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What benefits do I lose out on for going "off-the-grid?"

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With solar battery costs going down and efficiencies getting better, I thought it might be a good idea to look into going "off-the-grid." I wanted to install a solar water heater in addition to solar panels on my roof, but don't know how much everything will cost. I know that if I really want to detach myself from the grid I could lose out on solar rebates offered in my hometown of Palo Alto, but what else could I miss?
asked Nov 12, 2013 by Chris

1 Answer

0 votes

Hi Chris,

Whether or not you choose to live off the grid really depends on how much you're willing to spend. Not only will you need to install a larger number of panels to power your home without grid electricity, but you won't be able to bring down the costs through local rebate programs, as you mentioned.

You will still have access to the federal government's Investment Tax Credit, which is worth 30% of your installation costs.

Also, while their costs are dropping and efficiencies are improving, solar batteries will likely improve greatly over the next several years. Places like Germany and California are currently implementing policies that will lead to advances in solar battery technology in the coming years. For those reasons, we don't normally recommend our customers to go completely off the grid, but if you're willing to pay the higher upfront costs, it's a great way to achieve a more independent lifestyle. 

answered Nov 12, 2013 by Ed S (2,590 points)
edited Nov 12, 2013 by Ed S