OFF THE GRID SYSTEMS
ENERGY SUPPLY WITHOUT UTILITY GRID
When our customers like you consider installing solar panels on their properties, their motivation is to live independently from the power company. Off-grid solar is the setup they're thinking of, as perhaps its greatest draw is that you'll receive no bill from the power company. This can be especially beneficial in remote locations, where installing traditional power poles requires a huge investment. By installing an off-grid solar system, you don't have to worry about whether the closest power company can extend its reach out to where you live.
Others choose this option because of energy-consciousness. Put simply, in producing all of your own power supply you can understand exactly how much power you consume in a given day. This method also eliminates the inefficiencies of distribution and allows the user not to feel responsible for the power company's environmental footprint, for example, as well as their own. In other words, off-grid power represents local sourcing to the extreme.
Going off-grid is possible and practical in many cases, and the experience of thousands of early pioneers and recent off-gridders confirms that. But many people who toss out the phrase have a fairly romantic idea floating in their minds.
Identifying your motivation for going off-grid can clarify your goals and help you understand if the reality will please you. Your specific goals may affect whether going off-grid makes the most sense, and they also may affect the type of system you design and how you live with it. Common off-grid motivations include:
- Environmental concerns—a desire to use less energy and make as much as possible from renewable sources;
- Independence from the electrical utility for philosophical reasons or to eliminate vulnerability from utility outages
- Political/social values, such as taking responsibility for your energy impacts;
- Cost—depending on how far you are from the grid, it may make economic sense to stay disconnected.