What Does Going off the Grid With Solar Power Mean?

Going off grid with solar panelsYou've probably heard the term ‘going off the grid’ before, but what exactly does it mean? In terms of solar, being off grid simply means that your solar PV system is not connected to the electricity grid.

Solar PV used with a storage system can provide you with the energy needed to power your home and eliminate your reliance on utility companies. Many homeowners who go off grid do so by choice, however, others might not actually have the ability to connect to the utility grid at all. This is often the case in more secluded areas away from main towns and cities where electricity may not be readily available. Often these properties will rely on generators and other fuel powered systems, however many people are choosing to adopt solar PV and other renewable technologies to power their homes.

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Going off the Grid: The Advantages

No reliance on energy utilities
By going off-grid you are able to become independent of the utility companies, or in the case of solar PV at least independent of the electricity grid. This means you will no longer be affected by price fluctuations, tariff changes or even power cuts.

Going off grid can have less environmental impact
Using renewable energy to power your home reduces your environmental impact, and by not using any energy from the grid you can cut this even further. It can also force you to become more energy conscious and efficient, in order to make the most of the energy you are generating to ensure you have enough to perform all the tasks it is needed for.

Going off the Grid: The Cons

Going off grid is expensive business
The batteries needed to run an off-grid system can be extremely expensive, however more affordable options are being introduced into the market as time goes on. Depending on the size of your home you may also need to install more solar panels to generate enough electricity than a grid tied system.

Full solar storage batteries
When you are connected to the grid and your solar system produces more energy than you need, this surplus can be sold to the utility companies via the export tariff. In the case of off-grid solar, once your storage batteries are full, any excess electricity generated is wasted.

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