Many people romanticize the idea of off grid living for years, or just simply do it. With the upswing in popularity of tiny home living, homesteading, and being self reliant, what does living off grid truly mean?
Off grid life is literally just that, living off and free of the energy grid. Sources of energy vary across the nation. Some are based on alternative sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines, however much of it is fueled by gasoline.
You know all the power lines that hook up to buildings and houses? There’s none of that in off grid life. If the “grid” fails, your way of life is not affected. Plumbing works, refrigeration works, lighting works. How many of you have been in a power outage? It’s fine for a few hours, maybe a day, but longer than that, and you’re missing those conveniences we’ve all grown to appreciate.
There are many options at the route one can take to living off grid. For some this includes buying land far from power lines, and off grid is their only option for power if they want that. Some do choose to live a life back to humanity’s roots of fire as their only source of heat, and lighting. However, for most that would be considered camping.
For others, it may mean choosing to live on grid, however having a battery bank with their grid-tie solar system, just in case. A grid-tie system only helps lower your power bill. Regardless of the number of panels on a roof, if the grid is down, the house without a battery bank if powerless as well.
On the big island of Hawaii, where our family resides, the “grid” has not weaved all the way through the island yet. In order to tie in to HELCO, Hawaii’s energy company, one would have to purchase poles to get the power to them, if that is an option. Many places, including Mountain View, South Kona, South Point, the Hamakua Coast, and much of Puna, people live off grid, utilizing solar panels and a battery bank for their energy needs.
The slower aloha life, the Hawaiian islands offer, attract many to move here. Farming and gardening are many peoples past times when they’re not out surfing or cruising the beaches.
There are also many that want their piece of paradise but are used to all the power that the grid offers unable to to hook up to the grid. There is also the high expense with hawaii power bills which motivate people to look into alternative energy.
With the latest lithium battery banks available going off grid has never been this easy and desirable. With adequate planning, one can live off grid with minimum maintenance and be free from worrying when the grid is going to have an outage. It also affords those who want their own piece of paradise to live modern even if Helco(the grid) hasn’t made it there.
Life off grid has its’ quirks, but in our opinion the benefits are far exceeding and only getting better. If you find yourself here on the island in need of troubleshooting, buying off grid products, or consulting, feel free to give a ring at 808-747-9885.
If you’re here for the blog and are considering disconnecting from the grid, we’re here to encourage you on the journey. Comment below with articles you’d like to read or questions you have. Knowledge is the key to transitioning to an off grid lifestyle.