We are often asked, "What does Off Grid really mean"?, Our response is often "What would you like it to mean"? Off Grid can mean different things to different people but typically implies having a certain level of independence in our lives. For some, it can be as simple as having a backup generator to use for when the power goes out. This can be someone living in the city, suburban or rural areas. For others it might be a more robust generator or battery backup wired into their home with some level of automation. Others might want to take advantage of renewable energy sources available to them (solar, wind, hydro, wood gas, etc.) to generate some or all of their own power. Some will still be tied to the "grid", while others will be completely independent. It really is all a matter of personal preference, your specific mindset, goals and budget.
We mostly associate Off Grid as being power related with the 'Grid" portion being reference to the commercial power grid, for which we would pay our monthly power utility bills. In addition to the grid power aspect as described above, Off Grid can also refer to being able to provide your own heat, water, waste disposal or even your own food. Off Grid living can be in creating your own self sustaining ecosystem by doing a variety and combination of these things to meet your particular lifestyle goals. In an ever increasingly complicated world, where it seems we are losing freedoms and having more control placed over our lives, there is an increasing movement to gain back some level of independence over our lives, regardless of where we live. Being off grid is a very personal decision, but it is also very empowering and rewarding. There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes with knowing that you are taking responsibility and are responsible for different aspects of your life. You regain control and confidence by adding this independence back into your lifestyle.
For us, going off grid was by pure coincidence. When my wife and I were looking for remote properties in which to build our cabin, we considered properties all over the country. We settled in on some property in Northern Idaho that was very remote, but yet accessible year round. When we went to visit the property, our realtor informed us that it was considered "Off Grid', in that there was no public power available and it would be up to us to bring it in (at great expense). Prior to that, we had never really heard of or considered the term "Off Grid". As we considered the purchase of the property and our need to be off grid should we decide to build, I became intrigued with the idea of being completely self sufficient. We decided to accept the challenge, purchased the property and began our off grid adventure. My wife however, was not convinced, and was more than a bit skeptical when we started. We managed to come to an agreement; she would not have to give up anything that she was used to having (microwave, TV, Internet, etc.), and when she went into a room and flipped a switch on, stuff had better come as normal! She didn't care what or how I did it, she just did not what to be impacted. She has since come around to feel more confident, comfortable and to appreciate our new level of independence.
Whatever Off Grid means to you, whether you have made the decision already and are embarking or enjoying the lifestyle or preparing to make the decision to go off grid, we wish you the best and invite you to join our remarkable journey. It will be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life.
Through education and use of renewable energy