By in Personal

Living "Off-Grid"

A month ago I moved to an "Off-grid" home on 42 acres in the Bancroft area of central Ontario, Canada. (I was living on 3 acres in south western Ontario). I have solar panels and a back up gas generator for my electricity, a well for my water, a wood stove for heat during the winter,plus propane for my fridge, stove, water heater and for back up heat.

So far, I am enjoying it. The solar panels make enough energy during the day to power the computers (my son's and mine) and during the evening, we run the generator for a few hours to top up the batteries and to watch some TV, do laundry etc.

It is a bit different living off-grid as I do have to careful with how much electricity I use. It can be a bit frustrating at times. When there is no sun, we end up having to use the generator more;at the moment it's costing me about $30 a week for gas for the generator, which is still less than I was paying for my monthly electric bill.

This is a no experience for me, so it's a learning process, one I look forward to sharing with you!

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


Sailorchronos wrote on August 28, 2015, 12:44 PM

I wish you luck with this experiment. For years I've had a dream that if it were feasible I would move to the country and outfit the house to be as much off-grid as possible, with solar panels, geothermal heating, and whatnot. We use far too much of the Earth's finite resources.

imphavok wrote on August 28, 2015, 12:58 PM

We definitely need more people doing it, our natural resources are eventually going to run out. Sadly, governments here in North America (Both Canada and the USA) are making it harder and harder to go "Off-grid", eventually it will be illegal. There are actually States where it is illegal to collect rainwater and several States it's mandatory to be hooked up to hydro; sadly Canada isn't far behind. It's a real shame our governments are more concerned with money than saving the planet.

AliCanary wrote on August 28, 2015, 1:02 PM

Wow, well done! I love solar power--I think it and recycling are the two strongest tools we have to save the environment.

imphavok wrote on August 28, 2015, 1:08 PM

Thank you! We definitely need more people using alternative energy to help save the planet for future generations. I am of course also a vigilant recycler. :)

Kasman wrote on August 28, 2015, 6:12 PM

AliCanary imphavok - It's a double-edged sword. The impact on the environment of the commercial production of solar panels, transporting them and installing them can be shown to be just as heavy as using conventional methods of generating power. The greatest benefit of using solar panels (and the reason most people use them) is the saving on buying electricity from the power companies - not because they are more environmentally friendly, 'cos they're not! Read this:

Last Edited: August 28, 2015, 6:16 PM

AliCanary wrote on August 28, 2015, 9:04 PM

But those are INITIAL costs, Bill. Once the panels are produced and installed, it's a gift that keeps on giving, unlike coal, gas, and oil, which must continually be extracted, refined and transported. Also, nobody is afraid of the environmental impact of a sunshine spill.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on August 29, 2015, 3:26 AM

This way of living can become expensive when there is less sunshine, but it also teaches you to be more careful with the energy you do use, and much less wasteful of it. My surname was Bancroft before I married, it´s an unusual name to have in the UK, but I have seen it more used in America and Canada.

imphavok wrote on August 29, 2015, 9:28 AM

I'm in agreement with AliCanary. Yes, originally making the solar panels is not good for the environment, but after they are made they last for years and years, and cut down significantly on the fossil fuels we use.

imphavok wrote on August 29, 2015, 9:32 AM

You are right, there often isn't much for saving (if any). Compared to what i was spending on heat/electric/water, I'm saving about a $1000 - $1500 a year; however, my rent is $110 more than what I was paying before, so the whole thing is actually costing me more than what i was paying. It certainly teaches us to watch our power use more and to be more responsible.