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A new program sees battery power as an answer for certain homeowners facing frequent electric outages

Officials have begun taking applications for a Connecticut program that provides up to $7,500 to help homeowners afford batteries to provide backup electricity in case the power goes out.

The Energy Storage Solutions program is focused on people who live in areas that frequently lose service during storms, or people with medical problems who need a constant supply of electricity.

"If the utilities are relieved from having to prioritize those customers after a storm because those customers have storage assets on their property that can help them ride out the first couple of days after a storm, that's going to lead to benefits for society overall, because the utilities can focus on restoring the most number of customers the fastest," Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Chairman Marissa Gillett said.

For homeowners with solar panels on the roof, the batteries can also be configured to save power, and put it back onto the grid when there is high demand.

That can result in reduced electric bills for the customer with the battery.

The state is working to authorize contractors to install the equipment.

Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.

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