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The need to be self sufficient and not rely on others. How to take your home off-grid

My wife and I have been looking at houses recently, and our desire to be off-grid and self reliant is a major factor we are considering. We declined a house that was pretty nice because it wasn’t able to be made off-grid and we would always have to be reliant on someone else and their prices and supply. Got me thinking about this topic and I wanted to brain storm some ideas.

There may come a time when gas (propane, natural gas), electricity, gasoline/diesel, and even water are in short supply. As we have seen in the news over the past year prices and supply is very fragile and can’t always be relied on to be available and at a low cost. Take Texas just this year where electricity was unavailable for many during the middle of winter, and if it was the prices were jacked up 10,000% leaving people with a $9,000 electricity bill for the month. That is just wrong…

We need to look at our lives especially when we see it happening to others on the news, and know that it can and probably will happen to us. Call your power company and ask what your rates are. Are they locked in? Or will you have a couple thousand dollar electricity bill with no warning if there is a shortage?

What happens if there is a gasoline shortage and you have to still keep up your 45 minute commute everyday or risk losing your job and then your home?

How will you cook if the natural gas is out because someone crashed into a pipeline and you can no longer use your stove or oven?

Or even worse, what if an EMP or other SHTF disaster happens and water, gas, and electricity are all knocked out at once for everyone? Are you just going to freeze, not be able to eat, or live in darkness?

Lets do something about it and not be a victim! Please contribute your thoughts on each section and lets come up with some real solutions for people. Share what your utility setup is like and how you would like to make it more self reliant, others can then give feedback and help you out.

Gas (propane, natural gas)

  • The house we were looking at this week had the furnace and oven/stove ran on natural gas that had to be pumped in from the city on demand. The question we had is, is there a way to convert a house to run on propane? We would like to get one of those 1000 gallon propane tanks that we fill up once a year. That way we wouldn’t be as reliant on the grid and could possibly have a couple months worth of fuel for cooking and heating, hopefully enough time for things to settle down and supply to get back to where it was. Does anyone know if you can convert a natural gas home to propane? What does that process look like? All new piping and appliances? Or can you just buy an adapter and screw your pipe lines into a propane tank?
  • A propane grill, propane space heater and a month’s worth of propane can help you to keep cooking and stay warm
  • Look into alternatives for cooking, heating, and light with kerosene.
  • Solar oven for cooking

Electricity

  • Getting a generator to keep your fridge and lights on.
  • Having solar panels, portable solar chargers, battery banks, etc…
  • Have heat and cooking sources that don’t rely on electricity
  • Lanterns, flashlights, and headlamps
  • Maybe something like a large portable battery like the Jackery? Has anyone tried something like this?

 
Gasoline and Diesel

  • Learning how to hypermile. A way to get 100mpg out of a car that usually only gets 30. If fuel is scarce or overly expensive, learning how to get the most mpg (or kpg for you UK folks).
  • Storing gas.
  • Alternative transportation methods like public transportation, biking, or a motorcycle

Water

  • Rain catchment
  • Storing water
  • Using baby wipes instead of showering

 

I’m not prepared for any lack of supply of my utilities, but want to do something about it

Who is off-grid? What did you do to get there?

Who wants to be off-grid? What is something you can do to be a bit more self reliant?

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