Off-grid living is becoming more attractive to a high number of people as technology continues to advance. Also, as environmental conservation and climate change awareness continue, people are taking it upon themselves to make a change by shifting to living off grid in Canada. Off-grid living promotes better living, conservation, minimal emissions and environmental pollution.
However, making the shift from modern living to off-grid living comes with its share of challenges.
In this article, we shall discuss the legality of living off-grid in Canada and the things you need to start living your dream life.
What is Living Off Grid in Canada?
Living off-grid means not relying on public utilities such as electricity, water, sewer systems, etc. For most people, usually off-grid living means tapping and utilizing solar energy. Living off-grid in Canada is an attractive choice for individuals who want to embrace independence and self-sufficiency.
Off-grid living is a completely autonomous way of living that includes providing some of your own essential services such as electricity, water, and food. There are benefits and disadvantages of living off-grid. First, it enables people to live sustainably. Additionally, it helps in the reduction of carbon footprint and helps people form a strong connection with nature. Generally, off-grid living in Canada will help in saving electricity costs, water bills, and food in the long run.
The disadvantage of off-grid living is the high costs of setting up the infrastructure such as solar system, water system, and gardening among others. Additionally, you must learn to survive without some of the modern conveniences such as washing machines among others.
Is Living Off Grid in Canada Legal?
Yes, it is legal to live off-grid in Canada. There are no special laws governing or prohibiting off-grid living across all the provinces in Canada. However, although legal, there are a few guidelines and regulations for the use of renewable energy such as solar systems. The regulations help ensure public safety and the environment.
You must also understand the national building codes when installing the off-grid systems. The place you live in must be safe with all necessary safety features such as smoke alarms.
How to Start Living Off Grid in Canada?
Here are some of the things you must do before embarking on living off grid in Canada.
1. Consult with Your Municipal Government
Before you disconnect from the grid systems and install the off-grid systems in Canada, it is best to consult with the city hall. This is especially true if you are living in urban areas. If you are living in rural areas, this might not be an issue.
If the municipal bylaws do not allow you to disconnect from the grid system, you can consider relocating to places where it is allowed.
2. Choose an Appropriate Location
Practically, the idea of off-grid living can be difficult. Identify a good geographical location where it is easy to tap renewable energy, such as sun or wind. For instance, if you intend to install a solar system, ensure the location receives adequate sunlight throughout the year.
3. Home Energy Efficiency
Another thing to consider before you shift to living off-grid in Canada is the energy efficiency of your home. You can install the off-grid living infrastructure in your already existing home. Also, you can opt to start afresh by building a new home that is highly energy efficient. If you are considering building a new house, factors such as materials, size, and the layout will influence the energy efficiency of your home. You can work with a professional contractor to help you design and build an energy efficient home.
4. Know the Costs of Installing Renewable Energy
Living off-grid in Canada requires high initial costs but is cost-effective in the long-run. If you are installing a solar system to generate electricity for your home, consider buying from reputable solar product manufacturers such as BLUETTI. Here are some of the solar system equipment you need to generate and store adequate solar energy for off-grid living.
Mainly Living Off Grid Cost You Need to Know
1. Solar Panels
The most crucial component of a solar system installation is the solar panels. The solar panels tap the sun rays and convert them into solar energy which further transforms into electric current. There are four types of solar panels. However, the most common types are monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels.
Polycrystalline panels are less expensive but less effective compared to monocrystalline panels. Here are a few recommended types of monocrystalline solar panels you can install in your home for successful living off-grid in Canada.
- Foldable and Portable- Unlike traditional solar panels, the BLUETTI PV120 allows you to use solar power whether you are at home or away.
- High Conversion Efficiency- BLUETTI PV120 solar panel is made up of monocrystalline cells with an efficiency of up to 23.4%. It means, that even in low sunlight, your solar panels can tap a significant amount of energy.
