What Is The Difference Between Off-Grid & Grid-Tied Solar Systems?

June 2, 2022

What Is The Difference Between Off-Grid & Grid-Tied Solar Systems?

As the world moves towards solar, it’s time you also start thinking about getting your house solar powered.

Solar energy is a renewable form of energy that does not harm the planet and will help you save the environment, so now is the time that you should shift from your harmful energy-producing ways to a more environmentally friendly way of producing electricity.

If you are planning to install solar panels on your property then make sure to hire a certified residential solar panel installer.

When it comes to solar systems, there can be a lot of confusion about what it means to have a system that is off-grid vs a system that is grid-tied.

In this blog post, we will specifically simplify the difference between off-grid and grid-tied solar systems to help you decide which system is best for your house.

Also Read: Important Factors To Consider When Hiring A Solar Panel Contractor

Grid-Tied Solar System

Currently, the majority of solar systems installed in Canadian homes are connected to an electrical grid. A grid-tied solar system is one in which the solar system is connected to the electrical grid of your home.

The electrical grids in your homes are primarily owned by utility companies such as Hydro-Quebec and SaskPower. So when you connect your solar energy system to the utility grid, you are setting up a grid-tied solar system.

When you connect your solar panel to your utility grid you can get the electricity for your house from both, the solar system or the utility grid.

If your solar system is sized correctly then during the day when the sun is shining you can rely on the solar energy for your electricity needs and when the sun goes down then the electrical grid will take over so you can get electricity for your home through the grid.

A potential advantage of this is that in some areas power rates go down at night which means that you can pay less for the energy you use from the grid.

The drawback of a grid-tied solar system is that even with solar panels you will have to pay utility bills and whenever there is a power outage your solar energy system will also go offline.

Off-Grid Solar System

An off-grid solar system is one that is not connected to the utility grid. When you buy a solar system from a solar manufacturer you connect it to your electric system and switch it on when it is properly connected. Once it is properly installed, your solar system will start producing and consuming energy without any involvement from utility companies.

But for this off-grid system to work properly, you will need to hire a certified residential solar panel installer, as only a trained professional can install an off-grid solar energy system properly.

The biggest benefit of an off-grid solar system is that you won’t have to pay any utility bills and can save up a lot of money on your energy bills. It also means that you will have access to energy during power outages.

Pros & Cons Of A Grid-Tied Solar System

Here are the pros and cons of a grid-tied solar system:


  • You can rely on the grid when the sun goes down.
  • You can receive credits for sending energy back to the grid.
  • You don’t have to worry about offsetting the entire energy consumption.


  • You will have to deal with the ever-changing and unpredictable utility rates.
  • A grid-tied solar system will not function when the utility grid goes down.

Pros & Cons Of An Off-Grid Solar System

Here are some pros and cons of an off-grid solar system:


  • With an off-grid solar system, you will get energy independence from utility companies.
  • You won’t have to worry about the ever-changing utility rates as your home’s energy will not be tied to the utility grid.


  • You may need to install more solar panels and battery storage in order to keep up with the total household energy consumption.
  • You will have to closely monitor your energy consumption and will have to adjust your lifestyle to reduce energy consumption.

About Sundawg Solar

Sundawg Solar is a renewable energy service provider based in the province of Saskatchewan. We’re passionate about making a positive impact on the environment. We take pride in our 40 years of industry experience. Contact us today for more information.