Electricity prices are continuing to soar high today especially when you consider how more and more households are using more electricity every single day. That’s why there are now people who are going off the grid and are relying solely on solar power for their electricity. They are essentially saying bye to companies that tend to charge high prices for electricity.
But, is off-grid solar power worth the trouble?
If you’re a prepper trying to prepare for SHTF, then the question might seem redundant. After all, what’s more important than being energy independent in case of a survival or emergency scenario?
We agree with you! However, that doesn’t mean we can’t explore the topic a bit and see the big picture of what off grid solar power could mean to you. In this article we try to talk about:
- What will it cost you to switch to off grid solar power?
- How hard is it to install solar power systems?
- How much money you could save in the long run with off grid solar?
- Benefits & advantages of off grid solar power for preppers
Costs of installing off-grid solar power
Off-grid solar power is considered to be cheaper and more affordable in the long run when compared to the usual energy prices you pay for when you go for electricity companies.
However, the first truth that you have to swallow is that you have to spend quite a lot of money to install solar panels in your off-grid home so that you can make use of solar power properly.
But how much does it cost for you to install and set up your own off-grid solar power system in your home? How much do usual American households have to pay for them to have their solar panels installed in their home?
Well, the average cost of installing and setting up an off-grid solar system in homes usually varies depending on the location. Of course, smaller cities and towns tend to have cheaper prices in comparison to those who are living in larger cities such as New York or Los Angeles.
But if we were to base it on the average American home, most households use 6kW of electricity on a daily basis. This means that they would be needing six solar panels and three batteries for them to be able to keep up with their electricity demands every single day.
Based on the available data, six solar panels and three batteries would cost somewhere between $12,000 and $16,000 depending on the location and on the brand of solar panels and batteries used.
On average, most American households who have off-grid solar power systems pay about $14,000 to have their systems installed in their homes.
However, if you are a larger American household with a larger house and with more people living in it, you may be using more than 10kW of electricity on a daily basis.
This means that you could perhaps spend somewhere north of $40,000 to have an off-grid solar power system installed in your home especially if you go for the more expensive brand of solar panels.
It really depends on your location and on your average electricity consumption as those who spend 30kW on a daily basis would perhaps need to shell out somewhere close to $100,000 to have their solar panels and batteries installed.
Essentially, the larger the household and the electricity consumption, the larger the solar power system that needs to be installed. That also means that you would have to spend more money to have such a system installed in your house.
For some great recommendations of solar power systems, check out our guide of the best off grid solar systems for preppers.
The difficulty of switching to solar power
While there are plenty of advantages when switching to solar power, such as savings in the long run, there are some difficulties and disadvantages that you may encounter if you intend on switching to solar power.
First off, if you intend on putting your house on the market sometime in the near future, it may be problematic for you to attract prospective buyers or even price your house competitively because most houses that are powered by an off-grid solar power system are seen with mixed reactions from people who are on the market for a new house.
That’s because there are some conventional buyers who may prefer the traditional way of powering their homes. Meanwhile, there may be a few people out there who are willing to go with solar power especially when they want to reduce their carbon footprint. If you can find a market for your solar power home, then you may be one of the lucky few.
Another issue that you may need to address in the future is related to fixing and maintaining your solar power system at home. While solar panel systems don’t often need maintenance because they are pretty much hardy and resilient, it can be problematic if the off-grid system needs fixing because there aren’t many electricians who know how to fix solar panel systems.
You will be needing more specialized help to have your system fixed, but that tends to be difficult to come across in smaller markets and in areas where off-grid solar panel systems are still rare or uncommon, at the very least.
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How much money can you save with off-grid solar power?
As we previously stated, going off the grid by using solar power instead of paying for the services of electricity companies would require you to shell out a ton of money at the start so that you can have your own solar power system installed in your home.
If you are an average American household, the average expenses for installing an off-grid system is usually somewhere close to $14,000.
But while it might be expensive for you to have an off-grid solar power system installed in your home, the good news is that you will be able to save money in the long run because you are essentially eliminating your monthly electricity bills.
The average American household spends about $110.76 on electricity bills on a monthly basis. Now, this number could go up or go down depending on your location and on the size of your household but that number is the average in most households in America. If we go with that number, you would end up spending $1,329.12 on a yearly basis.
You also have to understand that you will be shelling out quite a lot of money to have a solar power system installed in your home. That means that it might take about a decade and a half for you to be able to make up for the $14,000 average costs of installing a solar panel system in your home.
But after year 15, you will be able to see how much you will be able to save especially considering that you have already covered the costs for the installation of the panels and when you factor in the inflation for electricity prices.
Sure, you may end up spending money on maintenance and fixes for your solar panels but, in the long run, you will be able to save money as you are essentially already eliminating your monthly electricity bills.
But you also have to consider that this is perhaps only a good option for those who are looking to spend at least two decades in the same home because switching houses and having another solar panel system installed in the new house may end up costing you more.
Although we don't necessarily recommend it, as it's very difficult, you can try your hand at putting together a DIY solar system for your off grid home.
Off-grid Solar: Benefits and Drawbacks for Preppers
If you’re a prepper considering an off grid solar system, you’re already aware of the biggest advantage this has: energy independence in case of emergencies, natural disasters or gridlock.
This alone could be a big-enough benefit to make you consider the switch. However, we have a few more benefits and disadvantages related to off grid solar power. We dive into more details for each of them in our dedicated article for the best off grid solar systems for preppers.
Off the grid solar systems benefits for preppers:
- Lower electricity bills
- An eco-friendly option
- Easy to adapt to your individual power needs
- You can build your DIY off grid solar power system gradually
- Great for emergencies
- Minimal maintenance
- Potentially increase your off-grid home resale value
Off-grid solar systems drawbacks
- High initial cost
- Solar power systems are bulky
Is off grid solar worth it?
So, after going through costs, savings, benefits and drawbacks we’re back to the main question: is off grid solar power worth it?
If you’re a prepper, then the answer is an unquestionable “YES”! The danger of the main grid going down is getting bigger and bigger as consumption needs increase.
Add to this the dangers posed by natural disasters, civil unrest, pandemics and who knows what other climate challenges we might face in the future.
Once you look at the big picture, you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t already started prepping with an off grid solar system until now!
However, going off grid is costly, challenging and not something that can be done overnight. Take your time to make a solid budget for it, review your options, and start with small steps instead of going all out.
Prepping is something that takes time and needs prioritization. Switching to off grid solar power should be an important, but long-term goal for your prepps.