Once you make the decision to use a solar energy system for your home, you have to choose between going off-grid or staying on-grid. Both have their advantages and disadvantages for you to consider. To help with your decision making, here is what you need to know.
What Is the Difference?
Before you can start to assess the benefits of on-grid and off-grid, it is important to understand the differences between the two. On-grid solar systems are tied to the utility power grid. Whenever it is connected, it will generate power and send back any excess power that is being generated so that it can be used at a later time.
An off-grid solar system differs in that it is not tied to the power grid. Energy that is converted from the sun is stored in batteries. If you opt for a hybrid system that combines the on- and off-grid systems, the batteries can be used whenever the utility power grid is down.
Should You Install an On-Grid System?
An on-grid system has several advantages to consider. For instance, the systems are relatively simple to install. Even though a professional installation can ensure it is properly done, there are kits available that contain the components needed.
The system is also ideal for lowering your energy costs. If you are interested in green living, an on-grid system can help reduce your household's carbon footprint.
There is a drawback to an on-grid system though. The system relies on being tied to your power grid. Whenever the system is down, the amount of energy stored in the batteries might not be enough for your household.
Should You Install an Off-Grid System?
An off-grid system can be beneficial if you are looking to cut ties with your local power supplier. Instead of paying an energy bill each month, you only have to worry with maintaining your solar power system. If you live in a rural area, this can be especially beneficial if the local suppliers do not have the reach to provide the level of service needed.
There is an issue with off-grid systems though. If you do not have consistent exposure to direct sunlight, you could be left without power. To combat this issue, you can ensure that you have batteries to store power on good sunlight days.
Consult with a solar power system kit retailer or talk to someone like Jeff Long at a company like ML Solar to further learn about each option and to receive help with determining which option is best for your home.