Why is living off the grid is so popular?
Off-grid living in Australia has become quite popular in the past decade or so. There can be a lot of upfront costs if you want to switch to this kind of lifestyle, but the returns are big once you’ve settled in. According to the people who’ve tried it, switching to off-grid living can pay for itself within three to five years.
Factor in the advantage of controlling your own utilities (a huge problem in urban housing), healthier food choices, and the easier access to tools that make it possible, living off the grid has moved from a dream to a way of life for many Australians.
Is it illegal to live off the grid in Australia?
Absolutely not! Living off the grid isn’t illegal, but it comes with a few caveats. For example:
- Zoning and housing permits: Each county or town may have its own laws about living off-grid, so it’s best to check the local regulations about living off-grid.
- Rebates and incentives: If you get your off-grid setup up and running, you might be eligible for incentives from the government. These can further help offset the costs of switching to this kind of lifestyle.
- Land and ownership: Off-grid living may require special land for sale if you want to build your own sustainable housing on it.
Living off-grid has a lot in common with choosing commercial housing with all the research required. It’s easier than ever to switch to an off-grid set up, but you should always look at the laws governing construction and land use in your area you to make sure you avoid breaking any laws.
What to consider when building off the grid?
There are three important things to keep in mind if you’re considering living off-grid:
- Power: You’ll need one (or several) kinds of off-grid power systems to provide you with basic power. This is crucial for a lot of your other utilities, like water or food.
- Waste: Since you’re disconnected from the sewer line, you need to be comfortable handling your own waste – bodily or otherwise.
- Location: Very few urban centres offer space for off-grid living. Most available spaces are located outside of the city which can be an issue for those who have jobs within the metropolis.
Off-grid living can be idyllic, but it comes with its fair share of work. If you can’t deal with any of the things outlined above, off-grid living might not be for you.
What are the off-grid power systems available?
One of the biggest factors that makes off-grid living possible is the variety of standalone power options available nowadays. They’re easy to integrate and use, even for people living in the city. Here are two of the most common power sources:
Off-grid solar energy
As one of the most popular sources of sustainable power, solar energy is the off-grid system of choice for many Australians. With major companies like Tesla creating power wall batteries for homes, it’s a convenient and affordable energy source to switch to.
Off-grid wind energy
The better for open locations far away from cities, wind energy can accumulate a lot of power quickly. Storing excess power is no issue, since plenty of off-grid setups often have a spare battery or two to hold it for later use.
Does anyone live off the grid in Australia?
Absolutely! If you’re looking for like-minded individuals who have disconnected themselves from the grid, there are communities like Chewton Bushlands that have been living off-grid for decades. There are also groups like the Cohousing Australia Initiative and Tiny Homes Australia that offer comprehensive guides on how to go off the grid.
Living off the grid may seem like a big step, but there are plenty of Australians who survive and even thrive doing it! If you’re willing to take the extra step to become more self-sufficient, and more environmentally-conscious person then you should seriously consider the off-grid lifestyle.