discuss what it means to be resilient- ready.

Firstly, make sure you remember where you’ve buried your seal meat – the frozen stash of protein used to ward off the frigid abyss. Okay, perhaps I’ve wandered off the ranch here.

What I mean to say is that the winters of the last few years in Texas mean the possibility of inconvenience, discomfort or life threatening conditions are unfortunately all too real for us.

At Lighthouse, we hope this winter is uneventful, but to guard against the surprises, we offer a few simple tips.

Please avail yourself of the basic preparedness that our municipal resources recommend:

Austin Energy Winter Preparedness Guide: 4 P’s (People, Pets, Plants, Pipes)

Get Ready Central Texas

City Of Austin Neighborhood Preparedness Guide

For Lighthouse Solar customers who have installed a solar only system, without backup capability, please remember that the solar system relies on grid power to operate. Thus during an outage, you will need additional, independent power sources to provide energy. Some practical alternatives are hand cranked flashlights, phone charging power blocks, portable solar generators, and firewood.

For those who have installed a system with partial backup capability, we strongly encourage you to treat this system as you would an exit seat on a plane. Remind yourself of the system’s capabilities by checking the circuits that are intended to be supported during an outage. Make sure you have storm guard enabled, which will ensure that your batteries are fully charged prior to an anticipated weather event.

We encourage you to run the system in a simulated off-grid test and train yourself to remember which ones remain powered. You can force your system into off grid mode through your app, then verify which circuits are powered.

For those with a whole home backup system, you will have access to all your circuits, but it is important to remind yourself of how to manage the power and energy resources through time. We encourage you to run your system either in self- consumption mode or off-grid mode over a period of time, both during the day and at night, to internalize the time (duration) your system will stay powered.

Load management can be an active practice (ie. turning off breakers in real time) or may already an integral part of your system architecture. Some of you have specific loads that are managed independently and some of you have a smart panel that allows you to digitally prescribe the set of circuits you want to power.

If you also have a fuel based generator, you can schedule a test cycle and make sure your fuel lines or storage are in good shape.

Remember you have an active power system that includes resources of power generation and potentially energy storage. These are now powerful tools in your toolkit to stay resilient. Add to this your common sense and compassion for others and we can start to build a resilient community.