Learning How to Live Off The Grid.

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Downsize. Try to sell that too large-a-house and move into something that will take less heat, less electricity to run. Consider looking for some land with pine and maple trees that you can harvest for heating your home in a fireplace. Pine and Maple are great since you can re-plant seedlings and they grow very very fast.Try to find a plot of land that is near a spring fed lake where you can use the water for washing and watering the garden.
Construct your very small home with double insulated walls. Use 2 x 6 exterior walls with R20. Place your vapor barrier on the warm side of this wall. Construct an interior 2 x 4 wall with more R20 Insulation and install all outlets and wiring within this wall so not to puncture your vapor barrier.
Heat your home using a fireplace hearth and geothermal heat source pumps. Hire a Contractor to install your geothermal heat pumps. You can also use geothermal pumps to cool your home in the summer. You can purchase an old fashioned wood burning cook stove so that you heat your home the same time you are cooking your food. You can use the cook stove to heat the water in your home.
Purchase Energy Star appliances (Refrigerator, laptop etc) and reduce reduce reduce your consumption. You can read your existing Electricity Bill to determine how much electricity your are using and see if you can reduce your current kw/h by 90 %. In order to provide solar and wind to run the appliances in your new “Off-grid” Home – you will need to be using about 10 % of what you are currently using.
Purchase a propane generator for emergency situations. (Back-up Power)
Solar: Start small with Solar Power. After you calculate how little electricity you need you can buy a small Solar Power Kit at Home Depot for about $3,000. (600 W)
Wind: You will also need a wind power generator. You can purchase a 400 W kit from Canadian Tire (and silimar stores) for about $800.  These are the basic 1st steps – I’ll expand on each step in future articles. The most important thing to do is “reduce” your consumption and downsize your needs.

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