Essentials of Living Off the Grid (Part I)


How often does it happen that a big part of your paycheck goes to paying utility bills? Even living in small houses is getting expensive day by day and it can get frustrating. For this very reason, many people start living off the grid. It is not all that uncommon and not too novel either as in 2006 Home Power Magazine estimated that 180,000 homes are running off grid. And most of these off the grid dwellers originate from urban areas where it is getting expensive as well as congested.

If you are thinking about following this back to the lands movement, you will need a lot of dedication. The transition can be overwhelming at times and you do need some money for initial investment. The following information about essentials of off the grid living will provide you a guideline about how to start this new lifestyle.

Finding Alternate Energy Sources

The first and foremost thing is to get you independent from grid energy and find yourself alternate energy sources. Most common and environment friendly solutions are solar or wind energy. Solar energy is created by sun when it hits the panels and electrons start to flow in the direction of the electric field in the panels. Wind energy is produced by wind turbines typically 50 to 120 feet long for houses. The blades rotate with the wind and are connected with a generator which produces electricity.

You can use either of these depending on your location and which options works with it better. Many people use both of these together and produce enough energy to power their entire home. It will require initial investment for buying the panels or setting up the windmill but in the long run, it will take you completely off the grid and save a lot of money.

Getting Water

Going off the grid also includes cutting off link from city water supply and sewerage. Getting your own water is not that difficult as you have water everywhere and many homes in America have their own water. The best solution is to get a well dug but it can cost anywhere from $3000 to $15000. Also, there are regulations that you should be aware of in regard to digging a well. Another way to get water is a cistern which is basically tank that collects rain water. Rain water goes to the cistern and is then pushed into your house.

For sewerage, your best bet is to get a septic tank. This system collects waste water and breaks everything down with bacteria. The wastewater goes into the ground or drainage through pipes. The tank needs to be serviced by a professional service at least once a year.

This section covered two of the very basic amenities you need in life and how you can get them while living off grid. Setting up these things may seem costly but in the long run you will be saving quite some money. There will be absolutely no utility bills that you dread every time a new month begins.

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