The reason Going off Grid (for electricity ) looks like its a con!
It starts with your intention. Once upon a time in the world of solar energy it was run by a bunch of Solar Engineers that most of them where very well educated and had a passion to show people how to be independent of the National electricity grid. Most installed a renewable energy systems because they cared for the environment, the intention was to install a system, that made them independent and was the best solution for the environment. Back in the early 80’s prices were about $10 a watt for panels( that’s not counting inflation) on your roof. these days its about $3 and dropping all the time. If you were installing solar in the 80’s/90s you did it because you really gave a crap about the environment or you have no other choice.
In 2015 we have solar panels everywhere. What happened to the industry? People were giving financial incentives to install solar. As usual the people with money who got in first and made an absolute fortune! Some homeowners were getting paid 60 cents Kwh when the Retailers were selling it to the end user for 15 cents? Why would you do that? What was the real intention for the government to give away money? Its not something that they normally do, its pretty out of character if you ask me?
The one thing I can guarantee that it did is get people to think about installing solar because they were going to be financially rewarded. Peoples intentions went from installing solar for environmental reasons, to I can make some money out of this! What happened to the industry? And all of those once highly educated engineers and people that were passionate about doing the right thing for the environment? Well most of them went out of business, got out of the industry or there still are a few that are in it to the end!
The reason the guys who had built the industry were really hit hard as they didn’t want to be involved in something they knew that wasn’t the best thing for the planet! And also a lot of clever sales and marketing guys with no back ground in solar created an amazing campaign to get people to install solar for a financial reason not for an environmental reason. It became very easy to take people’s money though when you could say hey, make money and save the planet?
This did wonders for some and caused a nightmare for others. I have a friend that works in a call centre that takes complaints about the solar rebates. The most common complaint is I purchased a house, the last owner told me he got 22 cents per kwh and now I only get 8 cents? And the reason they are calling is because they want someone to come take it off because its not worth it? Give them my number I say I will be around there and kindly remove it for free!
Unfortunately most people are just uneducated about how solar and electricity works and if this is you that is ok. The best thing you can ever do when it comes to electricity is just learn all about the WATT HOUR. This will change you life when it comes to energy.
With all these cheap solar systems being installed because the industry has become make it all about the money! Show me the MONEY! Its all about the money. System’s where installed everywhere and in reality most of them will have to be replaced, I know so many people got cheap inverters and have had a couple of them and now they wish they had never gone solar because it just cost so much to keep the cheap system working. And to make this happen we have used so much of the earths rare resources making it look like we were doing the best thing by not burning coal instead we wasted a heap of rare earth resources on cheap crap that we just want replacing all the time, and its going back into landfill.
This is not for all cases. Some people out there spend money on good systems and have systems that will work for years to come. Iif you are a self consumer which means you use all your solar and very little from the grid that can be a great solution as well.
The reason Going off grid looks like a con is because of what its compared to, Any good quality solar system with battery storage is a very different result than a system that feeds back to the grid. You are comparing something that will supply all of your power needs 100% of the time if sized right for 25 years with very few dramas. And also doesn’t get any help or rebates from the government and it doesn’t just reduce your electricity bill it eliminates it.
This is what I did. My daily usage was 30 kwh per day and I want to go off grid. Knowing that going off grid I had to reduce my load. If i would have kept doing what I was doing I would have spent about $50,000 plus in the next 20 year on energy if prices did not change.
I reduced our familys load to 12kwh per day without and investment in technology, were learned all about the watt hour, Next our flatmates of ten years said they had had enough and were moving out! This was perfect timing to buy all new energy efficient appliances, they took anything that was electrical and we upgraded!
At that point our daily usage was 5 Khw per day, which in a financial capacity was about $1.25 per day. At this point installing a solar system for financial reasons would have been crazy any type of system it would take a very long time to get our money back.
Now we are getting our system installed and we will have no electricity bill! Oh and If we wanted to we could still have the gid for a back up.
The reason we did this is we wanted to be self reliant for our energy needs(not for the money). If we weren’t 100% committed to that cause we wouldn’t have done what we did. Now if we would have just stayed connected to the grid and installed a grid feed system we would have been exposed to any future price rises, any government or rule changes, because when you get government money you sign a contract and you are also connected to someones elses system the Grid, it is owned by a company that have the right to do what they want on there side of your property and charge you for it. Read your energy contract if you are connected to the national electricity grid you have a contract.You might not like what it says.
If we just kept doing what we were doing before we would have spent over $2500 per year if no energy price increases. Now in ten years time we will have our initial invest returned and no cost besides maintenance and maybe an inverter for the next 15 years! Thats with no rebates. AND have saved a ridiculous amount of carbon pollution.
The more you educate yourself and learn how to install a system like this your self the more you will save on install fees. Its not that hard.
The reason going off grid looks like a con is because its not compared apples with apples. Just because it is a solar system and you add batteries its not the same thing. Being connected to any type of grid gives people a false sense that things never run out! Water. Electricity/ Supermarkets and the minute you introduce an option to have a limit or be connected to something that never runs out? People don’t like that feeling.
Have a think about how much of a con the national electricity grid is in the first place. They are allowed to spend whatever they want to upgrade the system so that you have a power supply. The numbers just don’t work, we really should be paying more on our bills because of the real costs it take to supply us. It is all hidden in rebates that the government give the industry. And My biggest gripe is they don’t pay for the resources out of the ground in the first place? No cost of goods for them the only cost is extracting it. Overseas companies come here mine our country don’t pay any consideration for the goods taken, if the company is clever enough they also pay no taxes in Australia!
The more people that disconnect from the grid the better it will be for everyone. Independence always cost more initially and normally the best option in the long run.