Whenever I get a call from someone who’s thinking about making the switch to off-grid living, there are a number of questions to ask and factors to consider before moving ahead with the project.
Designing and building an off-grid system quickly becomes an intimate relationship between the customer and installer. This is because as the installer, I need to understand your energy habits and lifestyle in order to create a system that will work for you and your needs.
Why Live Off-Grid?
I lived in an off-grid home for almost 5 years, which means I know first-hand what it takes, and what sort of challenges to expect.
If you are on the fence about living “off the grid,” here are a few reasons you may want to take the leap:
- Power is not available in your location
- The expense of bringing “grid power” to your location is too costly
- You like the feeling of generating your own energy
- You don’t want to be reliant on the utility, or grid, for power
- You don’t want to pay power rate increases
It’s important to realize that choosing to live off-grid means succumbing to certain lifestyle changes. It means being more conscious of when you use power and how you use it. Here are just a few examples of ways you can save power when relying on your own off-grid power system:
- Get rid of the electric coffee maker, and buy a french press.
- Do your laundry and run the vacuum when it’s a nice, sunny day.
- Be prepared to move with mother nature. If you are in the midst of a beautiful snow storm, kick back and read a book instead of watching a movie. Turn off the DVD player.
As stated earlier, there are a number of reasons to go off-grid. For some, it’s because their vacation home is in a remote place where it’s impossible to bring in a power line. And for others, it’s simply about wanting to generate their own electricity, move with moth nature, and live a little simpler.
We can design and install an extremely elaborate power system for the user who wants to be able to use a lot of power at any time. And we can also design a smaller system that is more reliant on the weather, meaning you use less power. This is why it’s so important to be upfront with your installer about what your expectations are so that the system can be designed to meet your usage needs.
When it comes down to it, any off-grid situation is possible. It just depends on what your goals and budget are.