Los Angeles and California homeowners use less electricity per capita than residents in any other state, except for Rhode Island and New York. Although well-known for their environmental stewardship (which includes being energy-efficient where possible), part of the reason for that sparing usage is undoubtedly because utility-supplied electricity is so pricey. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Californians pay more for electricity than the rest of the US, and have for years.
It’s common knowledge that the less electricity you use, the more you save. That’s why energy-efficient appliances have become so widespread. But what about energy efficiency for homeowners who go solar? If you’re generating your own electricity powered by the sun, what difference does it make how much power you use?
California homeowners don’t currently have to deal with power outages from hurricanes like those that hit Houston and Florida. However, there are always natural disasters that can knock the power out here, too: earthquakes, wildfires and the like. Occasional man-made problems can cause outages as well.
Going “off the grid” sounds cool, like something Carrie Mathison might do to get intel in Homeland. But if you’re considering off-grid solar, you probably have more practical concerns. When discussing electricity and solar power, “off-grid” refers to a system that is not connected to the electrical grid—the traditional way to get power from a local utility. Why would someone opt for off-grid, and what are the pros and cons of doing so?
Unless you are licensed to install a rooftop system yourself, you will likely contract professionals when you go solar. When you do, you’ll want to be sure the people who will be on your rooftop know what they’re doing.