How Off the Grid Homesteader Has Gone 6 Years Without An Electric Bill

Off the Grid Homesteader Has Gone 6 Years Without An Electric Bill

Here is Page 3 of Living Off the Grid Six Years Without an Electric Bill: Payback Time!


Payback Time

Does is make sense to generate your own electricity? Will it pay off in your lifetime? It did for me. Although my circumstances are a little unique, with the wind generators, the pay-back period was almost immediate and well in my favor.

I’m often asked how long it took to break even on purchasing and setting up an off-grid facility. The cost of a small (read that as very small) system like mine is relatively budget friendly: less than $600 each for the Air-X’s, $385 for the Mallard. There’s additional costs of around $250 each unit for pipe, mounting hardware, wire, switches, gauges and other support equipment (like replacing lost tools), not counting the free labor… mine, or kids', if you can find them. There’s also an inverter and batteries to consider and that could get expensive depending on your choices. Miserly me took the cheap road during the learning phase, Wal-mart batteries (deep-cycle kind, about $60 each), 5 of them, and two 750 watt inverters for about $79 each. I’ve added more items along the way but for the most part, the above represents a functional basic system that has worked well for me.

I don’t use much electricity, hence I don’t generate much electricity, or is it the other way around? In either case, does it make more sense to generate it or just buy it from the locals?

Aside from personal philosophy and the thrill of doing it myself, in my case it certainly made sense to generate it myself. With a minimum $30/month electric bill, ordinarily it could take a while to justify the cost of the off-grid system. But it would have cost close to $14,000 to bring power in to my facility since I do live a fair stretch from civilization. Hence, the payback justification was quite immediate.


An 800 watt Mallard chasing the wind.

The real payback for me however, came from the psychological and philosophical change to my very core that’s worth way more than the dollars I have or ever will have saved. It is actually no longer a matter of dollars saved. I have comfortably found that I just don’t need much of the stuff, the very same stuff that I didn’t even need before but didn’t realize it. Ahh, the Zen of it all! My eyes have been opened. And I get lullabied to sleep almost every night in the process of generating the electricity for tomorrow’s use or for the next few days.

But there’s only so much Zen, only so much financial philosophy, I still have some power needs and some of which are still unmet. So let’s get back to business.

Next up, “The Choices and the Plan”

Click on the “Next” Button Below for the Final Page of Living Off the Grid Six Years Without an Electric Bill: The Choices and the Plan!


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