Off-the-grid is a system and lifestyle [1] designed to help people function without the backing of remote infrastructure , Such As an electrical grid . In electricity, off-grid can be a stand-alone power system or mini-grids typically to provide a smaller community with electricity.

Off-grid electrification is an approach to access electricity used in countries and areas with little access to electricity, due to scattered or remote population. The term off-the-grid ( OTG ) can refer to living in a self-sufficient way ofreliance on one or more public utilities . People who adopt this lifestyle are called off-gridders . [2]

Off-the-grid homes are autonomous ; they do not rely on municipal water supply , sewer , natural gas , electrical power grid, or similar utility services. A true off-grid house is able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services.

In popular culture

The idea has-been recently popularized by some celebrities Including Ed Begley, Jr. [3] Who stars in the Living with Ed [4] television show on the Home & Garden Television (HGTV) network. Actress Daryl Hannah promotes off-grid living and constructing her home in Colorado according to the principle of survival and co-star dual survival Cody Lundin , [5] who lives in a self-designed, passive solar earth house in the high desert wilderness of Northern Arizona , collecting rainwater, composting waste, and paying nothing for utilities. [6][7]

Electrical power

Electrical power can be generated On-Site with renewable energy sources Such As Solar (PARTICULARLY with photovoltaics ), wind , micro hydro , geothermal ; with a generator or Micro combined heat and power with adequate fuel reserves. Such a system is called a stand-alone power system or is referred to as a Hybrid power system. In addition, it is possible to simply eliminate electric power as in the Old Order Amish and Old Order MennoniteCommunities.

Water and sanitation

Self-supply of water and sanitation is possible to be independent of municipal water supply and sanitation services.

On-Site Water sources can include a well , stream, tank, or lake. These sources may require pumps or filtration. Rainwater can also be harvested. Can be advanced running off an energy source boiling and storage.

Off-the-grid houses are not connected to a sewer system , but may rely on various types of dry toilets , such as composting toilets or urine-diverting dry toilets .


On 13 April 2006, USA Today Reported That There Were “some 180,000 families living off-grid, a Figure That HAS jumped 33% a year for a decade,” and Cited Richard Perez, publisher of Home Power Magazine , [8] as the source. [9]

Assuming the same rate of growth, there would be a million-million off-grid households in the United States by late 2007. Because many third world citizens have never had the chance to go on the grid -grid worldwide. [10] A wave of TV shows and articles came out after the publication of “Off the Grid, Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government and True Independence in Modern America” ​​by Nick Rosen in 2010. [11]


Off Grid Community Concept by Eric Wichman

The concept of a sustainable off-grid community in the community . To become truly self-sufficient , the community would need to provide all of its own electrical power , food, shelter and water. Using renewable energy , an on-site water source, sustainable agriculture and vertical farming techniques. A recent concept design by Eric Wichman shows a multi-family community, which combines all of these technologies into one self-sufficientneighborhood. To grow the community you simply add neighborhoods using the same model as the first. A self-sustained community Reduces icts impact on the environment by controlling ict waste and carbon footprint .

Environmental impact

The State of California is Encouraging solar and wind power generation connected to the That Is electrical grid to Avoid the use of toxic lead acid batteries for night time storage. [12] Grid-tie systems are more expensive than off-grid systems due to the lack of additional equipment like charge controllers and batteries. HOWEVER, some systems May Mitigate this difference by using old car batteries That can no follow supply enough current to start a car. [13]

It is often done in the same way as in the cabins, to avoid high costs of traditional utility connections. Other persons choose to live in houses where the cost of outside use is prohibitive, or such a distance away as to be impractical. In His book How to live off-grid Nick Rosen lists Seven Reasons for going off-grid. The top two are saving money, and reducing the carbon footprint. Others include survivalists , preparing for the collapse of the economy and bringing life back to the countryside. [11]

Environmental concerns in Canadian off-grid communities

Canada has about 175 aboriginal and northern off-grid communities, defined as “a community that is neither connected to the North American electrical grid” nor is it “permanent” or “permanent or long-term” (5 years or more), and the settlements have at least 10 permanent buildings. ” [14] Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada lists the following environmental issues for these off-grid communities:

  • Burning large amounts of heavy gas emissions. This contributes to climate change which negatively affects communities.
  • Fuel must be transported long distances by airplane, truck or barge, leading to a greater risk of fuel spills.
  • The transportation of fuel by trucks on winter roads impacts the environment negatively through high greenhouse gas emissions from the vehicles.
  • Fuel spills can take place while the fuel is being transported and stored, posing environmental risks. Fuel tank leaks contaminated soil and groundwater …
  • Generators can be noisy and disruptive , especially in quiet, remote communities.
  • Emissions from diesel generators could contribute to health problems. [14]

Economic consideration

In situations where grid has been reached, it becomes cheaper to generate one’s own electricity rather than purchasing it from the grid. This depends on the cost of renewable sources ( wind , sun ), and the cost of a grid connection. For example, in certain remote areas a grid connection would be prohibitively expensive, resulting in grid parity being reached immediately.

Off-grid photovoltaic

The photovoltaic off-grid market has been researched by international institutes, universities and market research companies. The cumulative installed PV is estimated in 2010 between 1 and 2 GW [15] depending on the source. The market research company Infinergia has gone further by national cumulative mapping installed off-grid PV capacity on 100 countries worldwide. [16]


In Africa , small and inexpensive pico solar electric lights and solar home systems Inexpensive Solar Panels, Lithium Ion Batteries and High-Efficiency LED lights make the systems affordable.

See also

  • Sustainable development portal
  • Anarcho-primitivism
  • Autonomous building
  • Back-to-the-land movement
  • Battery charger
  • Domestic energy consumption
  • Distributed generation
  • Electrical grid
  • Inverter
  • Microgeneration
  • Rural electrification
  • Simple living
  • Solar charge controller
  • Solar Guerrilla
  • Stand-alone power system
  • Sungevity
  • Survivalism
  • Wide area synchronous grid
  • Zero energy building


  1. Jump up^ Vanini, Phillip (2014). Off the Grid: Re-Assembling Domestic Life . p. 10.
  2. Jump up^ Adey, Peter (2014). The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities . p. 117.
  3. Jump up^
  4. Jump up^
  5. Jump up^
  6. Jump up^ Stanley, John (November 1, 2007). “Survival guide aims to complicate urbanites” . The Arizona Republic . Retrieved 2012-08-07 .
  7. Jump up^ Lundin, Cody. “About Cody Lundin” . Retrieved 2012-08-07 .
  8. Jump up^ Home Power Magazine
  9. Jump up^ USA Today
  10. Jump up^ Modern Ghana News
  11. ^ Jump up to:b Rosen, Nick. Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence . Penguin. ISBN  0143117386 .
  12. Jump up^ California Solar Energy (PV) Rebate Information: The New California Solar Initiative Program
  13. Jump up^ African Town Wind Power and Knowledge Gets
  14. ^ Jump up to:b “Off-Grid Communities” . Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada . 2012-05-01 . Retrieved 2012-11-08 .
  15. Jump up^ “IEA PV Roadmap” (PDF) . IEA . Retrieved 14 April 2012 .
  16. Jump up^ “Photovoltaic off-grid map” . Infinergia Consulting . Retrieved 2012-04-14.