Grid Defection, a lot of people are asking me these days and who can blame them? With the recent sudden spikes in energy costs everyone would be looking for alternatives to being a passive player in a scenario where prices seem to have lost control.

Is it possible today to do without a connection to the electricity grid?

I would like to say yes lightly, the current legislation does not pose any problems, so anyone can decide to disconnect from the grid, eliminating fixed costs and withdrawal possibilities, but the truth is that any installer promising to make you completely independent from the grid is promising you something unrealistic or counterproductive.

The design and construction of systems capable of ensuring full, indispensable energy autonomy is now feasible, but the cost-effectiveness of the operation is in doubt. In fact, it is necessary to build very oversized systems, which makes it economically unviable.

Apart from economic considerations, it should also be borne in mind that our distribution network offers a very reliable service on average, whereas in the event of a grid defection the user must accept the possibility of service interruptions of a presumably longer duration. In this case, moreover, it is the end user who has to bear the burden of ordinary and extraordinary maintenance.

Solar energy is a renewable source, which is by definition intermittent and unpredictable, and it is unlikely that the bills will be totally zero, unless a large system and large batteries are used to ensure that there is sufficient storage of electricity every day of the year.

In this case, however, in a domestic context, the costs would be high, and would most likely be higher than the savings you could achieve by disconnecting completely from the grid. Especially when consumption is low, irrespective of the climate zone of the house, disconnecting from the grid costs more than not. The economic gap between total self-production solutions and grid tariffs tends to narrow as users with higher electricity consumption are considered.

What then?

A realistic target for energy efficiency is to cut energy bills by 30-70% by sizing the system correctly.

What we can evaluate are production estimates, even very reliable ones, and annual averages. The profit and loss account is always built on weighted values, the system will produce much more on some days and less on others. There will be days when production exceeds demand (and this is where storage systems/batteries/storage systems and/or feeding into the grid come into play) and periods (e.g. at night) when it will be necessary to withdraw from storage or draw from the grid.

For excess energy produced during the day and in the summer months, the mechanism of the Scambio sul Posto intervenes, for which the GSE issues a contribution and which will partly compensate for grid withdrawals.

Furthermore, thanks to the advances in materials technology we use, it is entirely possible to decide to increase the power or add components, even at a later date.

It is important to rely on an experienced installer who can advise you on the best technology available on the market, the ideal size based on your electricity consumption and carry out the installation tailored to your needs.