Off grid solar systems are standalone units independent of the solar energy distribution network. Off grid solar homes and establishments do not need public utilities for their power supply. They can independently generate, store and use solar energy for their needs.

Off-Grid vs. Grid-Tie Solar Systems

The essential difference between these systems is that one has a battery backup system and is not necessarily connected to the public utility (off-grid) and the other does not have a battery system (grid-tie). There are some pros and cons to each:


  • Freedom – it is an entirely independent system, free from the public power network.
  • Reliability – the off grid solar system has a reliable battery backup for overcast days, night hours and system failure.

Most homeowners do not buy entirely off-grid systems due to the high cost of battery backup systems (they can double the price of going solar). There are also some environmental questions to answer concerning the use of caustic battery chemistries, as well as the fact that if the system is completely off the grid there is no backup if something goes wrong.. Most people who choose this option live in the countryside where self-sufficiency is a no-brainer.


  • Security – the grid-tie system is always connected to a secure power supply with adequate backup for failures. Any excess power is always fed back to the grid for storage.
  • Flexibility – increase power usage for special events is always taken care of by the power grid system.
  • Economics – this is often a much cheaper option than installing a battery backup system.
  • Net metering – a major plus to being on the grid is getting paid for extra energy you produce.

Grid-tie systems are generally the rule, not the exception and, in most cases, make the most sense.