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Should you go off the grid?


In a nutshell.... NO!

However in saying that, the only time I would suggest going off the grid is when the cost of connecting to it is too high.  If you are already connected to it don't even consider it!

I know it sounds wonderful to be totally off the grid, but there are some definite drawbacks:

Drawbacks of going off-grid:

  1. The cost will be significantly higher to install the solar system.  At least 3-4x the cost (if you want to do it properly).
  2. You will need to spend a lot on battery storage.  You'll need to be able to store enough energy to last you through a long period of bad weather (unless you want to either: have no electricity, or use a generator and burn fuel half the time).  
  3. You will need a significanlty larger number of panels to account for poor weather.
  4. You will not be paid for your export.

When you are connected to the grid you can still make yourself, for all intents and purposes, "self-sufficient".

Low User Plans

Electricity retailers and networks are forced by the Electricity Authority to offer something called a low user plan.  This plan stipulates that the maximum daily fixed charge they can charge the consumer is 30c + GST per day in a residential application.   Therefore to build a system that gives you no power bill, you would only need to offset this small charge of 30c per day.  We have many customers who have achieved this and you can even see a few case studies here.  In fact, many of our customers get paid instead of getting a bill!  Obviously you could not achieve this if you were disconnected from the grid. 

Exported Income

You would be better off sizing your system to be "off-grid" (well not even that really, just self-sufficient) and then reap the reward of the exported income.  If you put the same system in as you would need to go off-grid you would earn one hell of an income from the exported energy!  Especially if you were on our solar energy plan.

I hope this helps!

 

 


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We are an electricity retailer and solar installation company.

By combining wholesale energy with solar, we make people self-sufficient while still being connected to the grid.

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New Zealand 3200

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