The grid-tie system is one of the quickest ways to take advantage of solar energy. If your main objective is to reduce your power bills, this is a good option. It’s particularly suitable if you live in an area with a highly reliable grid service, and one that offers a reasonable return for the power your system injects into the grid.
The disadvantage of the grid-tie solution is that it doesn’t provide back-up power; if the grid is down, your solar panels can’t supply power to your home. Home-owners who install grid-tie systems aren’t always aware of this. They think that because they have solar panels they will have backup power if the grid fails. Not so! Read this article if you’re confused.
Another disadvantage is that you can’t do it yourself. Grid connections must be carried out by licensed tradesmen, though you might be able to negotiate with your supplier to do some of the non-specialised work yourself.
Bear in mind, too, that your financial return from the grid-tie system is dependent on your supplier’s policies. If they decide to lower household returns, or impose some other charges for allowing you to connect to the grid, you have to live with it. Make sure you read any contract very carefully before proceeding.
That said, grid-tie systems are the most popular solar installation at the moment, and suppliers of systems are keen to get your business. It’s a buyer’s market, so if you’re looking at this type of solution, shop around.
Think you can’t afford a full system install? Think again!