energyNow! Presents: Living Off The Grid

By Silvio Marcacci, energyNow!

Whether you’re reading this on your computer or mobile device, you needed electricity from the grid at some point in the process. Those electrons come from far-flung power plants, across miles of transmission lines, and out of a plug in your wall. This routine may seem like just another part of life, but it’s not the only option.

Living “off the grid” may conjure images of counter-culture hippies or the old-fashioned ways of the Amish, but a growing number of people generate their own electricity and live in the lap of luxury without ever paying a utility bill.

image via Shutterstock

energyNOW! correspondent Patty Kim met some of the estimated 180,000 families across North America using clean energy technology to become self-sufficient and enjoy all the comforts of modern life, off the grid.

Bill Kemp, author of “The Renewable Energy Handbook,” went off-grid when he learned running power lines to his new home would cost a small fortune. Now, solar arrays produce over 2,000 watts of energy, and a small wind turbine chips in 1,500 additional watts. On cloudy and windless days, a backup half-biodiesel, half-diesel generator provides power. All this renewable energy constantly charges a bank of batteries in his basement and keeps the lights on well after sundown.

But Bill Kemp isn’t the off-grid success story. Oregon’s Three Rivers Recreational Area is a thriving 300-home community of million-dollar mansions, trailers, a fire hall, and even a yurt (traditional Mongolian home). To learn more about Three Rivers and watch the entire segment, click the video below:

Editor’s Note: This column is a cross post from our friends over at energyNow! Author credit goes to energyNow!’s Silvio Marcacci.

1 Comment

  • Reply September 8, 2011


    This is really tough but you have made it so easy. It is incredible. When I heard of this concept, living off grid. But it sounds fascinating. It brings me back to the me that existed in the 70s and even into the 80s, but now I know what living off grid is?nLiving off the grid

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