What does it mean to go off-grid?

Solar and home batteries have come a long way. They’re more affordable and accessible than ever before – meaning the number of Aussie homes generating their own energy is on the rise. But, is going completely ‘off-grid’ a reality?

Two thirds of Aussie homes with solar have plans to install a battery within the next five years[i] to help reduce their reliance on grid energy – signifying a growing appetite for more self-sufficient and sustainable homes.

However, the process of disconnecting from the grid is still out of reach for the majority of Aussies – at least without significant up-front costs and a tolerance for occasional disruptions to power supply.

So, what does going off-grid actually mean for your home and your hip-pocket? We’ve put together some quick info on becoming a self-sufficient household, and why staying connected to the grid is a good safety net.

What are the benefits of battery storage?

Home batteries allow you to bank excess solar energy generated during the day so you can use it later, reducing your reliance on grid energy and helping to bring your energy bills down.

For homes without battery storage, excess energy generated by their solar system is sent back to the grid – which means they’re not unlocking the full potential of their solar system.

Home batteries, such as the Tesla Powerwall and the LG Chem Resu store excess solar energy generated throughout the day, providing power at night, on cloudy days, or when there’s a spike in energy use at home.

What’s required to go off-grid?

Going off-grid means completely disconnecting your home from the national energy grid, and relying solely on the energy generated from your household solar and battery storage system.

To power a typical Aussie home, you’d need to install battery storage and back-up generators to ensure your home has enough power when the sun goes down.

Should I stay connected to the grid?

The national energy grid provides a reliable and uninterrupted supply of energy when batteries are depleted, or when solar systems aren’t generating enough energy from the sun – like on consecutive cloudy days. So, staying connected to the grid provides peace of mind (especially on colder days when heating and warm showers are a must!)

In some situations, it’s possible to completely remove yourself from the national energy grid by investing in the right technology. However, a more reliable option is to choose a home battery and enjoy the reassurance of grid-power when needed.

References

  1. Online survey of 1,005 Australian energy decision makers conducted by Empirica Research. Responses were collected between March 20 and March 26, 2018. Participants were recruited to be representative of the Australian population with respect to sex, age, and state of residence. 

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