What does it really mean to go ‘off the grid’? This is a question that’s increasingly being posed by Aussies, as sustainable living becomes more and more popular.
Off-the-grid (OTG) lifestyles and homes refers to living your life in a self-sufficient manner – and without the reliance on the standard utilities most city folk take for granted.
Put simply, OTG homes aim to achieve autonomy and remove a reliance on gas, water, electricity and waste (sewerage). An OTG lifestyle adds to this by living your life in a more responsible and sustainable manner: Think composting, living garden walls, veggie patches and a bit more ‘me’ time.
It’s pretty simple really; there’s not much about going off the gird that doesn’t make sense.
While there are some up-front increased set up costs to get yourself OTG, it won’t be long before you start seeing the benefits. Reduced or no power, gas or water bills, and you’ll be doing more than your bit for the planet. It’s a win win when you look at it that way.
Here are some stats to get you thinking:
I recently saw a 6kW solar system (a good size for a growing family of four) advertised for supply and install under $6,000. So it’s hard to think why more families aren’t switching to solar. With the above calculations in mind, you could look at a pay-off of the system in about three years – a smart choice considering we all know how power bills will continue to go (i.e., up!).
In my opinion, it makes complete sense to start the OTG process with your highest utility, being your electricity.
You can also factor in passive design elements such as efficient glass and glazing, correct orientation, retained thermal mass through concrete floors or masonry walls in a well-insulated building – and a little OTG house starts to sound pretty appealing!
Off-grid homes are changing purely because they are becoming more accessible. Crews are fabricating modular or pre-fab OTG builds in less than four months and, in some cases, these can be established in a day.
Consider this along with a potential purchase price of less than $150,000 and you’ll begin to understand why the younger generation are exploring this as a legitimate option to lay down foundations for their start in life.
When compared to the median house price within Australia’s biggest cities on the east coast, off-the-grid homes are an obvious no-brainer.
I, for one, can see myself setting up a little off-the-grid home in the not-too-distant future.
Energy Stuff Off Grid specialises in off-grid systems for homes, farms, batches and sheds. We sell a range of DIY battery systems right through to fully customised systems for houses, farms and small businesses. We have a specialist team that works in this area with over 5-years’ experience. Call us on 1300 656 205 or visit our website https://offgrid.energystuff.com.au/