- Easy to Set Up- The solar panel comes with a kickstand for easy and quick set up. Also, it allows you to easily adjust the angle of the panel to maximize on the sunlight for fast charging of the batteries.
- Highly Durable- The PV120 solar panel has the ETFE coating and an IP65 junction box making it capable of withstanding scratches and water splashes. You can use the panel for outdoor activities such as camping and without worrying about damaging it. However, do not expose it to water or rain.
- High Power Capacity- The PV420 is a high powered solar panel. With this PV420, your batteries will be fully charged within a shorter time.
- Easy Portability- Like all BLUETTI solar panels, PV420 is portable and easy to carry around. You can use it indoors and outdoors as well. If you are a nature enthusiasts, you will no longer worry about accessing electricity.
- High Conversion Rate- The PV420 has a high conversion rate at 23.4%. It can capture up to 2kWh of solar power per day with favorable amounts of sunshine. The 2kWh is sufficient to enable you to operate your electronics and devices for hours.
- Durability and Performance- The PV420 is a monocrystalline cell solar panel with multiple layers of ETFE coating with IP65 rating. Due to these properties, it has higher light transmittance, long lifespan, and high efficiency. The surface is resistant to dust, scratch, and water splashes.
- Easy Set-Up- You can set up the PV420 panel in three angles to maximize the sun intensity during different times of the day. Your batteries will stay fully charged throughout.
2. Solar Inverters
The solar inverters convert the power tapped by solar panels from DC to usable AC by your electronics. It is an important component of the solar system. However, you can run the DC loads without an inverter but you will be limited to the amount of appliances and devices you can use. Consider using an inverter with pure sine wave output for higher efficiency and reliability.
3. Solar Batteries
Another useful component of the solar system is the batteries. They store energy by using chemical conversions. Batteries are useful for storing up excess power for use during cloudy days. The best battery types for living off-grid in Canada are the Lithium-ion phosphate or the LiFePO4 batteries. They have higher energy capacity per unit volume, are safe and reliable. Some of the battery modules suitable for off-grid systems include:
- Expandable Power- It is the BLUETTI modular and expandable power station with 2048Wh ultra-durable LFP cells. It has a 2,200W full Power Sine Wave Inverter. It is suitable for energy storage for off-grid living.
- High Capacity- The AC200MAX is a balance between flexibility and power. It has two expansion ports for use with B230’s at 2048Wh each or the B300 at 3072Wh batteries, boosting its capacity up to 8192Wh.
- Versatile Charging- You can charge the AC200MAX using solar panels or a wall outlet. It allows up to 900W solar power and 500W on a wall outlet. You charge the battery simultaneously with both solar and wall outlet for 1400W charging rate in two hours.
- Expandable Power- The AC300 is 100% modular battery capable of expanding up to 1*B300 Home Battery Backup with 4×B300 at 3,072Wh per pack. Even during cloudy days, your household will have sufficient power.
- 3000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter- It allows you to adjust the charging rate from 1800W to 3000W using a wall outlet.
- 240V Available- You can use the P030A fusion box pro and connect 2XAC300 for a 240V/6,000W output with a capacity of 24,576Wh with 4 B300 for every AC300.
- High Input Rate- Achieve a fast charging rate by plugging in wall outlets and solar panels at 5,400W Max rate.
- 24/7 UPS Backup- It allows you to stay prepared in case of power outage. You can install the UPS system on your AC300 battery to keep your devices and data safe whenever there is an outage.
4. Charge Controllers
The charge controller controls the charge and monitors the current flowing from solar panels to the batteries to ensure safety, efficiency and optimum performance.
Way to Go?
There are several aspects of off-grid living. Before you make the huge decision, ensure that you comply with the municipal laws in your area. Energy independence is one of the major factors to consider in off-grid living. Ensure you have efficient and durable solar products such as solar panels, batteries, inverters, and solar generators. If you are thinking of living off-grid in Canada, check out BLUETTI solar products to make your transition efficient.