How do you attain control and freedom, especially when it comes to the ever-rising electricity costs? By shifting from the grid system to living off the grid. Off-grid living frees you from costly electricity bills allowing you to live better, stress-free and on your own terms. Many people now understand the benefits of off-grid living and are slowly making the shift. You can also do the same.
However, although living off-grid is a great move, it’s not easy to make the transition. It requires rigorous planning and implementation. It can be pricey in the beginning but worth the effort and investment in the long run. So what is living off the grid? In this guide, learn how you can start living off the grid for the first time.
What Does Living Off the Grid Mean?
Living off-grid means you do not rely on public utilities such as the city water supply or the electrical grid to access basics such as water, food, or electricity. This means, your home will be partially or completely autonomous. Therefore, in the case of electricity, living off the grid means you have an alternative source of power such as the use of solar energy.
As mentioned above, you can also choose to live partially off-grid. Living partially off-grid means you can still generate your power and still use the grid power utilities.
Which Off-Grid Life Would You Like to Live?
1. Online Off-Grid Living
Online off-grid living refers to a lifestyle where you strike a balance between living an off-grid but also a self-sufficient lifestyle.
With online off-grid living, you can leverage some online resources such as the internet and some connections such as electricity, communication, and information, while staying disconnected from some modern utilities such as municipal electricity, water systems, and sewerage systems.
In most cases, people who live this kind of lifestyle stay connected to the internet while adopting an off-grid living system.
2. Semi Off-Grid Living
Semi-off-grid living is the most common type of off-grid living. It is much easier, more convenient, and more comfortable. Unlike living completely off-grid, semi-off-grid living involves partially using municipal services.
For instance, you can have a composting waste disposal method rather than being connected to the municipal sewer system. On the other hand, you can install solar systems and remain connected to the electricity grid system and so on.
3. Completely Off-Grid Living
Living completely off-grid is a dream for most people. However, it is expensive to set up. With a complete off-grid system, you don’t have to rely on external or municipal resources to live comfortably. You can produce your food, and electricity using solar energy, install water systems such as rainwater collection, and waste disposal management.
Reasons You Should Consider Living Off the Grid?
Living off the grid not only saves you a lot of money in the long run, but it is highly sustainable, fulfilling, and eco-friendly. Here are some of the benefits of off-grid living.
1. Low Carbon Footprint
There are numerous environmental benefits of living off the grid. Solar is a sustainable and renewable energy source, meaning there are no emissions. Also, off-grid living means you can utilize low energy to run your household. Most people who prefer off-grid living have their own water supply system, proper waste management, and the ability to grow organic food, which all contribute to a low carbon footprint.
2. It’s Cost-Effective
The cost of electricity is high and will probably keep on rising, hence the reason why most people are opting for off-grid living. But, the initial cost of setting up an off-grid system is high. However, off-grid living is highly cost-effective in the long run as you will incur fewer costs on electricity, food, and water in the future.
3. Better Lifestyle
Generally, off-grid living promotes a better and more mindful lifestyle. Other than generating your own electricity, you will be inclined to start living a healthier lifestyle through conservation, growing your own food, and becoming physically active which is good for a healthier life.
Off-grid living allows you to regulate and minimize your energy consumption and have control over what you eat, thus a mindful and better lifestyle.
4. Personal Satisfaction
Learning to adapt and live off-grid is a skill that you learn over time. Surviving without relying on the on-grid utilities will bring you joy, and satisfaction and boost your self-confidence.
How to Start Living Off the Grid for Beginners?
As mentioned above, living off-grid requires proper planning and implementation. The basic requirements for living off the grid include:
1. A Piece of Land
To build a successful self-sufficient off-grid lifestyle, you will need suitable land. Owning a land allows you to develop and design it as you desire. Ensure the land has large open spaces suitable for gardening, power generation, and adequate water resources. Also, you don’t need a massive piece of land. A smaller plot with a few open spaces is enough as long as it meets your need for sunlight, water, and gardening spaces.
2. Solar System
The essence of living off-grid is self-sufficiency, especially the ability to generate electricity. There are several ways of generating power, with solar being the most popular. You will need to install a solar system to power your off-grid living. Components of the solar system you must have are solar panels, solar generators, solar batteries, and portable power stations. When purchasing a solar power system, ensure the solar brand is reputable.
One of the solar brands you can trust with all your solar needs is BLUETTI. It has a wide range of solar system products to make off-grid living easy, efficient, and affordable. BLUETTI solar products that you need to make off-grid living a realizable dream include:
Stay fully powered 24/7 with any of the BLUETTI solar generators whether at home or on your RV. Solar generators have built-in batteries for storing solar energy from the solar panels. The BLUETTI solar generators are efficient, eco-friendly, and quiet making them suitable for use inside your home and RV. Here are some of the BLUETTI solar generators you should consider.
