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Things to Consider Before Going Off-Grid

Ashleigh AngellOctober 22, 20183160

Things to Consider Before Going Off-Grid

Going off-grid used to be unthinkable, as people were so used to having their utility company there to help them in the event that they needed extra power or wanted to sell their excess energy for credits through net metering. However, going off-grid is becoming more and more popular, leaving many people wondering if going off-grid is right for them. If you’re considering going off-grid, you should be considering these various factors to ensure it’s actually the right option for you. And remember, don’t make any hasty decisions.

Limited roof space may make off-grid living difficult.

If you don’t have a lot of roof space, going off-grid may be a difficult option for you. After all, if you aren’t able to put up enough panels to cover your energy needs, it will be impossible to go off-grid entirely. However, you do have other options. For example, you could get ground-mounted panels instead, but they’ll end up costing you a lot more, so consider if that would be a viable option for you.

You can’t sell your excess energy to your utility company.

When you’re off-grid, you won’t be able to take advantage of net metering, and therefore won’t be able to sell your excess energy back to your utility company. This could mean it will take longer to pay back your solar system. It could also mean you run the risk of producing too much power, which is definitely not something you want to do, so you’ll have to stop your batteries from doing it by purchasing an additional part.

Power spikes will have to be avoided.

When you’re off the grid, you’ll have to be much more conscious of your energy usage to avoid power spikes that could waste all of your generated energy. If you have your washer, fridge, and stove all running at once, they could cause enough of a power spike that you’ll run out of all your energy at once. If you can’t handle being much more conscious about your energy usage, this probably isn’t the option for you.

Cloudy days will impact you much more.

When you’re on the grid, your utility company can help you out if you experience a week of cloudy days and aren’t generating enough energy. But if you’re off the grid, you’re in this alone. You’ll either have to conserve your energy or invest in something like a generator to ensure your power stays on during these slow efficiency days.

A big advantage: blackouts.

To be a bit more positive, there is also a huge positive to going off the grid: blackout. When you’re on the grid, you’ll be forced to have your power shut off with everyone else during a blackout, even though technically your power source shouldn’t be affected by it. This is a matter of safety, and the utility companies are forced to comply because its a law. If you’re off the grid, however, you won’t have to worry about the utility company shutting off your power during a blackout, since you won’t be connected to their power grid at all. You can continue to go about your day like nothing is even happening!

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