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Old 12-02-2015, 07:16 AM
 
Location: City of the Angels
2,222 posts, read 1,664,264 times
Reputation: 5376

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For a lot of people, it means to live as economically as you can without the uncertaincy of the utility bills increasing to the point that it takes up a large percentage of your monthly income.
Water is the wildcard now as everyone in Southern California knows as we are now paying more for less as we are in a drought stage.
Solar panels almost have to be mandatory now that the summers are getting longer and hotter here also and running air conditioning is almost required because of the duration of the 100 degree weather is going longer. The monthly electrical bills can be as much as a mortgage payment on the house.
The bottom line is that the truth about the dollar is not how much you make but how much you get to keep and you need to keep the cost of utilities down as low as you can.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,325,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
For people who are alarmed about an uncertain future, the ability to survive and thrive independently provides comfort.

Imagine what will happen in the cities if the grid goes down and doesn't come back up for one year.
Since "the grid" is actually nothing more than all the power generating stations in a certain area connected by transmission wires and controlled by switches, short of the Yellowstone caldera exploding or a meteor hit, it's highly unlikely that "the grid" would be out of service for a long length of time.

Furthermore, where there's been natural/man-made (as in 9/11) disasters, city (and suburban) dwellers have proven to be remarkably resilient and cooperative, especially compared to the stereotypes posited by the paranoid prepper crowd.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
13,679 posts, read 5,515,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickofDiamonds View Post
The monthly electrical bills can be as much as a mortgage payment on the house.
You're kidding. Especially with crazy CA house prices...
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:50 AM
 
13,092 posts, read 13,685,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freak80 View Post
Try fixing your heart attack without someone to help you. I wonder how many heart attack survivors still want to live "off the grid."
but when we live a healthy balanced life, then the heart attack does not occur.
that is even better
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:01 AM
 
Location: DC
6,521 posts, read 6,455,276 times
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It's about 1/2 romantic nonsense and about 1/2 wanting to live away from other people. The notion that it is more reliable, greener and cheaper is part of the romantic nonsense. Living is a remote beautiful area has its attractions and the cost of that is often that utility services are unavailable.
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:34 AM
 
38,118 posts, read 14,894,548 times
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The fascination is with living a simpler, less expensive life.

We lived off the grid for a time. It was a lot of work but peaceful.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:16 AM
509
 
2,971 posts, read 4,078,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
I by no means have a “green” lifestyle but I do drop in here every once in a while to learn a thing or two. My greenness goes as far as not wasting energy or other natural resources but I am not putting myself through hardship just to be green. This brings me to living “off the grid”. First of all, what does it exactly mean? Does it refer to just electricity or all modern amenities? Given the normal needs of human beings, is it even possible to disconnect from the world? Do you have to live in a cabin in the woods to live off the grid?
Living off the grid means making your own electricity. 99.9% of the people that are excited about iving off-the-grid are excited because they have NEVER been off-the-grid.

We have had an off-grid house for 18 years now. I love it location, but that has nothing with being off-grid.

Being off-grid is expensive, in fact, most people once off-grid spend lots of time figuring out how to get ON-GRID.

The biggest issue with being off-grid, besides the expense, is finding someone to fix and repair things. Almost all electricians have no clue on how to deal with off-grid systems.

If you have flooded batteries, then there is that maintenance headache and EVERY shirt you own will sooner or later have acid burns. I finally replaced the batteries with AGM. There is also the issue of generator maintenance.

You also end up using much less electricity because you must!! So you discover the world of propane heat for space and water heating. Stove is propane. Even our fridge is propane. In our part of the world, propane is much, much more expensive than grid electricity.

There is a downside in that our place is a vacation home rental. We have had people cancel rentals when they found out we were off-grid. But we have also had people there for two days before they realized we were off-grid. There still is a stigma to being off-grid, but that is getting less and less each year. Our base price is $250/night and some people find it hard to believe that you can have a nice place...off-grid.

The advantages are that they are reliable. In 18 years I have had the system fail ONCE. This compares to our grid house where in that time the power has gone off five or six times. Of course, the utility is responsible for those where in a off-grid house it is your problem.

Would I buy another off-grid house?? Absolutely.

Would I go off-grid in our grid house?? Absolutely NOT.

The difference really is similar to a gas or diesel truck. Minor differences but they both get the job done.

Almost forgot....as far as going green. Our grid house is 100% carbon and pollution free. Our off-grid house emits much more carbon and pollution than probably the typical grid home due to heating requirements and generator runs during cloudy periods.

Last edited by 509; 12-02-2015 at 09:33 AM..
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
763 posts, read 636,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
It does not necessarily mean living without electricity, it means not being tied into the utility grid. Many off the grid folk make use of solar and wind energy sometimes supplemented by gas generators, propane, etc.

The appeal is self sufficiency for most folks.
I agree with this one the most, with a little nuance. In my opinion and specifically in the context of green living, self sufficiency is one of the highest goals. It won't be for the sake of survivalist lifestyles but more for the implications that come with achieving that capability.

Demonstrating self sufficiency usually means making sustainable life choices and acquiring the capability to further enable them. It doesn't mean that one MUST live off-grid, it just means that they are capable of doing so. This capability matters because by the very nature of off-grid living, a person must conserve or at least have a high awareness of their resource needs, which in turn requires that they make conscious and careful decisions. This circumstantial result is a large part of what makes "off-grid" a respectable goal in green lifestyle concepts, in my opinion.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:51 AM
509
 
2,971 posts, read 4,078,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveNotCommute View Post

Demonstrating self sufficiency usually means making sustainable life choices and acquiring the capability to further enable them. It doesn't mean that one MUST live off-grid, it just means that they are capable of doing so. This capability matters because by the very nature of off-grid living, a person must conserve or at least have a high awareness of their resource needs, which in turn requires that they make conscious and careful decisions. This circumstantial result is a large part of what makes "off-grid" a respectable goal in green lifestyle concepts, in my opinion.
Wow, do you teach for a living?

Yes, I agree with your statement. That is the perception.

However, most off-grid homes pollute far more and are less sustainable than grid homes. Particularly, in climates where you have to heat or cool the home.

There are probably a few off-grid homes in coastal California or Hawaii that are sustainable and better for the environment than grid homes. But very few.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
13,679 posts, read 5,515,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
but when we live a healthy balanced life, then the heart attack does not occur.
that is even better
You missed my whole point. Major medical emergencies require professional intervention. You're not going to get that "off the grid." Major illnesses, infections, and disorders can occur regardless. You're only invincible until you aren't.
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