Most residential solar customers will remain on the grid. In other words, they will use their residential solar panels to reduce their energy bills while contributing their excess production to the grid. They will then use the grid for backup when their energy needs surpass their own production. This is a great solution, and for many, it truly offers the ideal situation.
For others, however, there is a real desire to be totally energy independent. These customers have the available resources, in terms of the initial investment and access to enough space for their solar panels to make this dream a reality.
While installing solar panels is easy, designing and installing an off-grid system takes a considerable investment of time and resources. Before you make your final decision, here are some thoughts to consider.
Why do you think going off-grid is an option? There are a variety of reasons both practical and philosophical.
At the top of the list of practical reasons is that your home or business is in a location that currently doesn’t have access to the grid. In that case, you will need to research the cost of creating your own system. It will most likely be a substantial array of solar panels, along with a storage system. Compare the cost of your system to what the local utility will charge to connect you to the existing grid.
Another aspect of going off-grid to consider are the practicalities of producing your own energy in the same consistent, reliable way we have become accustom to. Most of us have lived for many years in a system where energy is abundant and as easy as flipping a switch. By going off-grid, you will have to put serious consideration into replicating that system with your own resources. You will most likely be required to make some lifestyle adjustments, too, so that you can effectively balance your energy production with your consumption.
When you are totally off grid, your biggest challenge will be dealing with the fluctuations in power production. When the days are long, sunny and cloudless, no problem! Your solar panels will keep all your systems running efficiently. Cloudy days and the rainy season are another story all together. That’s why it’s so important to work with a solar company with expertise in the design and installation of solar installations that incorporate an adequate storage system along with the solar panels.
Of course, this type of system can represent a significant investment. The good news is that your solar energy back-up system may qualify for tax credits and other incentives, too. As always, these decisions should be made in consultation with your tax advisor.
The best way to determine if now is the time to go off the grid is to contact a professional solar system design company and schedule an initial consultation. Get started today and realize your goal of energy independence today.