Do you dream of one day being completely self sufficient? Living a lifestyle that doesn’t depend on anyone else? No electric bill, water bill or any other bills for that matter…except the tax bill…no one can get away from that one.
I commend you for having such a large goal. In today’s world we are so interconnected it is next to impossible to completely go off grid but there are a few things to consider to get you closer to that goal.
Get rid of your junk!
When you go off grid you are likely going to be in a place that is much less spacious. Think shipping container. With that in mind you’re going to have to declutter a lot of the things you don’t use often. Even decluttering your appliances, ones that stay plugged in currently all day but just simply use electricity and increase your power bill.
Look for ways to reduce your electricity usage
Going off grid means you will have to produce your own electricity through something like solar panels. In today’s world it is possible to produce 100% of your electricity needs through solar power but a more common method is to tie back into the grid so that in times you do not generate enough power through solar panels the power company will supply you with the rest.
If you want to become completely self reliant you may need to give up some of those nice things that consume a lot of power. Think about if you can live without a heater or an air conditioner. Or at least a smaller size than what you currently use.
How to use the sun
The sun is one of the most useful tools that aid in going off-grid. For starters it can indeed power your home by installing solar panels. In today’s world solar panels have become far less expensive than 10 and 20 years ago.
But the sun has many other uses as well. You could hang your clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer. You can use a solar water heater in order to heat up water in your existing tanks and it can help heat your house in the winter.
The cost of all of your setup needs
There is a lot of specialized equipment needed to go off grid. Take electricity for instance. Some people think it is as easy as simply getting a couple solar panels and letting them power your home. However in reality you have to consider exactly how much electricity you will be using at any given point in time and ensure you have enough electricity available to supply the demand.
Not only do you have to consider your energy needs but also there will likely be a storage component you would have to factor in as well. Battery storage solutions are currently available but tend to be a bit expensive. It is far more likely that you would want to take advantage of a net metering program offered by a local electric company like Maritime electric in PEI.
Sunly has written a great article on the realities of off-grid living when it comes to solar here.
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