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Energy Saving Systems For Off Grid Living
Living off the grid is all about intentional effort. It takes some work to establish a completely off-grid home. Once you have shifted successfully, you have to put in a substantial amount of work to maintain that lifestyle. Off-grid living is more about living a sustainable life and avoiding the expenses involved in most people's lives. In particular, living off the grid involves:
- Purchasing a piece of land
- Building a house
- Drilling boreholes for water
- Installing solar panels for power supply
- Growing your own food
- Rearing some animals and managing your waste production
Off-grid living is safe, not just for you but also for the environment. It is peaceful as well and cost-effective in the long run. There is more freedom in living off the grid as you get to have complete autonomy of your utilities and life in general. Many people are shifting to this way of life, so it is essential that you know how to go off the grid if you eventually decide to.
This article saves you all the work by bringing you the most important aspects to consider if you choose to go off the grid. These factors have been highlighted in an order that helps a step-wise transition to the off-grid lifestyle. Keep reading!
The Popularity Of Living Off The Grid In Australia
Did you know that choosing to live off the grid is very popular in Australia? Have you ever wondered why that is the case? The past decade has witnessed a massive escalation in Australian citizens' rates of off-grid living. Although it is understood that transitioning to living off the grid may require a substantial amount of money, the outcomes are even more significant, thus the popularity of living off the grid.
It is indicated that living off the grid pays itself within a period of three to five years, making it an excellent form of sustainable living. The numerous advantages of living off the grid have also encouraged many people to live off the grid, making it even more popular in Australia.
The Legality Of Residing Off The Grid In Australia
Similar to commercial housing in Australia, living off the grid compares quite well in relation to the research required before transitioning. It is important to note that living off the grid is not illegal in Australia. Similarly, the law in Australia does not limit or prohibit any individual from living off the grid.
However, this does not mean that the area enjoys absolute freedom and that any person can live off the grid in whatever way they choose. What this means is that there are certain legal factors that you have to consider before you shift to living off the grid in Australia. In regard to the legality of living off the grid in Australia, it is best that you are well versed with the following:
Land and ownership policies
More often than not, transitioning to living off the grid will require you to acquire a new piece of land. There are laws governing land use and planning in Australia. If you do not have a piece of land already, you may have to purchase one to begin your full off-grid life. There are also laws that govern land purchases and sale agreements. It is vital that you familiarise yourself with such policies to avoid being on the wrong side of the law in an attempt to live off the grid.
Zoning and housing permits
There is no standard law in the state of Australia governing living off the grid. This means that every town or county has policies governing living off the grid that differ from the other. This, therefore, necessitates you to research and familiarise yourself with the specific laws that govern living off the grid in the area you intend to live in.
Incentives and rebates
The law in Australia encourages living off the grid to some extent. For instance, if you successfully establish an off-the-grid home and keep it running, you may obtain specific incentives from the government, which would, in turn, offset the expenses and costs of living off the grid.
Going Off The Grid
There are copious factors to consider before choosing to go off-grid because not every situation will be ideal to allow you to go off-grid. While there is no standard procedure for going off the grid, the following factors are essential to sort out when shifting to off-the-grid living.
Owning a piece of land
To go off-grid, you should have a piece of land that is yours. It is not easy to go completely off-grid while living in a rented apartment. This is because such an apartment does not belong to you as a tenant, and the owner may have an issue with you choosing to go off-grid and interfering with the structural design of their house. Therefore, before going off-grid, it is best that you get a piece of land if you do not have one already.
Finish up with the authorities
Living off-grid does not mean that you will be cutting yourself off from the community as people have always thought. Going off-grid simply means that you are choosing to do certain things differently from other members of society, especially in terms of urbanisation and technological expenses.
In some areas of Australia, you may be required to obtain a planning and council permit that approves the construction of a new home that would be off-grid. It is important to note that you are highly likely to require a planning and council permit before going off-grid if you plan to set up your home near the urban areas.
If you choose to build your new home in remote areas far away from the cities, chances are you may not need any planning or council permits. Experts suggest setting up off-the-grid dwellings in remote areas far away from urban cities. However, this may be a challenge from one person to another.
For instance, factors such as career and access to education may influence your choice of an area to live in. So, if you have to meet such requirements in urban centres, then you may have to set up your new home in the outskirts of cities but still close by so you're not entirely cut off from society.
