Nov 08 2007
Part of building a home with renewable energy systems, such as solar panels, is deciding whether or not it should be connected to the electrical grid. There are numerous considerations — namely practical, economic, and environmental –involved in making your decision.
However, this choice can be difficult without a good understanding of what the terms grid-tied and off-grid actually mean. A grid-tied home is connected to power lines which transmit electricity to the home, mainly from power plants, yet can also produce power on-site using renewable energy systems. An off-grid home is not connected to power lines and, therefore, it relies solely on renewable energy systems to produce electricity and storage systems such as batteries to mediate the supply.
As we examine the practical implementation, cost, and environmental impact of each, we’ll see how being connected to the electrical grid is typically more beneficial than being completely detached from the predictable source of electricity and storage it provides.