The AC200P + 3*PV200 Solar Generator Kit allows you to continue enjoying power during power outages or outdoors. The power station features durable and safe Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. Additionally, it has a Pure Sine Wave AC Inverter with 2000 watts with sustained current and a surge of 4800 Watts. Here are some of the main features of the AC200P power station.
- High Capacity – The BLUETTI AC200P is a high capacity at 2000W/2000Wh. The power station keeps you powered no matter where you are, even when you are out camping. Some of the appliances you can power with it include an 1150W coffee maker for 1.5 hours, a 5000 BTU air conditioner for up to 4 hours, and an 1100W electric grill for 1.5 hours.
- Several Output Ports- The AC200P features several output ports to allow you to charge multiple devices at the same time. The output ports include the USB-A, USB-B, AC outlets, 12V/3A DC Port, 12V/25A RV port, cigarette lighter, and a 15W wireless charger.
- Safe and Durable- The BLUETTI AC utilizes the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO₄) battery with over 3,500+ life cycles and lasts up to 10 years. Also, it features an advanced Battery Management System (BMS) for monitoring the power station and protecting you from any possible risks.
- Easy Portability- The AC200P is compact-sized and relatively lightweight. The handle is smooth and ergonomic to allow you to comfortably lift it and carry it with one hand. The compact size and light weight make it suitable for use on camping adventures and other outdoor activities.
- Fast Recharging Rate- The AC200P charges fast in less than 5 hours using 3 x PV200 solar panels. You can charge it with 700W solar and 500AC input. You can get an even faster charging rate by combining both AC and solar simultaneously in just 2.2 hours.
- High Capacity Expandable Power- The AC300 is 100% modular capable of supporting 4×B300 battery modules each with 3,072Wh for a groundbreaking high capacity of 12,288Wh. That’s adequate power to keep you powered for a long time.
- High Input Rate- You can double charge the AC300 with solar panels and a wall outlet for up to 5,400W Max rate which saves you time. The solar input is 2400W and the AC outlet is 3,000W and requires 2 x B300.
- 240V Connection- Use a Fusion Box Pro (P030A) and connect two AC300s for 240V/6,000W output and total capacity of 24,576Wh with 4 x B300s.
- 3000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter- With the inverter, you can adjust the charging rate from 1800W to 3000W using a wall outlet depending on your charging needs.
- Fast Charging- The advanced MPPT technology ensures safe and high charging rates of AC300 with solar. You can fully charge it in 7 hours using 3 x PV200 200W solar panels. Additionally, you can fully charge it in just 1.8 hours using 3000W AC+2400W Solar.
3. A Water System
Water is an essential factor for living a successful off-grid life. Most people who choose to live off-grid may live close to natural water sources such as rivers, lakes, or creeks. However, most people choose to dig well or preserve rainwater.
However, you must check legal water sources in your area before you start any water preservation project for your off-grid project. Generally, creating a reliable water source for a comfortable Living Off the Grid is costly and you must be financially prepared.
4. Waste Disposal
Waste disposal, especially human waste, is an important factor to consider in off-grid living. The best way of disposing of waste is by installing a septic tank system or using composting toilets.
A septic tank system is an onsite sewage system that allows the waste to go back into the soil. However, some soil types are not suitable for the septic systems. Additionally, the septic tank systems require more water compared to the composting toilets.
The composting systems also known as dry pot do not require any water. The solids are separated from the liquid using a urine diverter. The solid waste is broken down using sawdust, peat moss, ash, or coco coir which helps suppress the smell.
The composting toilets are more sustainable, eco-friendly, and easy to handle. It is best to do proper research on various off-grid waste disposal alternatives to help you install the most sustainable.
5. Growing Own Food
Probably growing your food is the last step to a successful off-the-grid lifestyle. Once you have all other resources in place, you can start gardening and livestock keeping for food. For instance, you can prepare a raised garden for growing vegetables and food. You can keep ducks, chicken, or fish for eggs and meat. Therefore, it is necessary for you to learn gardening styles for food self-sufficiency.
Related articles: A Beginner's Guide for Living Off Grid in Canada
Start Your Off-Grid Living Now！
Off-grid living is a rewarding journey that makes your life simpler, and more intentional, and gives you independence. However, living off the grid, especially for beginners, can be challenging. It requires careful planning and significant financial and time investment.
But, you can start building your off-grid life slowly to the top. As discussed above, you can start by installing the BLUETTI solar power system as you work out the rest slowly. Take your time to learn all that entails off-grid living before you start the project.