Going off-grid was a personal decision that our family made and it was not made lightly. You are choosing alternative sources of power and water to lesson your carbon footprint and save money. It takes planning and understanding how the entire system works and know that sometimes it can be a little bit of work.
The average person uses about a 100 gallons of water per day. A family of 3 like ours would be using 300 gallons of water per day. That is about 2,100 gallons per week. Our family uses about 315 gallons per week to shower (a good long shower too), to water our homestead garden, to wash dishes and to cook and drink. What an average family of 3 uses in a day, we use in a week. Our water reserve runs into our home (we have running water in our home) from a 300 gallon IBC tank. This IBC tank can be filled with water from our creek, or water from our well. Drinking water is purchased or filtered using the Berkey Filter system.
The average household also uses about 10,932 kilowatt-hours per year. We have yet to fully calculate our energy consumption, but rest assured it is not even a 1/4 of the “average” amount. We have solar powered lights throughout our property and our entire home is run off of solar power. We have 4-100 watt panels, 4-6 volt batteries wired in series to produce 12 volt, and a 3000 watt max inverter that provides 1500 watts consistently. Ideally we would like to double this capacity by next year.
We are truly proud of the impact we have made on our environment and the freedom that off-grid living provides. There are two important things you should make sure to purchase as a backup before you do go off-grid and they are:
- A battery charger. You never know what can happen and having a battery charger allows you to charge your batteries and have power, even if your panels have not received any sun.
- It is worth every penny to invest in a multi-fuel generator. They allow you to use fuel or propane to run your generator. There are many other options available that will suit your needs. Do the research
At the end of the day this adventure we call an “off-grid” life has been incredibly fulfilling for our body, mind and spirits.
Would you ever consider living off-grid?