The answer to this question is all dependent on the products installed at the property. If the home or business owner includes batteries in the purchase of the solar array or has a back-up generator available, then it is possible to power the property on back-up energy. The most common set up for back-up currently is fuel-powered generators. Although this back-up isn’t very environmentally friendly, it is often the cheapest and most reliable form of power when the grid goes down. This is due to the low cost of generator installation relative to solar energy storage. Batteries are still not being produced on a large enough scale to be affordable or to have a reliable infrastructure to handle servicing when a product fails or needs attention. Most property owners, thankfully, do not deal with power outages regularly enough to worry about alternative sources of electricity. This is why most solar arrays are instead grid-tied with no back-ups in place and are looked at more in terms of financial investment rather than a way to ensure continuous electric service. In this arrangement, the solar owner will, in fact, lose power when the grid is down. Most solar equipment installed on rooftops today have built-in safety measures and smart technology to both shutdown and wake back up with the grid without any issue or hands-on service.
The main reason why most homeowners and business owners choose a grid-tied, no back-up solar array is simple: it maximizes the Return on Investment (ROI) of the solar purchase. The property owner typically realizes either immediate and infinite savings with financing options or sees over a ten percent return annually when paying upfront. By going the grid-tied route, property owners are enjoying the stability of the grid while also enjoying the financial and environmental benefits of controlling their own energy futures. This option allows property owners to insulate themselves from rising energy costs. When property owners make the right choice to go with a full-service company such as Solar Is Freedom, they experience a hands-free net metering enrollment process to benefit from a grid-tied system. In addition to this, during the initial consultation, interest in back-up capabilities will be explored and a custom solution will be built, whether that means storage and/or back-up now or having a “back-up ready” system installed that can be added onto later.