The power system
It is important to note that when you decide to live off the grid, you will be providing food, water, power, and other utilities by yourself. But no need to worry; there are various ways of providing power in an off-grid home. It may seem quite expensive to start out with your off-grid project, but with the development of technology, it has become a bit easier and cheaper.
One of the many advantages of living off the grid is the ability to control your utilities. On the other hand, power is one of the most essential utilities in a home and may cost you a lot of money if you do not get it right. However, the best part of it is that there are various modes of standalone power options that you can use if you want to live off the grid.
- Off-the-grid solar energy: Solar power is one of the most sustainable and reliable sources of clean energy. It is cheaper than electrical energy, safe, and friendly to the health of the environment. Owing to the green movement in most countries, including Australia, the use of solar energy is encouraged for use in an off-grid home. Solar energy is convenient and reliable, especially with the new technology in place that manufactures durable and high-capacity solar storage batteries.
- Off-the-grid wind energy: Wind energy is another excellent and reliable source of power to consider when transitioning to the off-grid mode of life. This is especially recommended for people who live off the grid in remote areas far away from the urban cities. Wind can accumulate enough power within a short period. There are also storage batteries that are specifically manufactured for use by people who use wind energy. Battery storage can store the surplus power for later use. Wind energy is also clean and safe energy. It is friendly to the environment as well as reliable and sustainable, just like off-grid solar energy.
Grow your own food
As mentioned earlier, living off the grid means that you will be providing food for yourself and for your family. This may also mean you will cease purchasing food items from shops or supermarkets. The best way to provide food and keep it flowing while living off the grid is by growing your own food. It becomes easier if your new piece of land is large enough to accommodate some space for a home garden.
You could grow a variety of food in your home garden. With a stable and sufficient source of water, you could even establish an irrigation system to sustain your small agriculture at home. Not only is growing your own food reliable, but it also helps you cut down on the costs of purchasing food which is one of the perks of living off the grid. Growing your own food also offsets the cost of living off the grid, thus making it a bit more economical.
Getting your water
This is another utility you will provide for yourself when you decide to go off the grid. The source of water should always be a primary concern before you transition to living off the grid. Although it may be a great source of stress, there are ways to mitigate water challenges.
For instance, if you are shifting to living off the grid and choose to move to remote areas, you can choose to live near places that harbour natural sources of water such as rivers, waterfalls, lakes, etc. If you are fortunate enough to procure such places, you could pipe the water to your off-grid home with the proper legal procedures.
That would be a constant and reliable source of water that would help you cut down on water bills. It will also help you offset the costs of living off the grid in general. The other alternative is drilling boreholes in your new compound. Boreholes will provide you with a reliable source of natural water. If you dig it deep enough, you will be guaranteed a sufficient water supply at all times.
The number of boreholes you dig in your homestead will depend on the amount of water you need and the number of projects you have that require water. Such projects could be irrigation if you choose to grow your own food in the compound of your new off-grid home. With a sufficient and stable water supply, you can now install a heating system in your home to facilitate hot water supply in bathrooms, for instance.
Waste disposal is another essential factor to consider when you decide to go off the grid. Whereas other apartments or commercial houses have garbage collection and disposal systems, such privileges may not be available when you live off the grid.
However, the primary benefit of living off the grid is that you will have complete autonomy in how you handle the waste from your home. Therefore, you can choose to recycle most of the waste you produce at home. This is one of the cleanest ways of preserving the environment and cutting down on the costs of living.
The most vital factors to consider before going off the grid include legal requirements, ownership of the land to set up your home, power system installation, water supply, food supply, and waste management. You cannot entirely go off the grid without handling these factors. As can be seen, going off the grid is not only a choice but a lifestyle.
It requires that you change almost everything about how you may have been accustomed to living prior to transitioning to off-grid living. With off-the-grid living, one of the most important steps is getting a clean source of power. In Australia and worldwide, solar power has become increasingly popular and affordable.
If you are sold on the idea of transitioning to off-grid living, solar power is your best bet for a reliable power source. And even if you decide you're not ready to go entirely off-grid, solar power is a great way to start going green. Therefore, if your decision to use clean solar energy has been made, the next step is to employ professional solar experts to quote and assist you in the installation of your solar power system.