Interest in off-grid living has soared in recent years as more and more people seek adventure and energy independence. Advances in solar and battery technology have made it easier than ever to generate your own clean, sustainable power for your home or camper. If you’re looking into living off the grid, there are just a few things to consider. For example, how you defines the off the grid meaning may affect your decisions on how to live off the grid. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to get started.
What does living off the grid mean?
What is living off the grid? While there’s no single definition for off-grid living, most people think of it as living autonomously without relying on a public power grid or utility. But beyond energy independence, living off grid means embracing a more simple, self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle closer to nature.
For some, living off the grid is not a choice but a necessity. People who live in remote places, where utilities don’t reach, need alternative ways to generate their own electricity. For others who live in places with access to the grid, they think of off-grid living as generating their own power to eliminate electricity bills and having back-up power when the grid goes down.
How to live off the grid?
Those with a strong will to adopt a highly self-sufficient and sustainable green lifestyle might choose to build up their own off-grid house in faraway places. This off the grid living will entail a lot of preparations.
Solar power generation system: anyone thinking about going off-grid will need to consider how they’ll generate power. For many, rooftop solar panels are the best choice. Solar panels can produce enough energy to cover the energy needs of most homes. And when paired with a storage system such as a lithium phosphate battery, you’ll have power when the sun goes down or when the grid is out.
Septic and plumbing system: disconnections from municipal facilities means that an independent plumbing or septic system is required. Considering waste disposal and recycling, compositing toilets are more recommended as they perfectly meet both purposes, and fewer resources will be needed to build a compositing toilet.
Water sources: tap water will not be available anymore without water supplies from the utility. Alternatively, you will need to build a well or a rainwater collection system or divert river water to your house.
Planting or raising livestock for food: Growing your own food is an essential step toward a permanent off-grid life, for which you won’t starve yourself while pursuing the dream of the off-grid life.
See further related articles：
What are the benefits of off-grid living?
Living off-grid has benefits beyond freedom from utilities. It frees you from the complications of modern society like crowds, congestion and screens. Off-grid living can save you time to pursue what makes you happy and has numerous environmental and economic benefits when you generate power with solar:
- Reduces your carbon footprint
- Cuts or eliminates energy bills
- Helps you avoid energy price hikes and inflation
- Protects against blackouts and grid instability
- Can increase home values
Is it possible to live 100 percent off-grid?
The short answer is yes. But many states have different requirements for installation of an off-grid energy system. In some states if you have access to electricity from the grid, your solar system must remain connected to the grid and they will not grant a permit for an off-grid system. But other states are more off-grid friendly and offer a lot more flexibility for consumers to install off-grid solar systems. The top ten off-grid states are Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Hawaii, Colorado, and Arkansas. These have both off-grid friendly regulations and good solar potential.
How much will it cost to go off-grid?
Rooftop solar power systems are an affordable option for most homeowners, especially when you consider that they’ll reduce or eliminate your energy bills. There is an upfront investment for equipment and installation, but there are often rebates and incentives available to offset these costs such as the Federal Solar Tax Credit. Check with your solar installer or local utility to see what incentives may be available.
If you’re considering going completely off-grid there may be other costs to consider. These include purchasing and or building your home, a water source such as a well, and a septic system or outhouse. And if you plan to grow your own food, consider the costs of planting or raising livestock.
Best books on how to live off the grid
To help you fully prepare for the off the grid living, we recommend you to read these books, which are the best books on how to live off the grid. They are easy to access if you are a kindle user.
- Off Grid Living: Step-By-Step Back to Basics Guide To Become Completely Self Sufficient in as Little as 30 Days by Small Footprint Press
- OFF-GRID LIVING: 3 in 1 Collection | Prepare to Leave the Modern Civilization. A starter Guide for Anyone Thinking About a Self-Sufficient Living by Diamond Press
- The Off Grid Solar Power Bible: [4 in 1] A Step-by-Step Guide to Design, Install, and Maintain Solar Energy Systems for RVs, Cabins, Boats, and Tiny Homes by Peter Cress
Your off-grid future
What does off-grid living mean to you? Everyone will have their own reasons why they want to live off-grid, but there’s one thing we’re sure off – when you choose off grid living you get the freedom of energy independence and a more sustainable, rewarding lifestyle.
Whenever you decide to take the leap into off grid solar system, Renogy is your partner for everything you need. We offer a wide range of reliable and affordable off grid solar panel kits. Just click to see our entire lineup of solar equipment, including battery chargers, solar powered generators, monocrystalline solar panels, and more.