Off-grid vs. Energy Neutral

All too often I run into people who can’t grasp the significant difference between being off-grid vs. energy neutral.

Here are some typical questions/remarks: Why aren’t you driving a Tesla? or Why don’t you just sell your excess power back to PG&E? Are you using the new Tesla battery? or my favorite: I want to be off-grid too.

No you dont! You don’t want to be off-grid – you want to be energy neutral!

As I’ve discussed in my previous post ( there is no good practical reason for being off-grid unless you have a huge connection cost to establish power to your house (in my case it was $700,000!).

Go ahead- use PG&E as your “grid-tied battery” – pay your $20 monthly service fee, but for the love of god put some PV panels on your roof so they produce at least 80% of the power your consume. These is no reasonable argument for not doing that.

If you can afford a $10k-$15k grid-tied PV system it’s a great investment – add in a Tesla battery for good measure – you only need one (in contrast I need the equivalent of 10). If you can’t shell out the cash – call Solar City (chances are they have already called you) and get a no cash down deal. While the financials are not as great as owning your own – at least you will save some money on your electricity bill and have the feel good factor of being energy neutral.










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