Try to rewind and go to just 5 to 10 years in the past. Going off-grid was not something many people with an existing grid connection would seriously consider.
But now, taking homes off the grid is a trend. With solar power & battery storage, it has never been more affordable or alluring than it is today. Also, going green can significantly increase your home value and save you on your electrical bill.
What’s changed? Why are homes going off the grid? Well, there are a number of reasons that so many homes are thinking about going off-grid and relying on Solar. The main ones are as follows:
Over the last few years, there has been a strong shift in the thinking of household people. People are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Becoming fully energy self-sufficient is also a good reason.
People are angry over blackouts, wildfires caused by utilities. The utility’s effort to prevent fires by cutting off power to homes and businesses has also angered people. Campfire in 2018 killed dozens. In short, they are not safe and have become less reliable.
As natural disasters linked to climate change have increased, there have been more extended blackouts in California, Texas, Louisiana, and other states.
People going off the grid also argue that utilities are not moving fast enough to address climate change and are causing other problems. On the opposite, they are countering rooftop solar by proposing reducing incentives for installing solar panels on homes connected to the grid. People now have understood that utilities are only trying to charge more on the pretext of new transmission lines to bring clean energy to every home. See yourself.
Furthermore, the Californians are also upset that electricity rates are kept on rising. California’s electricity prices are among the highest in the country. A study found that PG&E customers pay about 80% more per kilowatt-hour than the national average.
People are also doing so because of another strong reason. The stunning drop in the cost of solar panels and batteries over the last decade. Some homeowners who have built new, off-grid homes say they have even saved money because their systems were cheaper than securing a new utility connection.
“People want to have that self-reliance. It’s become so much cheaper and easier that at this point, there’s very little reason not to do it if you have the means to make the investment now.”
Some homeowners have lived without a grid connection for years but interest in cutting the cord surged after PG&E began to frequently use power shut-offs as a fire prevention tool in 2019, said Craig Griesbach, Director of the Nevada County Building Department.
Electric Vehicles more particularly electric cars started playing an important role. Making it cheaper to go off the grid. Although electric cars available now aren’t designed to send power to homes. But newer models like the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 will have that ability, said Bill Powers, a San Diego engineer who plans to go off the grid with the help of an electric car.
Some energy experts say that millions of people could eventually go off the grid as costs drop. The Rocky Mountain Institute has projected that by 2031 most California homeowners will save money by going off the grid as solar and battery costs fall and utility rates increase.
The benefits of a decentralized clean energy system are many: reliability, lower costs, more autonomy, and decreased emissions. Every home that installs solar, lowers the strain on public infrastructure, which in turn lowers bills and promotes stability in the rest of the community.
So, what’s the moral of the story? Keep things local, and only go off-grid if you have to. And even if you do not want to go off-grid, having solar panels over your home gives you energy as well as financial independence.