Thinking about going off the grid?
Both grid-tied and off-grid solar panel systems have advantages and disadvantages depending on your individual energy goals. While being off the grid may sound serene and quiet, there are some things to consider before disconnecting your power system from the electricity grid.
6 Pros and Cons of Going Off the Grid
Off the grid seems like the dream, but off-grid systems can sometimes cost as much or more than your entire system because they need to be equipped with solar batteries. At Steel City Solar, we care about educating you on the solar options that are available. That’s why we’ve put together 6 benefits and drawbacks for both on- and off-grid solar panel systems.
1. Energy Storage
Every solar system needs somewhere to store energy so that it can be used when needed. Your panels only produce electricity during daylight hours, but you still need to refrigerate your food and turn on the lights in the evening. Leaving your system attached to the grid allows your panels to send surplus electricity to the grid, which can be distributed to homes in your area. In return for sending power to the grid, you’ll receive a credit from your utility company which you can use at any time.
Off-grid systems are a little different. With no access to the power grid, you will need a battery bank to store the energy produced by your panels. Batteries are expensive but can be invaluable in times of outages or if you plan to store energy and sell it later.
If you plan on going off the grid, keep in mind you still need power after the sun goes down! Solar batteries can add peace of mind and help you maximize the benefits of producing your own electricity. It is up to you if you want to purchase batteries for the added flexibility to your system.
2. Return on Investment
Switching to solar can be an extremely wise investment, especially if you’re equipped with accurate knowledge. If your goal is to kiss your monthly utility bill goodbye and pay off your system as quickly as possible, then remaining connected to the grid is your best bet.
Going off the grid and purchasing a battery bank for your solar system will add to your initial solar cost and lengthen the time it will take to pay off the system, leading to a lower return on investment compared to remaining connected to the grid for energy storage.
If your goal is to get off the grid, we’re here to help. The experts here at Steel City Solar can help you map out your goals and evaluate the different options.
(The time is now for the most savings when making the switch! Tax incentives offer, and rebates are declining as solar technology becomes more popular.)
3. Maintenance & Repairs
Solar panels produce electricity for 25 years or more and require little to no maintenance. In the off-chance that something does go wrong with a system component, the experts and equipment at Steel City Solar are only a call away. If you experience an issue with your grid-tied system, you have the safety net of being able to draw power from the grid until your unit is fully operational again.
Going remote and off-grid generally means you’ll be troubleshooting and monitoring your own system, for better or worse. Having the correct expertise, tools, and equipment to repair a damaged off-grid system can seem quite daunting, so we recommend consulting with the Steel City Solar experts to weigh the risks and rewards before switching to off-grid solar.
No power lines, no problem! Off-grid solar systems deliver electricity to even the most remote locations, and even with battery banks, are often much cheaper than running power lines to remote properties. Installing a remote solar panel system is also better for the environment and the future.
Energy independence, freedom, and solitude, with no loud hum from the electrical wires is appealing to a lot of us. Remote solar systems have a lot of benefits, but it’s important to educate yourself on your system if your property is remote and far away from immediate assistance. The team here at Steel City Solar is happy to answer your questions on remote solar systems.
5. Energy Conservation
We should all strive to conserve electricity for the sake of the environment, but when you’re off-grid with a battery bank, energy conservation becomes much more important.
With off-grid systems, you risk using more power than you generate with your panels and getting caught in the dark. In grid-tied systems, the grid will provide you with electricity if you use more electricity than your panels produce.
6. Back-up Generator
Regardless of your decision to remain connected to the power grid or not, it may be a wise idea to purchase a generator for your home. Battery banks are excellent for storing power, but rely on your panels for a charge. In the event of a battery component failure, you could risk temporarily running out of power. If you rely on an emergency medical device, electric water pump, refrigerator, or other necessities, you’ll receive peace of mind from having a back-up option.
Home-generator technology has come a long way and there are many options such as battery generators, standby generators, inverter generators, and portable generators. If you rely on essential appliances or medical devices, make sure you consult with the experts at Steel City Solar to make sure you have all the backup you need.
Steel City Solar Experts Are Here For You
Here at Steel City Solar, we are passionate about clean-energy education and helping our clients adapt to solar power. That’s why we have a team of experts on standby to help answer your energy questions and give honest advice on all of your solar energy needs.
Stay connected to the grid or go live your off-grid dream with the help of Steel City Solar!