Critical Questions You Better Answer Before Going Off-Grid
Critical Questions You Better Answer Before Going Off-Grid by: Nikki Manley – Off the Grid News
Going off-grid means different things to different folks. For some, it’s living a “normal” life without an electric bill. For others, it’s a dance of compromise with what you are willing to live without and what you won’t live without; making those things you deem necessary for your life run off power you generate yourself. And for still others, off-grid living is a couple of solar panels deep in the woods somewhere with just the bare minimums.
Whatever your version of off-grid living is, there are several key questions to ask before you take the plunge.
What is it that you want to accomplish, and what does your off-grid life look like?
This is truly the first step, before you look at pretty solar packages and rugged wind generators. Long before you start looking at wattages and discussing power storage, you need to determine just what you want from an off-grid life.
I’ll give you three very different examples:
The first, is my parents. When we were selling our house in Mississippi to move to Southern Oregon and go off-grid, they decided it was something they wanted to do, as well. My dad knew he wanted to be able to live a pretty normal life. He enjoys watching TV, my mom likes to sew and watch movies. They run a construction company from their house, and always have computers, scanners and printers working. They grow a garden and put up some of their own food, so they knew they’d need a freezer (or three). My mom very much likes modern conveniences and already had her eyes on a new Samsung side-by-side refrigerator, long before the final design for their new house was done. Dad knew they would have to save power where they could, so they went with wood heat; propane water heating, cooking and clothes dryer; LED and energy efficient lighting and appliances; and, of course, a diesel backup generator for those snowy winter days when the sky barely peaks out. They settled on a 4,500-watt system with a 40kw backup battery bank.