Could You Go Off Grid?
We take modern conveniences for granted, assuming they will always be there. Electricity provides near endless comfort and convenience like air conditioning, hot water, fast cooking, entertainment, internet, hot coffee, etc. These things make our lives easier, more comfortable and more productive, but they haven’t always been there. My grandfather, born in 1918, grew up on a farm in Magnolia Arkansas where they had no electricity, no running water, and no TV. However, they managed to run a successful farm, raise a family and make it through the great depression with relative ease. Growing up in this environment, he learned how to solve problems through ingenuity and what you have on hand.
How would you fair if a storm knocked the power out for three days? What would you do with the food in your fridge, or your deep freezer? Do you have a good LED lantern or some long lasting candles? How about hot water? What if that outage lasted longer and/or was intermittent for months on end?
As an experiment, you could try living without power for a weekend. Go to your circuit panel and shut off everything, except maybe your fridge/freezer, but shutoff everything else. How is the house going to feel without air-conditioning, hot water, lights, internet, tv, phone charging, etc? If you haven’t gone through a power outage lately, you might find this experience a bit jarring. This exercise is also a great way to psychologically prepare for
What it takes to go “off grid.
Going “Off Grid” can be expensive and daunting, but in reality can take many forms and fit a broad range of budgets. If you wanted to take a 4,000 square foot home completely off grid, but use power the same way you would normally, you might be looking at $50,000-75,000. On the other end of the scale, if you wanted only essentials backed up, you could take a fridge, freezer, coffee maker, phone chargers and a handful of lights off grid for maybe $4,000.
In-between there are many options to keep costs in check, but ensure you have the important things backed up.