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Is going off grid worth it?

2021-04-28

Going off-grid has become popular in recent years, and many things are considered for the choice, from homeowners’ energy storage goal to the legality and local legislations. A hassle-free option is to choose the RV system or portable PV system for emergency energy storage. Taking all things into consideration, you may wonder that is going off grid worth it?

Solar panels

Pro

  • One obvious advantage is the economic savings, especially when you choose renewable energy as the off-grid solution. An solar system for home can reduce the cost on electrical bills about $20,000 in average for a homeowner in over two decades in most states of United states.

  • The other advantage is less dependence on the public utilities, which means self-sufficiency and master of your own electrical equipment.

  • Most off-grid solution utilizes the natural energy, which creates the least carbon footprint and is environment-friendly

  • In addition, governments of some countries, such as Belgium, encourage their residents to choose green energy product with tax credits and rebates as incentives.

Con

  • Up front cost is not low at the beginning, while they can pay for themselves in the long run. Take the same example as mentioned above, the payback periods for the same US homeowner are 3-5 years for the solar panels and a decade for the battery systems.

  • Since solar, hydro, and wind are not actively producing energy considering the natural weather cycles, you need to invest on the energy storage system to meet your daily energy needs when the natural energy source is not available. Battery maintenance is required hence, but lifepo4 lithium battery can reduce the workload to the minimal.

  • Homes suitable to go off-grid is smaller than common homes and wired for battery power, that is wiring for alternative current instead of direct current to convert electricity.

  • Transition to the off-grid power system can be inconvenient and effort-taking when you have large energy usage, especially when HVAC system is included. Adjustments are required.

Considering wind turbines have a much shorter lifespan than the solar panels which is 20 to 25 years, off grid solar system is more popular and cost-effective with low maintenance cost. If you weigh the pros over cons or have resources to overcome the inconvenience, it is worth the investment on the solar power system, especially in the long run.


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