I just spoke with an ideal candidate for off-grid solar. Her weekend cabin is ½-mile down a dirt road in a remote rural area. It’s never had electrical service. The driveway cuts across a neighbor’s property and she has an easement for coming and going but not for trenching or running wire. And she uses the off-grid house only occasionally, on weekends, mostly during the summer.
Bingo. With a small off-grid solar array and battery storage, she can be more comfortable in the cabin.
But most people who inquire with us about getting off the grid do not share these characteristics. They want to do it for other reasons: they don’t like their utility; hate paying power bills; want to be independent; or want to be self-sufficient in the event of catastrophe.
According to Nicolas Morgan of Morgan Solar, “I hear many people talking about ‘getting off grid.’ It really sounds better than it is.”
“Basically, it makes much more sense for us all to contribute to the grid. [If we] increase our local home production as much as we can, while decreasing our consumption, we’re giving back more than we’re taking.” [Note—Net Excess Generation rules do apply here in the States, and over-production can cost you dearly. But agreed—energy efficiency combined with renewable generation allows us to individually balance-up grid energy with clean energy.] “In this model,” he says, “a couple of things happen. First, it provides more of a financial incentive for upgrades to the grid that would benefit everyone; and second, it contributes to a more stable, productive and low-cost power grid for everyone.”
One social benefit of solar is clean power going onto the grid just when it needs it most—at those peak-demand summertime afternoon and early evenings. “Staying connected and giving back makes more sense than disconnecting,” says Nick. We agree.