With technological advancements in renewable energy, it may not be an uncommon query to wonder if living “off the grid” is possible in this day and age. What size solar panel system and how much battery storage would it take to zero out a typical electric bill? Would this make going off-grid a truly attainable lifestyle? We asked GVEC Home® Sales Manager – Customer Energy Solutions Chad Guthrie these questions based on a household consuming an average of 1,800 kilowatt-hours (kWh) monthly.
How Many Solar Panels and Tesla Powerwalls?
In 2019, the average size solar panel system installed by GVEC Home was 12kW. We wanted to know what size system would be needed to power a home during the day, plus produce enough energy to store with Tesla Powerwall for use when panels aren’t producing to try zeroing out the electricity bill. By Guthrie’s best estimate, a home consuming an average of 1,800 kWh per month would need at least a 14kW system, paired with at least two Powerwalls. (Each Powerwall has the capacity to store 13.5kWh of usable electricity.)
However, Guthrie also emphasized that many other variables would need to be considered, also. This works if and when the sun is shining. If you experience multiple cloudy or rainy days, you wouldn’t produce enough energy to maintain daily consumption. This means you also wouldn’t have enough stored energy for usage in the evenings.
Is Living ‘Off the Grid’ Realistic?
According to Guthrie, although the Guadalupe Valley experiences an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, it would be very difficult to live 100% off-grid. Energy consumption habits would have to be significantly adjusted on cloudy or rainy days—even for different seasons throughout the year—to make this possible.
“You can’t have the mindset that you’ll never have an electric bill when investing in solar and battery storage,” he says. “You can come close to offsetting the bill, but in my opinion, there are still too many variables to consider to give a definitive yes.”
Save On Your Bill Even if you Can’t Live Off-Grid
Even if totally going off-grid isn’t attainable, it’s certainly interesting to explore what’s possible with technological advancements in renewable energy. While this might not mean zeroing out your electricity bill, it certainly means significant savings! You’ll be producing your own energy and purchasing less. Additionally, pairing your system with battery storage allows excess power produced to be used when the sun isn’t shining and even provides back-up in the event of a power outage.
Solar panels from GVEC Home come with a 25-year manufacturer product and power output warranty along with a 10-year installation warranty. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your system was designed and installed by our Solar specialists, and you can reach our local representatives easily to answer any questions you have.
It’s never been easier or more economical to improve your home with Solar from GVEC Home. We offer free, no obligation site evaluations and quotes and take care of all required permits. Taking advantage of our finance options, along with the current 26% federal tax credit, makes purchasing solar solutions for your home affordable as well.
For more information about the benefits of Solar from GVEC Home, call us at 866.684.2359, or visit gvecSOLARservice.com.