Steps to Create an Energy-Independent Home

As technology advances, the future of energy will become more accessible than we realize. 

Creating an energy-independent home may require a steep up-front financial investment, but it can pay for itself in a shorter time than you think. 

By most estimates, solar panels pay for themselves within 9-12 years and can last up to 30 years or more. 

There are many benefits to an energy-independent home, including the ability to go completely off the grid. 

Benefits of Energy Independence

It’s important to differentiate between an energy-independent home and an energy-efficient home

Energy-independent homes are entirely self-sufficient and rely 100%  on solar or renewable energy for all power needs. 

Energy-efficient homes may utilize solar or renewable energy to support grid-based power, but are mainly designed to reduce energy usage as much as possible. 

Therefore, energy-independent homes compound the benefits of an energy-efficient home to their maximum potential.

Some benefits of an energy-independent home include:

How to Make Your Home Energy Independent

Making your home energy independent can be done in five simple steps, which we borrow from the C.A.R.E.S. model we’ve developed at the Clean Energy Life. While not exactly the same, it follows the same general principles to encourage energy efficiency and independence. 

1. Assess Your Energy Usage

Switching to renewable energy can be expensive. While solar panels are relatively affordable, for a fully energy-independent home, you’ll need a battery to store the excess power your panels produce throughout the day. 

Generally, the more solar panels you install, the more batteries you need to store the resulting electricity. And we should mention that batteries cost up to $7,000 or more for the battery and manual installation. 


Reducing your total energy usage is helpful to lessen your cost and overall reliance on solar panels. The less energy you use, the fewer panels and batteries you need to purchase. 

We always recommend conducting a home energy audit with a certified professional to discover ways to reduce your energy usage. A home energy monitor can also tell you what items in your home are drawing the most electricity. 

2. Reduce Energy Usage

After completing an energy audit, start investing in new energy-efficient purchases that reduce your energy consumption. 

The more you can maximize the usage of the energy you already rely on, the less you’ll need to invest in an energy-independent home. 

3. Electrify Your Home

If you want to switch to renewable energy, you must electrify your appliances. Gas, oil, and propane-powered appliances like furnaces and water heaters will not be compatible with solar panel systems.

Luckily, there are energy tax credits for appliances like heat pumps and A/C units that run strictly on electricity. 

4. Sustain Your Home with Renewable Energy

Installing solar panels is the easiest way to access renewable energy and is generally available for any homeowner across the entire US. Google’s Project Sunroof allows homeowners to perform a solar analysis and explore financing options to kickstart the process of installing a solar panel on their roof. 

It’s most efficient to place solar panels to face south if possible. This placement will maximize the sunlight available for solar cell collection.

To make your investment most cost effective, be sure to offset your purchase with a solar energy tax credit, worth up to 30% of your purchase and capped at $7500. 

5. Purchase a Solar Battery Backup

The final piece of the energy independence puzzle is to purchase a lithium-ion battery. Since solar energy is intermittent, purchasing solar panels without a battery can leave your home without power if your system is not tied to the grid or during power outages. 

We recommend lithium-ion batteries because they are most cost-effective, they have high efficiency, and hold energy longer. Depending on usage, lead-acid batteries can be suitable, but solar companies generally prefer using lithium-ion solutions. 

Once you have all of the components installed, depending on the design, components used and the level of your investment you may be able to power your entire home exclusively on solar power and sell excess power back to the grid. 

What to Do If You Can’t Afford a Battery Backup?

Whole house batteries are essential because, without a battery, you won’t be able to be fully grid-independent.

Nevertheless, you can save substantial money using a grid-tiered system that allows you to offset downtimes during the morning or night with power directly from the grid. 

Should You Go Fully Off the Grid?

An energy-independent home does not need to go fully off the grid, which is entirely up to you. Going off the grid may have its advantages. Still, generally, you will have extra security being grid-connected as well as you may miss out on some potential income from selling excess electricity depending on what your state offers for net energy metering. 

Staying connected to the grid is the safest option if your solar system is temporarily unavailable. 

Make no mistake, this could be a challenging investment. But, by reducing your energy usage and investing in a solar panels, a whole home battery, and a power management system, you can become energy independent, gain peace of mind, and possibly never pay a utility bill for electricity again. 

Please note: This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase after clicking a link The Clean Energy Life may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.  We only link to products we know and we use ourselves.

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