When I mention living off the grid, you might think of building a home in the middle of nowhere and living a simple life away from everything, including all the conveniences of the modern world.
Understandably, not a lot of people are willing or able to do that, despite its immense environmental benefits.
But that’s not the only way to live off the grid and let your new lifestyle do wonders for the environment (and your bank account).
What Does Going Off The Grid Actually Mean?
Going off the grid simply means disconnecting your home from one or more public utilities (electricity, water, waste) and replacing them with your own independent self-sufficient source.
It’s considered to be a much more sustainable way of living as it relies heavily on natural systems such as renewable energy and recycling. Furthermore, self-sufficiency means there are little to no utility costs once your off-grid system is up and running.
So to clear up a common misconception once and for all, it’s certainly possible to live a normal life having gone off-grid.
It’s also a sustainable way of living, as the systems that make living off the grid possible have a much better impact on the environment and its continued sustainability. It is also perfectly legal in Australia, and some aspects are even the beneficiary of government incentives such as the solar energy rebate.
How To Get Your Home Off The Grid
There are many different options to take your home partially, or fully, off the grid. For many, this is a process and usually begins with only going off-grid in one aspect of their home.
To get you inspired to think about taking the plunge, here are some of the many ways you can take your home off the grid, saving money and the environment.
Control the Temperature In Your Home Naturally
There are a few ways you can save or eliminate the need for temperature control and the extensive energy use and pollution that goes with it. This is a perfect starting point for building a more sustainable off-grid home. Sealing your home is a great place to start. Air leakage accounts for 25% of heat loss in winter and loss of cool air in summer, but with the proper sealing in place, you’re able to greatly reduce your energy spend and carbon emissions by taking advantage of your home’s natural temperature control.
Another way you can do this is by ensuring your home has quality, up-to-date insulation installed and investing in quality windows. These relatively minor building improvements can easily be done by custom home builders in Melbourne who will then ease your transition to off-grid living as you’ll find there are perfectly natural ways to control your home’s temperature.
There has been much discussion in recent times about the environmental benefits of switching to renewable energy. The solar power industry, in particular, has grown dramatically as a result of price and environmentally conscious consumers making the switch to what is a reliable alternative power source.
Solar energy makes use of batteries (that are about the size of a small fridge) that is able to store large amounts of energy for use when the sun’s not out.
Another popular source of renewable energy is wind turbines, which harness the power of wind through blades that connect to a generator.
There is currently a lot of exciting innovation in the renewable energy industry, such as Tesla’s off-grid energy storage battery, which makes now, the perfect time to consider leaving the energy grid.
Setting up renewable energy in your home will not only mean a sustainable power source that doesn’t contribute to carbon emissions. It also means you won’t have to pay any energy bills again, ensuring the setup eventually pays for itself.
Harvest Your Own Water
With periodic droughts an environmental issue set to get worse in the years to come, there is an increased need for Australians to save water. With renewable water systems, you’ll be able to make efficient use of your water and also save on water bills as you’ll be getting all your water straight from the same source as the big water companies do.
A great way to do this is to have a rainwater tank installed. This will allow you to harvest your own rainwater use in your home. They are installed with everything needed to treat the water, making the harvested rainwater safe to drink and use within the home.
There are many systems that allow you to safely and sustainably recycle and dispose of waste.
Effluent and greywater systems can also be utilised to make the most of your off-grid water reserves, which reduces the reliance on a constant supply of rainwater, enabling more water to be saved.
Is It Time To Take The Plunge?
Living off the grid is something that is not widely practiced yet, however for those concerned about sustainable living, the innovation is there to make transitioning to a sustainable off-grid lifestyle one that’s easier to make than ever before.
If you’re thinking of building a new home and want to contribute positively to a brighter future and help save our environment, setting it up with off-grid capability by hiring a sustainable building company is something that will greatly benefit you in the long run and eventually save you thousands in utility bills.
For many, it is the overwhelming nature of going off the grid, and the misconception that it means you might miss out on the comforts of modern life that’s stopping you from making that decision.
That’s why we’ve made it our mission to help build homes that have off-grid capabilities tailored to the individual needs of our clients. We can advise you on the best practices in building a self-sustaining home and you can have the benefit of our vast experience and expertise in building custom home designs in Melbourne.