Installing solar photovoltaic panels on your Cape Cod or Greater Boston area home can help you dramatically reduce your energy bills, lower your home’s carbon footprint, and embrace clean energy consumption that’s better for the environment! But solar energy systems aren’t one-size-fits-all —there are a few different types of solar panel set-ups and configurations.
Today we’re going to discuss the differences between on-grid, off-grid, and hybrid solar systems and the advantages to each option.
What Is an On-Grid Solar System?
An on-grid solar system, also called a grid-tied system, is the most common solar energy set-up you’re likely to come across, and the most common residential solar panel option. On-grid solar power systems are connected to the utility grid. When the sun is out and your panels are producing, your home will draw power directly from your panels. But when you need electricity at times when your panels can’t provide, you’ll still be able to draw power from the grid.
The advantages of a grid-tied system:
- Generally the most affordable solar option
- Allows you to take advantage of net metering with no limit to how much you can send back to the grid in exchange for credits
-Utility-related solar incentives, such as SMART and SREC
-Improve the fuel mix on the utility grid for all utility customers
What is an Off-Grid Solar System?
Off-grid systems, by comparison, aren’t connected to the utility grid. For homeowners who want to be completely energy independent and use 100% clean energy to power their homes, off-grid solar systems are a great way to do this. However, an off-grid system will require installation of a bank of solar batteries (or a solar battery with an added backup generator) to provide power for your home at night and on cloudy days. Off-grid systems are usually only set up in very remote and rural areas where grid access is difficult. Here in Massachusetts, we would not recommend an off-grid system.
Hybrid Solar Systems
Hybrid solar energy systems, as you may have guessed, are both connected to the grid and use solar battery storage to reduce the use of electricity from the grid. Hybrid systems are like the best of both worlds—they give you many of the benefits of off-grid systems, with a grid connection that acts as a safety net to avoid having to add multiple batteries or a backup generator. However, in a power outage, your solar battery could stop working if it runs out of power and without internet connectivity, you wouldn’t be able to monitor your system.
Find the Right Solar Installers in MA with My Generation Energy
Not sure which system is right for your home and family’s energy needs? Luckily, you don’t have to make the decision alone! At My Generation Energy, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners install solar panels on their Cape Cod, Greater Boston, South Shore, and South Coast Massachusetts houses. We’ll take the time to learn more about what you’re hoping to get out of solar panel installation and find the right system for your home and budget.