Over the past few years, the use of natural solar energy to power residential and commercial properties has become an increasingly common practice in North America, specifically in Ontario. The majority of the population is not only realizing the tremendous benefits of going solar, but they’re also expressing a vested interested in going completely off-grid as well for financial reasons. But, what exactly does it mean to install an off-grid solar system? And is this the right financial solution for everyone? Keep reading to find out!
What You Should Know about Off-Grid Solar Systems
First of all, installing solar panels on the roof of your home is definitely an excellent way to save some money on your monthly energy bill and save the environment at the same time. The real dilemma that a lot of people face when deciding to install a state-of-the-art solar panel system, however, is whether or not they should remain connected to the main electrical grid in their area.
Many of the properties that have solar panels installed run on a hybrid system, which means that they’re still connected to the main grid. The reason for this is that in some areas, there simply isn’t enough solar energy generated on a continuous basis to power people’s homes year-round. Winter in particular, when the sun sets sometime in the early evening can make it difficult to store the necessary amount of energy to power your home sufficiently, especially at night.
Another concern is the upfront cost of installing solar panels in the first place. While it’s true that it can certainly cost tens of thousands of dollars to install a solar panel system for your home or business, the long-term savings are certainly worthwhile. Even if you install a hybrid system, you could still potentially save a great deal of money as long as your property doesn’t consume more energy than it generates and stores. Excess energy is then sent to the local power company and they reimburse you for it through a net metering program.
Going off-grid, however, means that you’re essentially on your own. You only have access to whatever renewable energy you’re able to generate and collect throughout the year. If you run out, then there’s no backup plan unless you’ve installed additional battery packs in your property to account for that. Truth be told, additional battery packs can significantly increase the upfront installation costs for your solar power system and they can take a long time to fill up if you live in a region that doesn’t receive consistent enough sun exposure. While this isn’t ideal for Ontarians in the winter, it makes sense for people who live in warmer climates that receive more sunlight consistently throughout the year.
Is Going Off-Grid the Right Solution for You?
Essentially, the answer to this question boils down to where you live, what the climate is like in your area, and what your energy consumption habits are. These are all factors that you need to take into serious consideration before making the final decision and for that reason there’s no clear universal solar answer that works equally for everyone.
Need help deciding whether a hybrid or totally off-grid solar system is right for you? The solar panel and renewable energy experts at Bendygo Solar can help you figure out the right solution for your property and energy consumption needs. Simply taking the plunge to install solar panels on your property is a step in the right direction to leading a more environmentally sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!