Pros and Cons of Off-Grid Solar
Imagine living fully off the grid with solar: You wouldn’t have to rely on outside sources like the electric grid or a utility company, and you’d be completely self-sufficient.
The benefits of off-grid solar make it a dream for many people. But cutting ties with the electric grid is a big decision and it’s important to consider the drawbacks, too.
SouthFace Solar & Electric has been installing off-grid solar power systems in Phoenix and throughout all of Arizona for several years. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of off-grid solar so you can decide whether it’s worth it for your home.
Grid Tie vs Off-Grid Solar: What’s the Difference?
Most rooftop solar panels are grid-tied, which means they’re connected to the electric grid. The grid connection allows you to pull electricity from the grid whenever your solar panels are not producing enough electricity. This is important at night, especially if you don’t install solar battery storage. With a grid-tied system, you will still have a utility company and receive an electric bill every month, although it will be much lower than it would be without solar panels.
Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the electric grid. They produce 100% of the electricity a home uses. To make sure you have power at night, off-grid systems have large battery storage banks and most also have backup generators for additional power.
Benefits of Off-Grid Solar Panels
Off-grid solar systems have many benefits, whether you want to go off-grid in a big city like Phoenix or in a small rural town.
- No electric bill – You will never have an electric bill with an off-grid solar system.
- Self-sufficiency – Off-grid solar puts you in full control of your own power so you don’t have to rely on outside sources.
- No blackouts – Grid outages don’t impact off-grid systems.
- Power in rural areas – Off-grid solar makes it easier to get reliable power in a rural area that the electric grid doesn’t reach.
- Tax credit – Off-grid solar systems are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit.
Drawbacks of Off-Grid Solar Panels
There are some disadvantages of off-grid solar systems that you should consider before taking the leap.
- Cost – Off-grid solar systems are more expensive to install than grid-tied solar panels because they are more complex and require a significant amount of battery storage.
- You’re on your own – The downside of being fully self-sufficient is that you’re on your own when a problem arises. If there’s an issue with your solar panels, you’ll be without power until it’s resolved.
Is Off-Grid Solar Worth It?
Off-grid solar installation is worth it for many homeowners while grid-tied solar makes more sense for others.
It ultimately comes down to your goals—if you want to be independent of the electric grid and fully in control of your own electricity production, an off-grid solar system is worth the cost.
Off-grid solar is also worth it for rural homes that don’t already have grid access. It’s extremely expensive to bring utility lines out to a rural property and off-grid solar will be more affordable than paying to install grid service in these cases.
If you have grid access and just want to save money on your electric bills with solar panels, a grid-tied system is likely the better option. SouthFace Solar & Electric can talk to you about your specific situation and recommend a solar solution that makes sense for you. We are a 100% locally owned and operated Arizona solar company and we design custom solar power systems that bring more power to you.
Find the Right Backup Power Source for Your Home
SouthFace Solar & Electric installs residential solar battery storage systems and whole-home backup generators. Our goal is to provide the best energy storage solution for you and we will help you compare your options based on your specific backup power needs. We’ve been in business since 2008 and are one of the most experienced local Arizona solar installers. We put our customers first and deliver custom energy solutions designed to make your life easier and more comfortable!