Comparison examples

From making nominal voluntary contributions through the Green Energy Program, partnering with us through our available solar programs, or becoming a renewable generator, LG&E and KU offer a variety of resources and information for customers interested in renewables.

Customers researching topics that offer more energy independence from the electric grid, there are two options to consider: Net Zero and complete grid independence, also known as, “going off grid.” 

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

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

Estimated upfront system costs

  • Net Zero: $10,000 to $40,000
  • Off Grid: $100,000 to $400,000

Electric reliability

  • Net Zero: By maintaining electric service, customers have a readily available backup power supply that supplements their energy needs during times when their renewable system is producing less energy than what’s needed.
  • Off Grid: Requires a significantly larger system and presence of energy storage (batteries) to meet around-the-clock energy needs. If the system fails, there is no backup connection to the electric grid.

Equipment and power supply needs

  • Net Zero: PV panels and power inverter (uses electric grid as backup power supply)
  • Off Grid: Sufficient power supply to meet all needs, including: PV panels, batteries, power center and power inverter

Maintenance and upkeep

  • Net Zero: PV panels need to be cleaned regularly (removal of leaves and other debris); panels must be replaced as needed and according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 
  • Off Grid: PV panels need to be cleaned regularly (removal of leaves and other debris); panels must be replaced as needed and according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some types of batteries require regular maintenance and many will need complete replacement after 10 years depending on use and according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.