How Much Will Living Off the Grid Really Cost You and is it Worth it?
Living off the grid is something more people are dreaming of doing. But the real question is – how much will it actually cost you to be independent from the utility services in your region?
The truth is, the costs are quite a bit more than you probably think so for most people who have limited budgets, finding a hybrid solution rather than completely going off the grid will most probably be a more feasible solution.
Think about it, if you go off the grid, the costs for upkeep and maintenance of the services will shift from the actual utility service to yourself. So, keep in mind that it is best to have a backup solution just in case your main service is interrupted and needs repair and upkeep work.
So, what is the hybrid solution?
This is a more feasible solution to use certain off the grid services as backup options to the local utility services.
Here is what you need to cover your basic needs:
- A shelter. Of course, your home is your shelter, but just imaging a tornado, fire or storm makes it uninhabitable for some time? You will need an alternative shelter. This can be a simple shed for storage, which has solar panels or other alternative off the grid sources of energy and resources, as well as conditions which are suitable for living and sleeping there for a while.
- A water well – If you are allowed to, and have the resources to drill your own water well this is the best off the grid solution. But due to the cost and the fact that it is prohibited by some local utilities, you can use an alternative method to stay off the grid and have water. Install a rainwater catchment system along with a good quality filtration system. You can install one of these for about 500 USD, and can ensure you get all your water storage barrels full, and have water to meet your needs.
- You need a backup plan in case of a power outage. This could mean buying a portable gas generator for around 400 USD and making sure it is filled with gas for emergency outages.
- Food and cooking. A backup plan to be able to cook at a time of an outage is getting a wood, gas or charcoal stove. These are affordable, very efficient and require little or no maintenance. Having a sharp machete on hand for chopping wood is invaluable too. Besides there are a ton of other things you can do with machete.
- Getting a small, portable and affordable propane heater is great to help stay warm in case your heating stops or for extremely cold weather. Make sure you get one which is tested and can be used indoors safely.
It may or it may not come into use, but having a backup plan will surely help you feel safer and sleep better!