Off-grid living is freeing in many ways. You aren't tied to power companies for bills and rates. You have the opportunity to live an unplugged lifestyle without cable or internet costs. Living off the land is a green way to live, but (unless you're a true and ambitious pioneer) you still have basic human needs that must be met with some type of power source. Here are some heat and power options for you to consider when planning your off-grid.
Propane can be a great off-grid resource because the fuel can be stored in a tank on your property. You can run nearly all modern appliances off propane, and it is generally a cost-effective and clean-burning fuel. You would need to run a propane generator that produces electricity for appliances, or choose appliances that are specifically designed to run from propane, like propane stoves or propane clothes dryers. Generally, propane is still more expensive than cheap natural gas, but when you're living off-grid, running gas lines to your home from an energy company is costly. With propane, your tank can go wherever you need it, allowing you the freedom for wilderness building.
Solar energy will provide a greater upfront cost, but unlike fossil fuels, you'll have the pay back of never needing to pay for fuel or electricity ever again if your whole home is converted to solar energy. Fortunately, when you're living off the land, a lot of the things people typically use power for will not be a problem for you. For example, you won't draw large portions of energy for running a television or central air conditioner. Solar panels can make your homestead truly self-sufficient. Larger systems cost more money, but for a small home in a remote location, you may not need the same size as a typical American home. You can expect to pay within the range of $10,000 or less.
If you're dedicated to an old-fashioned fuel source, you can opt for a wood-burning stove. It will be able to heat a whole home during the winter if placed centrally, and if you get a stove that is designed for cooking with wood (just like in the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder), you'll find that both food and heat are well taken care of. You can even heat water for bathing on a wood stove. If you can't afford a cookstove, you can still cook with a regular wood stove, if you learn the correct techniques. Fuel is easy to gather, so this option ends up being one of the most cost-effective.
Hi, my name is Mark and this blog focuses on the use of energy. What we do today will have a huge impact on the energy sources of the future. Individuals can make changes to ensure that available energy sources are affordable and reliable. Families can conserve energy by using energy efficient appliances, planting trees to shade their homes and unplugging electronics when they're not being used. Individuals can also spread the word to others about the importance of conserving energy and that's why I'm writing this blog. My intention is to get the word out to as many people as possible so that together we can reduce the amount of energy that's being used today. I hope that you find my blog enlightening and that by reading my posts, you'll help to do your part too.