Getting Off the Grid
It seems every year more and more of our household income is going towards utility bills, with electricity being a large portion of this. But, what can we do about it? After all, we need electricity to live.
Electricity is used for every part of our life from cooking and lighting to heating our homes.
Many people have reached the point where they’re tired of paying these high energy costs and have turned to renewable energy for their everyday needs. By “getting off the grid”, they’re not only saving money but providing their family with a healthy source of energy, while also helping the environment.
The sources of renewable energy that are most commonly used are biomass (municipal solid waste, wood, biogas and landfill), hydropower (water), geothermal, wind and solar.
For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase “getting off the grid”, it’s a term that’s used to describe a home that gets their electricity from renewable energy sources rather than from their local electric company’s grid.
The “grid” they’re referring to is the power grid that delivers the electricity to your home. The power or electricity starts at a power plant, goes through a transmission substation, high voltage transmission lines, power substation, transformers on power lines and into the transformer drum of your home. This entire system is the power grid and choosing to eliminate all this wasted energy and use renewable energy is referred to as “getting off the grid” and is something definitely worth looking into.
Some of the alternative methods of renewable energy include heating your water with solar panels rather than traditional electric or gas hot water heaters, cooking with a stove with magnetic fields, insulating the home with concrete, using air conditioners that don’t use Freon, white walls in the home and metal roofs to help reflect heat.
“Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.”
-US President Jimmy Carter, televised speech, Apr. 18, 1977
Using alternative energy or renewable energy is much more than just getting off the grid so you save money but is also about helping to protect and preserve the environment. By preserving our environment through the use of solar power and other renewable energy sources, it will be a healthier place to live for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.
What makes renewable energy so unique and valuable is that as quickly as it is used it is replaced again. Solar power is the first example that comes to mind when we think of renewable energy. While renewable energy may not answer all of our energy needs, it does account for about 25% of the world’s energy usage and this number is continuing to grow every year. As more people become energy conscious, getting off the grid is becoming a way of life.
Getting off the grid has many benefits for homeowners and businesses as well. A benefit to individuals wishing to build their home is that they can live anywhere they choose because they’re not restricted to an area where the electric company can get to easily. Another advantage is that renewable energy will never run out as long as the sun keeps shining and the wind keeps blowing.
These sources of renewable energy will add up to immense savings on your electrical bill and energy costs. Last but definitely not least is what renewable energy and getting off the grid will do for our environment in terms of preservation. The more energy we can save now, the more there will be in the future.