Grid Tie vs. Living Off The Grid?
Repeatedly we are asked to provide advice and assistance for grid tie systems, their maintenance and installation. Granted we have done a ton of these in the past, but our true love is really off grid living. Why?
Well, let's have at it...
For those of you who follow this website and our newsletter regularly you will know that we have rather one sided opinions on some subjects, one of those is living off the grid vs. grid-tie in any form.
For us (especially Jane on this point) grid tie simply does not suit our life, our lifestyle and grid tie equated with a half way measure of sorts.
Why would we want to keep paying for electricity when we could produce our own?
Why would we keep connected to the grid when we can provide our own backup at a lower cost? Of course we understand that if you are close to the grid it makes sense from an economic standpoint to use the existing infrastructure.
It is much simpler, but is it better? If you were to get us to help with your renewable energy installation you would find out quickly our viewpoint on grid tie.
It would seem that taking a positive step, any step forward to using solar panels or wind generators or any other form of renewable energy would be better than doing nothing?
What if the experience does not fit the cost though?
And that is our viewpoint. We have experience. We Are talking from experience living off the grid and of course even more years being grid-tie. That is of course how we grew up.
Beware always of listening to someone, regardless of their status, if they are not speaking from experience. Anyone can pick up a text book, or a 'For Dummies Guide to Solar, and instantly think they have the answers.
And granted most of these guides (and we have read them all) are written by people who have a certain knowledge of the subject.
But when it comes right down to it, do they have experience with different forms of living to compare?
If you liked eating apples, but had never tried oranges, how could you speak authoritatively about how oranges tasted? It would all be speculation right?
The lack of knowledge is not the problem, lack of experience is the real problem holding most families back from living off the grid.
Here is the basic scenario (forgetting fear for the time being)
Your home in the suburbs is worth $300 k, or 100k or any large number for that matter.
You are tired of all the bills that go along with it, especially that $400 electric bill every month.
What can you do?
From our own pathway of experience, and the extensive experience of other families we have advised the best plan if you want to reduce your bills, have more time, and quality of life is to use a term we call...
Buy an off grid home (or build it yourself) and invest the difference.
The difference being the difference in the cost of the land itself. And it can be astronomical, even allowing you to reduce your work time, or even retire early. We have seen it!
And you would end up with more land too. More time, more wilderness, and the peace of a pioneer living off the land if you want it. Gardens, quiet, wildlife, the list is long...
Of course the trade off, a longer commute?? but you could work at home, or transition to split scheduling, or even reduced work time. It is possible.
So many transition strategies exist that it is no longer possible to just say, hey living off the grid would be nice, but it's not for me, it is possible.
That is why I sign off my emails with this,
Anything is possible Living Off The Grid, because it is, of course overcoming the fear is another critter all together, one that we will deal with next.