Originally Posted by electroman7
Living off the grid should be all about energy independence, not reduced costs.
There is no valid reason why it can't be about both.In order to do so however ,requires making radical changes in your lifestyle if you are a heavy energy user.Therein lay the key.
Take a modern motorhome for instance ,utilizing LEDs for most lighting needs ,and ultra efficent appliances its possible to reduce your total energy costs to just a few dollars per day .There are literally thousands of folks that live full time in their RVs and love it.,Without sacrificing much in the way of creature comfort either.There is no reason the same principles cannot be applied to a home .Its all about energy management and reducing your electrical needs.
My RVs power generating system consists of 4 -76 watt solar panels mounted on an adjustable rack on the roof ,related electronics including a Trace 2000 watt inverter/charge controller and a bank of 6 trojan deep cycle marine grade batteries,Fully charged my battery bank can run all my electrical needs ,(laptop/numerous LED lights /microwave oven /fantastic fan/refrigerator) continuosly for appx 36-48 hrs .The refrigerator can run off a standard 20 lb LP tank for up to 3 weeks continuosly instead.The genset is a 4000 watt deisel,it burns fuel at a rate of appx 1/3 gal per hour when charging the batteries for appx 4 hrs as needed or when running the A/C.Heated water /space heating via deisel fuel and cooking is LP...
I very seldom use commercial campgrounds (KOA etc),except when i need to empty /fill holding tanks...when "boondocking" or dry camping ,my total energy needs has never exceeded the equiv of just $60 per month summer months and $100 +- winter time ..