Living Off Grid. - A Crazy Idea?

When we first moved to our home in the woods, and decided to live with a measure or self sufficiency, my husband would occasionally bring up living off grid. Though we most certainly are on grid now, he would express a desire to go off grid when we build our house. I dismissed it as a crazy idea, but is it?
Living off grid does not mean living like the Amish without electric. It means generating your own electric, usually using wind or solar power. Depending on the situation it can mean doing with a lot less electrical power. For a glimpse of someone lives off grid, check out Wretha's Adventures Living 100% Off Grid.

There have been a couple of events that have made me rethink the idea of living off grid. The ice and wind storms left us with out power several times this winter. It is then that you realize how truly dependent you are on electric, and on the electic company to restore your life to normal. I don't like that feeling.

If you are generating your own electric, there certainly will be times when the electric goes out for what ever reason. The difference in living off grid is in the control. You are the one fixing it. If living off grid means less dependency on electric, it also means that doing without electric would be less of a disruption.
What really has me thinking is a rate increase being requested by our electric company. The increase has not been approved yet, but they are seeking an increase of 44% implemented over three years. This rate increase is solely to cover their increased cost due to fuel prices and environmental regulations. 44%! Maybe off grid living isn't such a crazy idea.
We may not be ready to go off grid just yet, but it sure is looking more appealing all the time. If that rate increase goes into effect, we will have to look hard at our electrical consumption, and options to decrease it.

Image credit: Mariusza Petelicki

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Living Off Grid. - A Crazy Idea? + utilities