Off-the-grid

The term off-the-grid (OTG) or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-the-grid homes are autonomous; they do not rely on municipal water supply, sewer, natural gas, electrical power grid, or similar utility services. A true off-grid house is able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services. The idea has been recently popularized by certain celebrities including Ed Begley, Jr.[1] who stars in Living with Ed[2] television show on the Home & Garden Television network. Actress Daryl Hannah also promotes off-grid living and constructed her home in Colorado according to those principles. As well as survival expert and co-star of Dual Survival Cody Lundin[3]

Contents

Electrical power

Electrical power can be generated on-site with renewable energy sources such as solar, wind or geothermal; with a generator and adequate fuel reserves; or simply done without, as in Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities. Such a system is called a stand-alone power system.

Water

On-site water sources can include a well, stream, or lake. Depending on the water source, this may include pumps and/or filtration. Rainwater can also be harvested.

Popularity

On 13 April 2006, USA Today reported that there were "some 180,000 families living off-grid, a figure that has jumped 33% a year for a decade," and cited Richard Perez, publisher of Home Power Magazine,[4] as the source.[5] Assuming the same rate of growth, there would be a quarter million off-grid households in the United States by late 2007. Because many Third World citizens have never had the chance to go on the grid, current estimates are that 1.7 billion people live off-grid worldwide.[6]

Environmental impact

The State of California is encouraging solar and wind power generation that is connected to the electrical grid to avoid the use of toxic lead acid batteries for night time storage.[7] Grid-tie systems are more expensive due to the extra hardware costs (such as a grid-tie inverter) especially when old car batteries that can no longer supply enough current to start a car are reused.[8]

Going off-grid can be done for altruistic reasons or to lower the environmental impact of living, as the typically limited amount of on-site renewable energy available is an incentive to reduce its use. But if energy usage is not reduced, going off-grid actually has a larger environmental impact versus using the grid, due to the lower efficiencies of the components. It is often done to residential buildings only occasionally occupied, such as vacation cabins, to avoid high initial costs of traditional utility connections. Other persons choose to live in houses where the cost of outside utilities is prohibitive, or such a distance away as to be impractical. In his book "How to live off-grid" Nick Rosen lists seven reasons for going off-grid. The top two are saving money, and reducing the carbon footprint. Others include survivalists, preparing for the collapse of the oil economy and bringing life back to the countryside.

Economic consideration

In situations where grid parity has been reached, it becomes cheaper to generate one's own electricity rather than purchasing it from the grid. This depends on equipment costs, the availability of renewable energy sources (wind, sun), and the cost of a grid connection. For example, in certain remote areas a grid connection would be prohibitively expensive, resulting in grid parity being reached immediately.

Africa

In Africa, small inexpensive Chinese-made solar electric systems became available, and as of 2010, they were being installed on mudhuts in villages in Kenya, and other countries. Inexpensive solar panels and LED lights make the systems affordable.[9]

See also

Sustainable development.svg Sustainable development portal

Gallery

References

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Off the grid — may refer to: Off the grid, housing not connected to public utilities Off the Grid (song), the first single from the Beastie Boys album The Mix Up Off the Grid with Les Stroud, a 2006 documentary of a family s building of an off the grid home… …   Wikipedia

  • Evolver (The Grid album) — Infobox Album | Name = Evolver Type = Album Artist = The Grid Released = 1994 Recorded = 1993 1994 Genre = Techno House Length = 66:17 Label = Deconstruction Records Producer = The Grid Reviews = *Allmusic Rating|2|5… …   Wikipedia

  • Grid energy storage — is used to manage the flow of electrical energy. For large scale load levelling on an interconnected electrical system, electric energy producers send low value off peak excess electricity over the electricity transmission grid to temporary… …   Wikipedia

  • The Farm (Tennessee) — The Farm is an intentional community in southeastern Lewis County, Tennessee, near the community of Summertown, Tennessee, [Michael Gavin, [http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/imagegallery.php?EntryID=T082 The Farm] in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of… …   Wikipedia

  • The Homestead at Denison University — (Granville, Ohio) is a student run intentional community with a focus on environmental sustainability and voluntary simplicity. Founded in 1977 under the guiding vision of biology professor Dr. Robert W. Alrutz, it is an evolving experiment in… …   Wikipedia

  • The Shakespeare Wars — The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascos, Palace Coups is a 2006 book by Ron Rosenbaum, a one time graduate student in the English department at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Rosenbaum s account of the genesis of this… …   Wikipedia

  • The Traveler (novel) — infobox Book | name = The Traveler title orig = translator = image caption = Cover of the Doubleday paperback edition author = John Twelve Hawks illustrator = cover artist = country = United States language = English series = The Fourth Realm… …   Wikipedia

  • The Mix-Up — Infobox Album Name = The Mix Up Type = studio Artist = Beastie Boys Released = June 26, 2007 Recorded = 2006–2007 at Oscilloscope Laboratories, New York City, New York Genre = Post rock, instrumental rock, post punk, jazz funk Length = 42:43… …   Wikipedia

  • Grid computing — is a term referring to the combination of computer resources from multiple administrative domains to reach a common goal. The grid can be thought of as a distributed system with non interactive workloads that involve a large number of files. What …   Wikipedia

  • Grid.org — is a website and online community established in 2001 that focuses on cluster computing and grid computing software for users. For the first 6 years of its history it operated several different volunteer computing projects that allowed members to …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.