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Living Off The Grid – Can I Afford It?
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Living Off The Grid – Can I Afford It?

What is living off the grid anyways? Off the grid living merely means that you arrange your life to either get rid of or drastically reduce your dependence on fossil fuels. By going off the grid and using cleaner, renewable forms of energy we can be more environmentally friendly and save a lot of money.

We can get renewable energy from clean sources such as the wind, the sun, and water. Would it be difficult to live using only ( or at least mostly ) renewable energy sources? Not really. It would take some adjustments to your life, but most likely nothing you couldn’t handle.

Obviously, it will be easiest to cut your dependence on the energy grid if you own your own home. I can’t imagine too many landlords would like you to just start making alterations to the home! Besides, you don’t want to have to leave all your hard work behind if you ever decide to move.

Producing your own energy is usually done by using solar panels, wind turbines, hydropower, or the old standby, windmills. These are still pretty expensive to buy and have installed. It could take you several years to recoup your money if you go with a professional install.

One way to get around the initial high cost is to make the panels yourself. This would save you a lot of labor cost. There are quite a few DIY diagrams and instructional programs to help you build them on your own. If that doesn’t sound good to you, you can try to get a self-assembly kit. These are generally not too difficult.

Another way to help spread the cost of going off the grid is to do it slowly over time. Decide how much you could spare from the budget each month (or two months or whatever ) and use that to put together a solar panel or wind turbine.

Over time you will become more and more independent of the grid. Eventually you will be producing all the energy you need. Who knows, you might even have more than you need and be able to sell some back to the utility company! I much prefer receiving money than having to pay it out!

Something else you should probably do whether you are planning to live off the grid or not is buy energy efficient appliances. Does that mean you need to replace everything right now? No, not at all! When the refrigerator or dryer ‘gives up the ghost’, just replace it with the most energy efficient model you can afford.

Being able to be independent from fossil fuels may seem like a pipe dream. Living off the grid might be something you never thought you would do. Many people are doing it, though. Could be that the benefits to the environment and your pocketbook will make it worth it.


Street Talk

Great job! I agree starting of slowly is the key. Bulbs, recycling, or managing waste. From there maybe solar power, appliances then your vehicle. All of these actions equal savings long term.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

The concept of living off the grid is a great idea but unfortunately is scary to some people. Getting started a little bit at a time is a sure way to become more comfortable with these important changes. Great article

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Good article Lacey, and some good information on your website, I think this is something you need to work up to slowly.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yes Penny, that's my plan! Little by little and before you know it, you are where you want to be.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Nice! Good points - planet saving as we all start to follow them. We got our first day where our consumption of electricity matched our use of electricity. Exciting:-) Thanks for a great article. Hope lots of people find it so they can learn about how to live off the grid and being able to be independent from fossil fuels.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks Cynthia! It's something I have been interested in for a long time.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Hope you'll provide lots of stories!

  
  about 9 years ago

Good stuff. This is a topic that I'm starting to become very interested in. You never know how much we might need it.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Exactly right Seth!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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