Off the grid-living offers great freedom and the appeal of living in peace and close to nature. However, before you set out to the rural living, you need to carefully think about what that entails and find out ways of accessing the necessary utilities needed to facilitate a rural lifestyle.
Identifying the most suitable sources of energy is critical for successful off-the-grid living. Since you may not have access to the city power lines, you will likely have to opt for alternative sources of energy like wind, solar, and hydropower. Before you pick one, make sure you estimate the amount of energy you will likely consume. The ideal source of electricity depends on the nature of the environment. For instance, the wind is a possible source if the area experiences strong and continuous winds, typically 9mph in speed. You will find this information from the Department of Energy. It is convenient and affordable to use hydropower if you have access to plenty of running water.
Water and Sewer System
Above anything else, make sure you have access to water and waste disposal. Make sure you have a steady natural source of water or a convenient hauling point. Many rural dwellers depend on rainwater and wells; before using water from these sources, treat or boil it. A proper waste disposal system protects you from diseases like cholera and typhoid. Choose the ideal choice, obtain permits from the local government, and decide whether to install it yourself or hire a professional. Installing a septic tank system means you will have to keep up with several maintenance measures. Other options include lagoons, composting toilets, and greywater systems.
You may not have access to gas lines in off-the-grid living. However, you’ll still need access to heat for hot water, preparing your meals, and keeping your home warm. The good news is that there are lots of alternative sources. Some of the available options include LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), oil, solid fuel, electricity, and renewables. Oil is the most common method of heating in rural homes, although it is susceptible to theft through siphoning and can pollute the air. You can also try using solid fuels like coal and wood, though these are less environmentally friendly as well. You can also use storage heaters and electric boilers, which are more expensive, but produce less of a carbon footprint. You can use LPG to cook, produce heat, boil water, and operate appliances like tumble dryers and gas fires.
Living off the grid can be challenging, but if you make the proper preparations, it can also be rewarding. Your off-the-grid life will go a lot smoother if you properly acquire and maintain the utilities. These steps offer a good start.
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