To be free from utility companies and being independent is a desirable and attainable option for Australians when they consider rising blackouts and increasing energy prices. What does it entail to be off the grid and what are the advantages when comparing off-grid to grid-connected, especially in rural locations?
To get a grid connection for a rural property you will need to deal with your district network operator. The process will depend on the district network operator and the cost will depend on your location and size of the connection. You would need to contact your network operator and obtain a quotation from them for a connection at your desired location. The costs for this can be wide ranging depending on how far they have to run the network cables but we have seen costs of $100000+, this cost will clearly influence your decision to go off grid or to connect to the grid, you will also need to consider that if you do get a grid connection not only to you have to pay for that but you will have the ongoing bills to pay as well.
If you go with the grid connection then you will need to contact an electricity provider and accept the contracted and often fluctuating tariff rates. Being on the grid could mean that since you live in a rural area, you will be the first to suffer blackouts and that repairs to your connection will take much longer than those living in the suburbs. On top of that you have to consider the rising energy prices as well!
In comparison, the process of an off-grid solar PV system can be cheaper, faster and easier with the added advantage of continuous electricity supply. When you contact a local or sunshine coast solar expert, you will be advised on the various types of systems that pertain to your solar energy use. You will have to do some calculations regarding your energy usage which your favoured solar company will guide you through and then you can take the plunge and become your own independent electricity supplier.
An off-grid system in rural areas is often the cheaper option in the long term when you are looking at reliable and renewable power, especially, when you consider your rural location which tends to command higher grid connection rates.
You will of course have to pay for your solar system but you have the added bonus of using the subsidised renewable energy rebates for homeowners and renters when a solar system is installed by an accredited solar installer. You will then have 100% independence from the electricity grid with no fixed connection costs while ongoing electricity bills would no longer be of concern to you.
In addition, you will also be increasing your property value and making it easier to sell in the future as was shown in studies and 85% of Australians confirmed that they would rather buy property with full solar supply than being connected to the grid.