How to Build a Life Off the Grid in 2020
We’ve yet to hit the climax of COVID-19, but social distancing is our present reality, and living off the grid is an option that many may gravitate towards. If you have to say self-quarantined for the foreseeable future, what better place to avoid long lines at grocery stores and needing missing essentials, than in your self-sustaining habitat?
Your reward for living in a developed society is paying a significant chunk of your hard-earned money towards utility bills. As bills rack up and carbon footprints become measurably worse, it’s no wonder living off the grid is becoming an increasingly popular lifestyle. According to the Conservation Institute, over 1.7 billion people are living off the grid, meaning they do not rely on public utilities (electricity, water, etc.)
Why do people choose to ditch the electrical grid? It’s all about self-sufficiency and independent living. Even though it seems like a dream scenario, living off the grid is a costly endeavor—at least to start. There’s finding a stretch of available land, building your home and installing a power generation system, among many other factors, which can bring initial costs to several hundred thousand dollars.
Off-grid living isn’t for everyone, but once you’re up and running and pay off the starting costs, you’ll wind up saving tens of thousands of dollars in the long run. This radical lifestyle change can present many challenges, which is why we’ve put together a guide for building a life off the grid, from the need-to-know stats to the cost estimates and equipment needed to get yourself going.
Living off the grid is a costly and often complicated endeavor that can go south if you aren’t prepared. From purchasing a plot of land to building your homestead and choosing a sustainable power generation system, a lot of grueling work goes into maintaining a disconnected lifestyle. But as long as you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll reap the rewards of your hard work. That means no monthly utility bills (or very low-cost), reducing your carbon footprint and fierce independence from the electric grid.
While the seemingly astronomical start-up costs may be intimidating at first, living off the grid can be an immensely satisfying experience for those willing to put in the time and energy. The fact that you’ll have a hand in every step of the process from inception to completion should give you great satisfaction.
Conservation Institute | U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) 1, 2, 3, 4 | University of Michigan 1, 2 | Statista | EPA 1, 2 | Harvard | U.S. Department of Energy | AgWeb | Off Grid World | Alternative Industry News | Environmental and Energy Study Institute | Home Advisor 1, 2, 3 | Part-Time Money | Texas Co-Power | Green Building Alliance | Conservation Institute | Solar Power World Online | BLS | CQ Researcher | American AG Radio Network