Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Five Ways to Move Your Home off the Grid



Millions of citizens worldwide dream about going off the grid. Not only does going off the grid offer you the freedom of feeling like a self-made individual, but in the long run it helps you to save thousands of dollars. If you're looking to achieve greater independence, think about incorporating these five tips for moving your home off the grid.

Incorporating Solar Energy

In recent years advances in solar technology have made solar energy a viable alternative to power from utility companies. Some homeowners now cover their roofs in "solar shingles"; these alternatives to solar panels look just like regular shingles, but with a blue tint.

Creating Your Own Water System

Using a well is a great way to avoid paying an outrageous water bill. However, you'll need a well pump. Companies like Pumping Solutions can help you better understand the available options for well pumps. Once installed, you'll have access to water for all of your home's needs.

Harnessing the Wind

Home wind turbines now start out at under $1000, making them ever more viable alternatives to energy from the grid. Although these turbines require large, open spaces to realize their full energy production potential, even in cities these turbines can act as a good supplement to your energy needs.

Growing a Garden

Instead of stocking up with food from the grocery store every few weeks, try growing your own herbs, vegetables and fruits. Picking plants directly out of your garden will help to reduce storage costs associated with store-bought food. Additionally, growing plants helps to keep you healthier as well. Gardening is great for reducing stress and the plants you harvest may have higher nutritional content than the ones on the store shelf.

Heating with Propane

While wind and solar energy are great, their efficiency is at the mercy of the weather. With propane as a backup heating source, you don't have to worry about restricting your energy usage on cloudy, still days. On top of that, propane is more efficient for heating than electrical heaters. You can also use propane as a backup gas source for cooking.

Getting off the grid requires a large upfront investment. However, if you follow these tips to move your home off the grid, you stand to gain not only a greater sense of independence, but a thicker wallet as well.


About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

3 comments:

  1. The only bad part about propane is the cost was way high this year!

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  2. We are going back and forth on whether or not to do wind or solar energy...lots more research still to do.

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  3. This article is a great start, but whoa. It is REALLY just a start. For example:
    Solar. Consider starting with a camping array for less than $200 to see just how much surface area you need. You may discover you want a whole lot more than you can afford or have room for.
    Wind. No mention here that to make wind effective you really need sustained wind of 11 mph (15 mph is better) at the height of the tower, typically 70-80 ft. Many city or county codes won't let you erect a tower that tall in an urban setting.
    Water. Gotta find an underground source, have to be sure it's uncontaminated. Wow, that may be deep!
    So yes, lots more research. But you can start with some of just about all these ideas to see how they will work for you. Good luck!

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