How Much Does It Cost To Live Off the Grid?
You want to ditch the modern predicament and build an off-grid haven. You dream of a cabin on a misty mountain or a rum-soaked beach bungalow.
But before you begin your off-grid adventure, your rational brain kicks in. You ask yourself a crucial question. "How much does it cost to live off the grid?"
What Is Living Off the Grid?
Technically, off-grid living is disconnecting from public utilities for energy independence, self-sustainability, or accommodating an on-the-go or roguish lifestyle. Disconnecting can mean massive savings over the long term.
Off-grid living sounds dreamy. But there is the cost of living off the grid. You need land and a place to live.
What Are the Costs of an Off Grid Home?
Before you think about building an off-grid house, ask yourself again, "How much does it cost to live off the grid?"
The answer depends on your level of self-sufficiency, the quality and scale of utility systems, and your location. You may be OK with the bare necessities. Others may want the comforts of modern life. These factors significantly impact the overall cost of living off-grid.
The startup cost of going off-grid is $10,000-$500,000. You can spend as much as you have. But, on average, the cost of buying land, building an off-grid home, and securing utilities and resources is $50,000-$150,000.
The numbers might seem daunting. But remember that off-grid living is an investment that provides returns every day. These returns amount to huge savings in energy costs, tax credits, and even a lower general cost of living from using natural resources and food.
How Much Money Do You Need To Live Off Grid?
The main elements influencing how much you need to live off-grid are:
- Electricity and heat
- Sewer and toilets
Research each of these as you ask yourself again, "How much does it cost to go off the grid?" Each cost varies depending on the size, quality, scale, and location of your home.
The Cost of Land
It’s impossible to go off-grid without owning land. The average cost of an acre of farmland in the United States is $31,600 but varies by state. For example, an acre in Wyoming costs $1,500. In New Jersey, an acre costs $196,000.
Other factors affect the price of land, such as:
- Proximity to water
- View and scenery
- Proximity to an urban center
- Farmland, woodland, beach property
The Cost of Building an Off Grid Home
There are two ways to obtain off-grid housing. You can build an off-grid home from scratch or convert an existing home to function off-grid. Either way, you're building a home with utilities that are disconnected from public water, sewage, and electric grids.
Off-grid homes are minimalist designs. There are extravagant off-grid options, but your home will most likely be small with no frills. The average cost for a small off-grid house in the United States is $45,000, depending on size, features, and quality.
Building a tiny house isn't the only option. Many choose to live in RVs and vans. Going mobile is an effective way to reduce upfront costs, but there are fuel and vehicle maintenance costs.
The Cost of Utilities and Resources
You've come this far but probably are still asking, "How much does it cost to go off-grid." The next step in answering how much to live off-grid is estimating electricity, water, heat, and sewerage costs.
Installing a well is great for a continuous supply of drinkable water. Wells cost $5,000-$15,000, depending on whether you get a professional to do it, DIY, and how much storage you require. You'll also need to invest in water purification.
Electricity is another significant cost when calculating how much you need to build an off-grid home. Solar energy is practical. It's not going to break the bank, and it's modular, meaning owners can build up power and storage in time. If you go solar, it'll cost you $10,00-$50,000, depending on the size of your house.
Sewage costs depend vary. A septic tank averages $3,000-$7,000. But there are less expensive options, like outhouses, which can cost under $1,000.
Lastly, you'll need food. Gardens are cheap to create, but soil treatment, gardening tools, seeds, and other supplies cost $1,000-$5,000 depending on how robust the garden is.
How To Begin Your Journey Off Grid Today
We've answered the question "How much would it cost to go off the grid?" Now it's up to you to begin researching. Why not start by learning how to build your own solar system off grid with our FREE Ultimate Solar Mini Course on building your own Solar System!
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