The subject of providing power in off-grid-capable ways is perhaps the most complex sub-topic of preparing an off-grid-capable home.
Grid power is often the best option
For many families living in average western cultures, in average homes with average utility use, grid power is the most affordable option for electricity. Certainly, there are exceptions to this. However, many are surprised to learn that the cost to produce power one’s self can be 2-5x the average cost per kWh (kilowatt-hour) over the utility prices. Therefore, it is important from the get-go to establish this reality – you’re unlikely to save money over your current electric bill by implementing off-grid-capable approaches.
Furthermore, many will decry “you can live off-grid for much less than the connected home!”. Yes, this may indeed be true, but doing so requires significant lifestyle changes, initial expense, and is usually best achieved by moving to a property that was designed and built to be off-grid.
Turning the average home (by western standards – ie Europe, North America, etc) into a full-time off-grid home would be an expensive proposition by most standards and very disruptive to many lifestyles.
The goal of this site is to help the average, common family to achieve off-grid-capability, as a temporal, or seasonal, or backup alternative, not to help people move off-grid permanently.
Because the topic of off-grid-capable power can be complex this topic is presented in smaller, more digestible pages.
- Part 1 – Identifying your needs
- Part 2 – Basic backup power
- Part 3 – Intermediate backup power
- Part 4 – Advanced backup power (Solar, wind, and micro-hydro)
- Part 5 – Premium backup power