Can We Really Get Off the Grid?
This is the number one question people ask us today by far.
That's why we've taken it off the Frequently Asked Questions page and given it a page of its own.
The simple answer is that if your home or business is in a sunny climate and has good exposure to the sun, you can get off the grid to a substantial degree with solar power systems.
There are a few important things to keep in mind.
With a large array of solar panels, you can generate your own solar electricity, solar air conditioning, and solar hot water. However, you'll want to stay on the grid for two reasons.
- If there are several days of rain or cloud cover, you'll need to use power from the grid.
- On the flip side, on really sunny days you will actually supply electricity back to your electric company and turn your meter back the other way!
The federal tax credits now available can be substantial when you convert your house or business to solar. The credit (not a deduction, but a full credit) is equal to 30% of the cost of the qualifying solar technology. Credits on residences are capped at $2,000 per technology; if you add solar domestic hot water and photovoltaic panels to produce electricity, those are two separate technologies, each qualifying for a credit. For a business the news is even better; the incentive is a 30% credit with no cap. In either case, the credit can be carried forward to future years.
Solar4U will provide you with the paperwork you need to qualify for your tax credits. For specific tax questions, see your accountant.
When you ask us to help you get off the grid, the first thing we'll do is come to your home or business and analyze how the structure is situated in relation to the sun and your current energy usage.
From that analysis we will determine how solar can best help you make your home or business as energy efficient as possible. If the total cost of going all the way is beyond your means, we'll help you determine a plan for phasing in the solar technologies you need over time.
If you have any more questions about getting off the grid, or you're ready to get started, fill out the Ask Solar Sam form or call us at