One of my fantasies for saving money is to live off the grid. No electrical bills, no gas bill, no heating oil bill, no water bill! I day dream about collecting gray water, composting toilets, and harvesting rain water. What self-sufficient bliss! The problem is, I have no idea how to turn this money saving fantasy into reality.
Have you lived off the grid? How did you do it?
I’m gathering resources to learn more about self sufficiency and building a home that is as green as can be. Here are some of my questions.
How much does it cost to go off the grid? Obviously, the price varies hugely depending on whether you are retrofitting your existing home or building from scratch. You may have to buy land, or you may already own a corner of the world. But when people talk about building or buying homes, they often price it out by square foot. Should I expect to pay more or less per square foot than if I bought a similar sized, non-sufficent home?
Where do I start? I’m looking for a blog written by someone who went off the grid and who shares the lessons they learned and the mistakes they made. That way, the learning curve won’t be so steep. And perhaps I’ll avoid some pricey mistakes! Do you know of an off-the-grid blog?
What books should I read? One piece of advice I came across is to read books about going off the grid. How smart! And free! I’ve already required a handful of books from the library. Can you recommend a book about going off the grid?
Can we save money by retrofitting our current home? Another option that may well be simplier and cheaper is to retrofit our current home. What books and blogs do you recommend I read to learn about retrofitting our current home to take it off the grid?
Do we have to live in the middle of nowhere? I frequently – very frequently – see homes off the grid that are nestled in a beautiful patch of woods or surrounded by vast acres of undeveloped land. But what if I don’t want to live our in the boonies? What if I want to have neighbors (nearby)? Can we go off the grid in a city?
If we go off the grid, will we be shunned by our friends and family? One of my sisters already thinks we are old fashioned for using cloth diapers. This question is a little crazy – I know our real friends will support us – but I do think a lot of folks will have a hard time understanding our decision to go off the grid (if we do). How should we deal with skepticism?
Do you want to live off the grid?