The good folks at EcoWatch recently posted a lengthy article about the dream of going off-grid. And let’s face it: who amongst us hasn’t shared this same dream at one time or another. Especially as we enter year three of the pandemic? The time to go off-grid solar could very well be right now.
That said, you obviously don’t have to really go off-grid to go solar. More and more homeowners are taking advantage of solar rebates, incentives, and tax credits to realize their dreams of going solar with zero down (meaning no upfront costs out of pocket at all).
But going solar isn’t just about saving thousands (even tens of thousands) over the life of your solar system (averaging roughly 30 years). It’s also about saying so long to your fossil fuel (overcharging) power company once and for all. And that’s where the off-the-grid dreamers come into play…
Off-Grid Equals Self-Sufficient
For many of us, (especially post-Covid), leaving society behind to go off-grid is the height of self sufficiency. And sure, the high energy costs your electric company is charging you every month might just push you to start building that dream solar cabin even quicker.
Fossil fuels are fast becoming a thing of the past. Solar panels combined with cutting edge battery storage tech has made exponential leaps and bounds, making the dream of going off-grid more realistic and achievable than ever before.
But don’t switch those breaker panels off just yet, as, if you’re really considering going off-grid, you’ll want to formulate a safety-first plan and ensure you’re doing everything by the book.
What Does Going Off-Grid Really Entail?
Before we dive into that, let’s once again circle back to the 99% of homeowners who aren’t actually going to go off-grid. For most of us, going solar is as simple as comparing the latest quotes from local solar installers, leveraging their estimates against each other to lock in the best deal, and then sitting back and enjoying serious solar savings over the next three decades.
But for that 1%, that adventurous, brave subset of folks who really are going off-grid, the step by step plan of action might look something like this: detaching yourself from public utilities, goods and services, while generating the entirety of your energy consumption needs at your off-grid site. And the only really good way to do this? You guessed it: solar energy.
That electric company that’s been generating and supplying power to your home the whole time you’ve lived there? Say goodbye to them. Any water and gas you were using at your property will have to be supplied by you and you alone once you go off-grid.
Leaving Behind Legacy Infrastructures
The source of the vast majority of our homes’ energy, water, and gas is coming from public systems that have been in place for centuries. The production of these vital resources, along with their transportation and distribution, is a mainstay of communities not only across the nation, but across the globe.
When you make any sort of tweak to legacy systems, including installing solar panels, you’ll need to secure regulation permitting and inspections to ensure the system is protected. Fortunately for residential homeowners, the solar company of your choosing will ensure these permits and inspections are in place and executed properly.
And once you say so long to that legacy power company, you’ll be saying hello to monthly electric bills at half the price you were paying before (or even less). That’s the power of solar panels, and why so many homeowners in every state are making the switch now, with rebates, incentives, and tax credits for solar at an all time high.
Decentralizing the Power Grid and Making the Right Solar Choice
Of course, solar isn’t the only renewable energy source. Wind has become a powerhouse in the green and clean energy space. Stepping away from the legacy power grid means minimizing or completely eliminating many public costs, of both the financial and environmental varieties.
What’s interesting is that there’s an ongoing debate surrounding the legality of even going off-grid. Public opinion is all over the map on this topic, with folks wanting to go full rural advocating for its legality, sometimes with those choosing that lifestyle making the case that they didn’t choose it at all: off-grid living for some is a necessity.
But for those of us living in more densely populated areas, like cities and suburbs, remaining partially on the grid is always going to be something most of us do. That doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) go solar though, as the one thing we’re learning more and more is that going solar spells major, major savings. All while making the world a greener and cleaner place to be.