Whether you live somewhere remote without access to main electricity or if you’re just looking to go it alone, an off-grid solar system could be for you.
Have you thought about whether your future system will be on-grid or off-grid? As always finder.com.au is here to give you all of the information that you need to make the best decision for you.
On-grid vs off-grid
Roughly speaking there are two types of solar panel setups, on-grid and off-grid. If you’re on-grid then you’re hooked up to the national energy grid. This might be useful in the unlikely event that you require more energy than your panels can produce, or to sell your surplus energy back to the grid. Either way, it is very common in houses that have previously had standard mains electricity and have recently upgraded to solar. Off-grid solar means that your home is powered by solar panels and is not connected to the grid in any way, so you don’t have access to buying or selling power for the national grid.
Which is better?
It isn’t really a case of which is better and which is worse. They both have pros and cons. On-grid solar may allow you to make a little money by selling energy back to the grid and should, in theory, cover you for any shortfalls, whereas off-grid solar will not offer this. In the same way, many people believe that energy independence is important, and this can only truly be achieved with an off-grid system.
Are there rebates for off-grid solar systems?
In 2010 a piece of legislation was passed that offered financial incentives for people installing off-grid solar systems. These take the form of solar credits, and the savings can amount to thousands of dollars for very large systems. However, before you go running away and spending that money, you should make sure that your system is an eligible solar system and that your premises are also eligible. This is a tricky area and it is often wise to get a little help.
Do I need a home battery pack?
You certainly don’t need one, but it might help you to cover any shortfalls that could occur. A home battery will store energy generated at peak times, for use later during low generation periods. They’ve only recently been announced and so full details, or reviews aren’t available yet. But click the link below to see a comparison of the two front runners, Tesla Powerwall and AGL Advantage.
I’m interested. What do I do next?
Sadly, it isn’t just a case of going out, buying your solar system and putting it up yourself. You’re going to need to make a few choices about the size of your system, the location and the plan that you choose to sell your energy back, or to store your surplus energy.
If you’re interested in going solar, then why not contact a specialist energy broker. They’ll help you cut through the jargon, analyse your use and find the absolute best plan for you and your home.