Many people tend to think that living “off the grid” means that you have to build a cabin in a remote wooded area. You have to hunt for food and grow your own crops. Maybe you’ll even have to build an intricate system to trap rainwater so that you can have a drink. If you know someone that has done that then technically they are off the grid. However, you don’t really have to take it that far.
Is Solar Off the Grid?
The “grid” that we’re referring to is actually any municipal utility. It can mean water or gas but most people are referring to electricity. It is believed that to achieve that status you have to be completely self-sufficient and generate all of the power that your home needs to operate. When someone decides that they want to be off the grid they have to look at alternate sources of energy. Renewable ones such as solar or wind are preferable. Solar is the most popular choice because it is the simplest one to set up on a home and the least expensive when it comes to equipment. Not very many people can afford to build an array of windmills on their property.
Is Net-Zero the Same as “Off the Grid”?
There is a misunderstanding that you have to be completely disconnected from utilities to achieve “off the grid” status. This isn’t the case. As long as your home generates as much, if not more, electricity than it consumes, then it is considered self-sufficient. Solar panels don’t make electricity at night and their production is reduced a great deal when the weather is overcast. Unless you have solar batteries then eventually you’re going to have to pull from your city’s grid.
Net-Zero refers is when the amount of electricity you produce offsets the cost of the power from the city that you use. Your solar energy system will overproduce on sunny days and you’ll feed that power back into the grid. The power company will credit you and you’ll draw from those credits at night and on cloudy days. At the end of the year you’ll find that your balance is zero or lower. That means that you have achieved being off the grid.
Knowledge is Power
There is no reason to move to a remote mountain in the middle of nowhere in order to feel like you’re being self-sufficient. At Aurora Energy we have been helping people get off the power grid for years and there are a lot of satisfied customers. You can see some of their comments on our Facebook page.
If you want to learn more about “Net-Zero” or living “off the grid” then feel free to give us a call. We’ve got solar consultants with years of experience that would love to pay you a visit and design a solar energy system to meet your needs!