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Having reliable electricity whenever we need it is something we’ve come to depend on. The electric grid is a staple in most everyone’s lifestyle because it’s working behind the scenes powering our homes and businesses the instant we need it.

For customers who are considering installing a renewable energy system at their home or business, it’s important to understand how a private system connects to the electric grid and determine which option is the best fit.

What is the difference between net zero and off-grid living?

Customers who participate in our Net Metering Service install a private renewable system and stay connected to the electric grid to ensure they have reliable electricity whenever they need it.  Their electric service provides a readily available backup power supply that supplements their renewable system  when it is producing less energy than what’s needed.

When customers produce more energy than they use from their utility, they then receive energy bill credits.

Net Zero

When customers reach “net zero” energy, this means the amount of renewable energy they’re producing is equal to the annual amount of energy they consume. However, since the timing of their renewable generation does not match the timing of their energy use, the utility connection provides reliable power around the clock. 

Going Off Grid

Some customers choose to “go off grid,” which is significantly different than “net zero.”  Going off grid means a home or business is completely disconnected from the electric grid.

Customers who want to disconnect from the electric grid must be able to independently produce all the energy they need to power their home or business around the clock, 365 days a year.

Customer examples

See examples based on the actual usage of a typical customer, along with the renewable energy system technology that is currently available. 

In-depth comparison of cost, reliability needs and maintenance

So, what should customers consider if they are researching net zero or off-grid living?

Learn more