Off-grid living is becoming more and more popular as people become more interested in sustainability and reducing their reliance on technology. Off-grid living can be cheaper than grid power in some cases, but it’s not always the case. People choose off-grid living for various reasons, including wanting to be closer to nature, valuing independence, or simply because they find it more fulfilling.
What Is Off-Grid Living?
“Off-grid living” is a term used to describe a lifestyle where one is self-sufficient and does not rely on external resources like grid electricity or utilities to live. This could include but is not limited to generating your own power, collecting your own water, and growing your own food. There are many reasons why someone might choose to live off the grid, including cost savings, environmentalism, and self-reliance. However, there are also many drawbacks to off-grid living, including its practicality and reliance on personal resources.
The Benefits Of Going Off-Grid
There are many benefits to going off the grid. One of the most obvious is that you can live independently from public utilities, which means you no longer have a power bill, a water bill, trash bills, or any other city expenses.
Going off-grid can also be very environmentally friendly. By using sustainable energy sources like solar power and practicing sustainable food and water practices, you’re basically eliminating your carbon footprint.
Living Off the Grid Costs and Savings
Living off the grid is not just about cutting your cost, it’s about empowerment and independence. It’s important to remember that “going off the grid” is not a one-time event but rather a continuous journey.
There are some initial costs and investments you will need to make to live comfortably and be self-sufficient. These costs may include purchasing solar panels, establishing a water source, stocking up on supplies, and building a proper shelter.
However, once you have made the initial investment, the cost of living off the grid can be very low if done correctly. In fact, many people find that they save money by living this way.
Although living off the grid may seem like an attractive option, it’s not for everyone. It takes a lot of planning and research to do properly. There are many factors to consider, such as your location, climate, and the availability of resources. And even if you decide that going off the grid is right for you, there’s no guarantee that it will be cheaper than staying connected to the grid.
What You Will Need To Go Off-Grid
There are a few things you will need to go off-grid. In addition to the items mentioned above, it’s a good idea to have some self-reliance skills. For example, knowing how to perform home repairs or build a garden. Here are some of the most important things to have before officially going off the grid.
Plenty Of Land
When looking for property to live off the grid, it’s essential to find an area with plenty of natural resources. This could mean finding land with a stable water source, fruit trees, or an abundance of wildlife.
The first step to living off the grid is securing some land that you plan to make your homestead. Location is an important factor when considering living off the grid; you’ll want to find a place that’s safe, offers privacy, and appeals to your preferred climate.
You will need to research zoning laws that may affect what type of property you can build upon or live within. Seasonality, average temperatures, soil, and livestock are important factors that should be considered when making this decision.
Once you’ve determined where you’ll be setting up your off-grid homestead, the next thing to figure out is your shelter. The land you purchase may have an existing shelter on it, or you may need to build one of your own.
Some things you should consider include the climate, how much work you are willing to put in, and what your priorities are. A shelter should provide a reliable roof over your head, as well as cold-weather gear, warm-weather gear, fire-starters, and security from intruders and wild animals.
If you’re purchasing a property with an existing shelter, you should also have it professionally inspected before moving in.
Water Collection & Storage
A clean, potable water source is essential for living off the grid. When looking for a property to purchase, it is important to consider what water sources are available. If there is no natural water source on the land, you may need to drill a borehole to access groundwater; however, you must also consider the cost of extra electricity required to pump the water around your property. Another option for obtaining water is through rainfall or snowfall if your property is in a location that receives enough to sustain you year-round.
Sustainable Food Sources
Sustainable food sources can come from a variety of places. Some people might think of sustainable food as coming only from naturally occurring sources, like berries and plants. However, cultivated vegetables can also be sustainable. There are many ways to make your food production more sustainable. One way is to use vertical farming techniques in which crops are grown in vertically stacked layers in a controlled environment. You can also cultivate a vegetable garden, grow your own fruit trees, and raise other herbs and spices to have sustainable food sources.
Waste Disposal & Septic System
You will have to deal with waste disposal no matter where you live. There are a few different ways to do this, but the most common are through traditional septic systems or composting waste disposal systems. It’s important to remember that dumping your waste near any water source or livestock is not sanitary and can cause major health problems.
It is crucial to think about all aspects of your operation when you are homesteading, including waste disposal. Septic systems are a better option than simply dumping your waste into an open hole. You must also consider handling food scraps, which can be composted or fed to livestock.
Solar Panels To Generate & Store Electricity
Solar panels are an increasingly popular way to generate and store electricity. They have several advantages, including the fact that they can save homeowners money on their utility bills. Additionally, off-grid solar systems often require more expensive equipment than grid-tied systems, but they offer independence and the potential for long-term savings.
On the other hand, solar is a viable alternative to public utilities. While these companies may charge more fees, they do offer backup power in case of emergencies. However, one disadvantage of going off-grid with solar is the lack of a backup should something happen to the system.
Mistakes To Avoid
Deciding to go off-grid is no easy choice. It’s important to do your research and plan ahead, but you also need to be prepared for the challenges that come with it. There are many things to consider before making the switch, and there are also a few common mistakes people make when going off-grid.
One of the biggest mistakes is not knowing what you’re doing or where to start. Another common mistake is expecting too much from yourself and not allowing for learning curves and mistakes.
The key to success is building your knowledge, strength, and problem-solving abilities through experience.
Build A Solid Support Network
A solid support network is key when moving off the grid or becoming a homesteader. You can build this support network by joining online communities and forums, like those for off-grid living or homesteading. It can also be helpful to join a Facebook group specifically for people in your area who are living a similar lifestyle.
Meeting your closest neighbors can be beneficial in case of emergency, but it’s also important to develop relationships with people who you can trust and rely on long term.
Get A Solar Panel System That’s Larger Than You Need
When you invest in a solar panel system, you are making an investment in your future. Not only do you save money on your energy bill, but you also receive rebates and credits for your purchase. Solar panels generate electricity which can be bought by the electricity company at a discounted price. In addition to this, solar panels increase the value of your home and have many other benefits. It is definitely worthwhile to invest in them!
Communities and Resources
Living off the grid doesn’t have to be a life of solitude. There are many resources and communities available for people who want to live off the grid. Communities can provide you with skills, resources, and support that can be incredibly beneficial in helping you achieve success.
Having a community of like-minded individuals can also increase the velocity at which you learn and make things happen. A number of people have an increased chance of success when they live off grid as opposed to as an individual. This is due, in part, to the fact that they can share skills and resources with others in the community.
Living off grid can be a viable solution for some people, but it is not without its challenges. Communities that are designed to support off grid living often require a certain level of economic stability in order to be successful. This is because the communities need to be able to provide the necessary resources, such as food and energy, for their residents.
Getting Started With Your Off-Grid Lifestyle
If you’re thinking of going off-grid and want to learn more about getting solar panels installed at your new property, we can help! Click here to get competing quotes from solar panel installers near you.