One of the most common questions we get asked at Pacific Energy is whether or not you can live off grid with solar on Maui.
In short, the easy answer is yes. But let’s take a look first at what it actually means to go off grid with solar in Maui and why in some cases, it actually makes sense remain connected to the grid.
Benefits of off grid solar on Maui
One of the main ways to take full advantage of solar power is to go completely off grid. An off grid system, commonly known as a stand-alone power system (SAPS), works by generating 100% of its electricity from solar panels and stores the excess in a solar battery, with the help of a controller.
The explanation sounds rather simple, doesn’t it? By simply storing your energy in a battery, you can run your home on solar power during the day, during the night, basically at all times even when the Sun doesn’t shine.
So, if you’re wondering if you can live off grid with solar on Maui, the answer is yes, in some cases you definitely can!
In certain areas of the island, the cost that covers paying for MECO or HELCO to power your home is sometimes ridiculously expensive. So instead, if you can invest in off grid solar in Maui, you’ll definitely be better off and you’ll also get to save a lot of money in the long run!
Besides, bringing grid power to your home, aside from being expensive, doesn’t come with any tax benefits. Installing a PV system, on the other hand, has a combined maximum tax credit of 65%. So in the end, if you’d have to choose between living off grid with solar on Maui or connect yourself to the grid, going green would definitely beat the cost of installing grid power the old fashioned way!
When NOT to go off grid in Maui
All the benefits described above make sense if you’re not already connected to the grid. If you are, you may consider keeping grid power as a backup.
Peak loads, like ovens, dryers or other “strong” appliances may require a huge amount of energy in order to function. This isn’t to say that investing in a PV system, with a battery backup, isn’t a good idea. In the long run, going off grid with solar in Maui may be a profitable choice! However, if you’re grown accustomed or need to handle the occasional high peak load at home, you may require to install a bigger solar system, which automatically implies a bigger upfront investment.
If doubling or quadrupling the size of your solar PV system is not on your list of priorities right now, it makes perfect sense to remain connected to the grid and use solar power only during the day.
Living off clean energy comes with a myriad advantages and,even though going “completely” green and being self-sufficient sounds amazing, it sometimes makes financial sense to get “off-grid capability”, but keep the grid as your backup.