Off The Grid
Getting OFF THE GRID, ... completely ... can be a little problematic.
Typicaly, you either need to spend a whack-a-doodle of money to
maintain the convenience of your standard of life
or make some paradime shifting changes
in how you view the luxuries in your life.
BUT ... You don't NEED to spend thousands of dollars to go solar.
Electric independance can be started small, spend what you can afford.
Replacing some of your home lighting with LED bulbs will help,
and selecting other devices that natively run on 12vdc, such as
Laptops, Computer Monitors, Wifi Routers, Cable Modem,
TV's, Stereos, Alarm Clocks, 12v-LED Lighting,
cordless phones ... and ... CellPhone Chargers, ... etc
can reduce wastage caused by the inefficencies
of inverters and power suplies,
... AND ... they can essentially
run for free, on your
Most people have a car charger for their cell-phone,
and setting up a car stereo at home is pretty simple.
These are just two adaptations that most people
can make, relatively easily, AND some of
your other devices may already run
on 12v and use a 110-12v adapter.
btw... 12 volt LED lighting powered by
a battery, ... charged by Solar Panels,
still works at night during a power outage,
and as long as the power charged during the day
is more than the amount used at night,
you will continue to have light during the evening, all the time.
NOW THEN, ...
... Typically, 90 percent of the consumption,
found on most monthly residential hydro power bills,
comes from refrigeration, cooking, heating and hot water,
and, ... yes, in order to fix these, a chunk of money will be
required, and, ... if you want to be efficient, some of these
devices will need to be retro-fitted. ( DC motors etc )
On the other hand, noticable savings can be achieved
through the thoughtful use of timers.
For example, ... a timer on your water heater can heat
a tank full of hot water before you get home
and careful usage can save as much as $10 a month.
A Water Heater Timer can be setup
for approx $100, the savings could
be seen on your next Hydro bill, and,
can pay for itself in less than a year.
And, ... if you have a Hot Tub and use it every day
similar savings could be realized in the same way.
If your power utility has said, that they will not do
Time-Of-Day-Billing, ... do not be fooled,
that will change, ... one day. ( probably next year )
Most of us will simply bite the bullet and pay
surge pricing to use power at dinner time.
ALSO ... not IF but when your power utiliy
initiates time-of-day-billing, (and they will)
strategic use of other appliances can save money.
Dishwashers, Clothes Dryers & Washing Machines
are a few which are relatively easy to plan around,
and replacing them with SMART devices might seem
tempting or kool, but consider the
security implications of allowing access
of your home network to companies,
hackers and governments.
Actual timers are generally better than
'Smart Plugs' such as WEMO or others.
Generaly speaking, ... anything that can be accessed
from your cell-phone is probably a security risk.
Not only could someone hack your account and
change your schedules, a compromised IoT device
could grant unauthorized access to your home network.