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Grid-Tied Versus Off-Grid Solar

What is The Difference Between Grid-Tied Solar and Off-Grid Solar?

The differences between grid-tied solar and off-grid solar are vast in terms of technology needed, services provided, practicality, and affordability. However, the essential difference is that grid-tied means there is a relationship between the solar array and the greater utility grid, and off-grid means that there is none. Traditional homes all over America are grid-tied, and that is why when home or business owners move into a new building, they have the option to create an account with a utility provider and pay for energy. With a grid-tied system, solar owners have the benefit of being able to rely on the grid when it is needed, such as at night or on cloudy, inclement weather days. This means that service is rarely interrupted at the home or business, and in most areas of America, especially in the midwest, the grid is reliable and can be counted to be fixed when it does occasionally shut down. The grid-tied system also requires less hardware, there is no need for storage equipment, such as specialized inverters or batteries, when the owner can simply sell excess energy to the grid. The complexity of the installation and overall risk to the property owner is also greatly reduced. This drives down the cost and risk of installing solar to a level that typically beats the alternative option, which is sticking with the status quo of no solar, just a traditional utility connection. This makes a grid-tied system the go-to for most solar buyers, especially in this part of the world. 

The off-grid option is dramatically more complex and costly, which is why solar buyers tend to steer clear when there is a viable grid-tied option available. With the addition of batteries and storage equipment, the average home or business owner ends up paying 25-60% more simply to cut ties with a utility company and be “off-grid”. Then there are the battery backup options, which means instead of going fully off-grid, the owner is backed up with a battery. Although this set up is more ideal than the full off-grid setup, when compared to a backup generator, the generator blows away the battery in terms of affordability, although it needs fossil fuels and is a non-green technology. Home and business owners have to prioritize their needs with questions like: “How often do I lose power? How valuable is it to me to never lose power? This will impact my return on investment, am I willing to sacrifice that for the luxury of a backup?” In many cases, it makes sense to talk to a solar professional to determine what is the best fit for each situation. Of course, in areas of the world where there is not a reliable grid, off-grid is allowing people across the globe to have access to power for hours a day, a substantial increase in quality of life when compared to the alternative of no power at all. Fortunately, most home and business owners in the US have a reliable grid to count on.     

Solar Is Freedom
5.0
Based on 67 reviews
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Tim Werling
Tim Werling
20:38 21 May 20
My experience from Day 1 when I first contacted Jordan to yesterday when they installed the panels was around 30 days... which I thought was great. When I first got the idea to go to solar panels, I checked with other companies first, but after gathering all their information I ultimately decided to use "Solar is Freedom". They seemed to be very knowledgeable and the quote they gave me included everything to get the job done. Jordan was very sincere in explaining everything, how their system worked and what to expect. It seemed I was always contacting him with questions I had and he never once complained about me hounding him. He understood my concerns and really went out of his way and beyond to assure me that the job would be done thoroughly and professionally. I chose to have 24 panels installed. Jordan advised that the panels would be placed on the side and back of my residence this way they would not be seen from the street. The workers arrived on time and the job was completed in just a few hours which really surprised me. Now I'm anxiously waiting to see how this month's meter reading will be. I already know I made the right move switching to solar. I'm very grateful to Jordan and the crew for doing such an excellent job. I've already given Jordan several referrals. Thanks again.Sincerely,Tim WerlingWest Chester, Ohioread more
Sara Maurer
Sara Maurer
20:11 30 Apr 20
We had a very positive experience with Solar Is Freedom, from the beginning consult through installation of a great... product. Greg was very thorough in explaining solar systems, the specifications of products available, and provided meaningful information that led us to an informed decision of going with solar. We went with Solar Is Freedom for many reasons, but largely because of their commitment to stand behind their product, quality of product offered, and consistent responsiveness. I cannot say enough great things about our experience, and would not hesitate to recommend this company to anyone that is considering solar power.read more
Kerry Ragland
Kerry Ragland
23:11 24 Mar 20
Solar Is Freedom has done an absolutely phenomenal job! The sales team, installers, and customer support were all super... professional and blew us away with the responsiveness and workmanship. I have already recommended them to my parents and neighbors and would highly recommend working with them. They also have opportunities to stay involved with the solar community and came back out to make sure everything we were promised we got. A fantastic company with integrity, that does what they say they are going to do. Already seeing savings after our first bill!read more
Rob Inglish
Rob Inglish
18:09 18 Feb 20
Jordan and team did a great job from installation to the follow up. Installation was quick and clean. We did have an... issue with a set of the panels shortly after installation that was corrected right away and we were even refunded for lost production. Jordan reached out to set up a follow up appointment to review the production as well. What they promised me prior to purchasing the panels is exactly what they are doing, which is a breath of fresh air. I would recommend them to anyone interested in solar.read more
Erica Roodhouse
Erica Roodhouse
17:43 10 Feb 20
The company is passionate about Solar energy. The engineering design is superior to other companies. The system is up... and running and looking great. we are really thrilled to have installed solar with Solar is Freedom!read more
Derek Lucas
Derek Lucas
16:58 31 Jan 20
This a top quality company that I would highly recommend to anyone that is looking to add solar to their home.... Everything from the consultation to the install was very informative and easy. I am so glad that I picked this company to deal with. I would also like to say that our personal consultant Hugh Schmelzer was very helpful and kept in touch with us through the whole process.read more
Gretchen Davies
Gretchen Davies
15:58 28 Jan 20
This is Ana amazing program and a wonderful company. The customer service provided by Evan Druffel continues to be... outstanding. We installed our panels in late fall so we haven’t yet seen the max potential but we’re already seeing them produce 25-40% of our energy usage in the dreariest winter months! Extremely satisfied.read more
April Naiman
April Naiman
21:52 28 Dec 19
We had a great experience from start to finish. We ultimately chose Solar is freedom because they were the most... knowledgeable company we spoke with and the quote was all inclusive. Jordan really took the time to make sure we knew the ins and out of there system and how it worked. We decided on a 84 panel system. Jordan kept us up to date leading up to the install. Install was quick and easy and we were up and running within a couple days. We are loving our system and especially loving watching our electric meter go backwards!!!!read more
cindy hill
cindy hill
22:36 18 Dec 19
We are so very pleased with Solar is Freedom. Chris Simmons was very good at explaining everything to us. He really... cared that we understood the system. The installation went very good. The workers were very efficient . The overall experience has been awesome. Our questions and concerns have been addressed very quickly. Thank You Solar Is Freedom.read more
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