The dream of generating electricity off-the-grid is now a reality for many solar power enthusiasts – they are creating their own power and pouring any excess electricity back into the electricity grid, and at the same time getting paid to do this!!!
Though, when you talk about getting “off the grid” you could be expecting to not use any electricity from any electricity infrastructure at all. Having Solar panels, wind power, and backup generators on your property all work to doing this.
The ‘grid’ is the transmission and distribution network for providing the electricity supply to every one. It’s possible to get off this grid if you got the space and also money to set up your property for the long term gain.
Solar panel companies some times claim claim to offset entire energy bills, though for most users it will only cover part of the bills. A 1kW solar panel system generates an average of 4-5kW hours per day, while a 3.2kW solar power system can generate around 14kW hours per day and you need about 30 square meters of space. Some low-power users report offsetting entire household power bills.
Houses that create their own solar power are in a position to sell electricity back into the grid. Government regulations make power companies buy green energy back from households with solar panels. This has created a drop in the price of setting up solar panels by about 80%.
Though, selling power back to the grid also creates high bills for other users, with the schemes putting upward pressure on general electricity prices.
Solar power cells currently have guarantees of around 20 years, and a 2kW system would cost you about $7000 to install. For example, if it cuts 30% off your electric bill, you will be saving around $150 each quarter on a $500 bill. It would then take you about 12 years to pay it off.
From an investment point of view, this could be a return of around 8%. That’s more than double the current rate offered by a lot of high interest savings accounts. It can also be higher when you include any tax rebates.
The government and energy providers pay feed-in tariffs and solar credits to customers with solar panels adding an electricity supply to the grid. Owners then pay for the difference between what energy they provide, and what they produce.
As solar power becomes a reality and becomes more accessible to every one, there will be more opportunities for getting off the grid, and it will become cheaper to change.