You don’t have to go off-grid to produce your own energy. Modern, grid-tied renewable energy systems enable homeowners to generate enough energy each year to “zero-out” their electrical bills with clean, homemade electricity. Regardless of the system type you install—battery-backup or batteryless—keeping the utility offers many benefits:
- You can use the grid as your “backup,” drawing power when you need it; and feeding power into it when your RE system’s production is greater than your electrical use.
- Your renewable energy always has somewhere to go: either to your loads or to the grid. In off-grid systems, when the batteries are full, the RE isn’t often fully utilized, “wasting” some of the energy potential.
- You can take advantage of utility, state, and federal incentives (rebates, tax credits, and tariffs) to offset system costs. In some states, RE-generated electricity is worth more than the average retail electric rate, enabling you to earn money with the energy your system produces.
- Grid-tied PV systems are about 20% to 30% more efficient than off-grid systems.
- You can size your array to offset any portion of your utility usage. While you can choose to “zero-out,” you don’t have to produce all of the energy you consume— you can simply install a system based on what you can afford or what you can fit at your location.