The first question we usually ask is “Are you already connected to the utility grid or are you off-grid?“
If the answer YES, please continue reading. If NO, scroll down to the heading Off-Grid.
Grid-Tie Solar Power Systems
If you are currently connected to the grid but were thinking you would like to go off-grid to get rid of the utility bills, we would strongly recommend against it. Technically it is more cost effective to stay with the utility company and add a grid-tie system. This way you can produce your own power just like with an off-grid system, however there is a great benefit! If you produce more power than you are currently using, then any extra feeds into the utility grid. So in essence, you are now “legally spinning your electric meter backwards”!
Today’s systems are approximately 95% efficient with almost all the power generated being utilized in your home and any excess being sent to the grid.
When you need more power than you are producing, it is there without having to run a generator. For example: Think of the grid as a battery that never gets full or empty. You can add as much power as you can and you take out as much as you need.
More good news…A solar electric system can last upwards of 30 years with little or no maintenance. This type of system will add value to your home if you ever decide to sell.
Regarding the Payback: Solar panel (PV) prices have now dropped to a level that payback for your system could be realized in as little as 8 years depending on system size, southern exposure and utility price increases. From the utility companies, it is usually based on a billing cycle and typically your account is reconciled on an annual basis.
Download our 2015 IPS Grid Tie Catalogue (PDF)
Or view the Grid Tie Catalogue on our site.
Off-Grid Solar Power Systems
You are not currently connected to the utility grid but have to decide whether you should bring in power or go with an Off-Grid System.
Often it will depend on how far away you are from the power. To bring in power, the average pole cost can run anywhere between $4,000 to $7,000 per pole and you would be looking at 10 to 12 poles per km. Now you should measure and do the math. And we would also recommend getting a quote from your local utility installer.
So…depending on the distance, your lifestyle and power requirements, an Off-Grid System may be a viable solution. It is also more cost effective – and quieter – than using a generator as your main power source. Generally it is a 3 to 5 year payback for an Off-Grid Solar PV System as compared to running a generator – not to mention the negative impact of running a generator 12 to 16 hours per day.
For years there’s existed the mind set that to live “off the grid” we would have to listen to a generator or do without modern conveniences. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Our off-grid systems vary from basic lighting to being able to provide power to a full time commercial lodge. The money saved by not having to run a gas or diesel generator 24/7 is worth the investment, not to mention the negative impact generators have on the environment. Solar and inverter power systems are virtually maintenance free and quiet. We also provide installation service. Wind and hydro systems are available for those who have this natural resource.
Download our 2015 IPS Home & Cabin Catalogue (PDF)
Or view the Home & Cabin Catalogue on our site.
Any questions? Please contact us.