We are sometimes blinded by the technology in our lives, and this can lead us into thinking we just simply can’t live without it. Smartphones, cars and constant food, water and energy supplies have all contributed towards an existence that is reliant upon these things every day and night; without them we would probably struggle to live our lives in a way that felt comfortable.
Independence can still be gained by going off this grid; this doesn’t mean that we are required to lower the quality of our lives. By replacing energy and water supplies from the main grid for renewable alternatives, this way of living offers a sustainable alternative to a lifestyle where everything we need is available to use 24/7. Together with Flogas, specialists in LPG canisters, we take you through exactly how living off-grid can be easier than you think:
Changing power systems
You will need to source your own power once you go off the grid, whether this is using a gas cylinder or solar energy. Solar energy is a reliable form of power that can produce around 3,400kWh of free electricity every year.
Those with small children could live off a solar panel system that produces 3-4kW of power as this is the required amount for a family home. Whereas a 2kW to 3kW solar panel will produce enough energy for smaller homes with less people living in them. A 3kW overall solar system will cost around £5,000 – £6,000 and will be a sound investment based on the amount of free electricity you will procure during its lifetime.
Having a backup system is always an advantage, especially when you’re off this grid as solar panels could stop working with cloudy weather. Or alternatively, domestic wind turbines can also be installed that produce 5kW to 6kW of energy; you will also be paid for any energy that you don’t use which is sent back to the grid.
Keeping costs down
If your energy supplies are not close by, it is vital you only use the power that you need to. To keep energy costs low and to live within your own budget, LED bulbs should be used to replace incandescent bulbs – helping to reduce electricity costs by 75%; aim to get rid of any electrical appliances that you don’t need, and make sure that all electrical appliances are turned off at the mains once they have been used.
Your sewage system
Sourcing your own water will become essential, especially if you don’t live close to a natural source. A well can cost anything between £10,000 – 20,000, and this is dependent upon how deep the well is dug, and whether the well will be used as a source of drinking water or for other domestic purposes.
A sceptic tank will be needed so that you can dispose of this water once you’ve finished using it. As well as this, a greywater system should also be installed; by treating water used in dishwashing, sinks, showers and baths, this water can be used again. This also benefits the lifespan of your well, as you can reuse water that has already been cleaned and brought to the surface.
Food, energy and water that you use should be regularly monitored for your own benefit to see how much you are using. If you begin to slip, then your reliance on these things may reach unsustainable levels, which may impact your ability to live off-grid. There are many ways to keep on top of waste, and these include:
- Keeping showers short.
- Only using artificial lighting when it is completely dark.
- Turning off lights after exiting a room.
- Using food leftovers for compost to create a rich soil for growing more fruit and vegetables.
- Attend workshops that allow you to learn more about how to repair any damages to the home, or how to cultivate land for agricultural practices.
- Adopt techniques such as hunting and fishing so as to catch fresh food, helping to reduce your reliance upon supermarkets that you would usually have to drive to.
Making lifestyle changes
As making a transition to living off the gird can be a big change for your life, altering your actual lifestyle might be worth considering too. There are other ways to live off grid, and you will make many mistakes along the way, but becoming self-sufficient may just be the key to your unlocked potential and happiness.