Does living off the grid conjure up reruns of Grizzly Adams and Little House on the Prairie? You’re not alone. Many people think that living off the grid means giving up all your modern conveniences and moving, essentially, into the past.
Many other people think only crunchy granola types live off the grid. You know the ones wearing hemp clothing and dreadlocks?
In fact, off the grid means simply that you don’t buy energy from municipal sources. You are not connected to the“grid,” or the system that powers most of the homes and businesses in your neighborhood. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up your TV or your air conditioner or even your microwave. Unless you want to, of course!
With the increased demand for renewable energy technology has come more efficient and easy to use components to make living off the grid a reasonable option for anyone willing to be mindful of their energy consumption, and willing to put a little work into living sustainably.
It’s fairly simple to produce electricity from renewable energy sources like solar and wind energy. All you need is a power source (the sun) from which you can harness a low voltage direct current that is then converted, using an inverter, into usable household current (AC). If you produce more electricity than your household needs, the excess can be stored in battery banks until it’s needed, or even sold back to the power company.
Living off the grid using renewable power sources is pretty low maintenance as well. With the exception of maintaining your batteries, there is almost no special attention needed. The key to success in living off the grid is to make sure you size your system to meet current and future energy needs.
Living off the grid is an exhilarating experience. The feeling of being free from the constrains of municipal power sources is like no other, and the knowledge that you are doing your part to combat global warming is something to be proud of. Before choosing a system for your home, though, be sure to do your research to determine which renewable energy sources will work best for you in your geographic location and for your specific situation. A little time spent now will result in a much smoother transition from living plugged in to living off the grid.