Are Utility Companies Aware of the Off-The-Grid Trend? Time To Wake Up & Adopt FIT(Feed-In-Tariff)


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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I was in the midst of watching a cable channel’s program on “Buying Alaska” tonight. Seeing quite a few homes in Alaska being off-grid, I got curious and googled “how many households in USA are off-grid”.  What I’ve discovered was that as of August of 2010, about 750,000 U.S. households were living off the grid and the number is increasing around 10% each year, according to Nick Rosen (author of Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America). Mr. Rosen’s web site has a map showing where these people live.

“Going off the grid is like insuring yourself against a time the lights may go out,” Rosen tells the Christian Science Monitor. “In the 1970s you had a lot of old-style hermit-like survivalists. But these people are different. This isn’t the Stone Age anymore; you can live a quite comfortable life.”

People go off-grid for a variety of reasons: to avoid reliance on electricity from the coal-burning power plant or for the simple reason that it’s too costly for the utility company to extend and maintain lines to certain rural properties.

At this point, I’d like to share a video clip of some one from Montana who renovated a 100 year old Montana cabin in a meadow surrounded by pine forest: living radical simplicity in an off-the-grid, passive solar design cabin with a cheap, simple, and efficient solar electric system, food-producing forest garden, and root cellar. There is a spring above the cabin that provides gravity flow water for the cabin’s one sink and the garden, two 135 W solar panels, two 275 amp hour batteries, 80 acres of pine forest to manage for wood heat in addition to the passive solar gain, and a blending of old technology and new technology. Below, you will see this cabin in the video:

Email solar@Slate Creek for details on the solar system. For more on the forest garden system go to


As the cost of solar continues to drop and the battery storage technology continue to decrease in cost and improve in capacity and efficiency, isn’t it time for the utility companies to wake up and adopt programs such as FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) to help provide incentives for its clients to remain connected to the grid before more/most of the households will be showing up in the off-grid camp?

For viewers/visitors with higher energy consumption, be sure to also check out our next post on VS5 Hybrid System of Bosch.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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