by SPY_VONDEGA on JULY 1, 2012 - 8 Comments in land
*Author of HOW TO LIVE OFF-GRID launches plan to build homes for less than £50,000 ($80,000).
*They consume 25% of average energy and water
*Using the new Localism Act to create a proof of concept
Off-grid settlements – historically a fringe interest in the UK, although they have a long history in other countries, including the US – offer an important new alternative — important because they help solve three problems:
– Cheap housing – how to enable it
– Energy security – how to improve it
– Rural regeneration – how to kickstart it
The indicators keep ticking towards a time when living off-grid will seem a sensible, mainstream choice. For the first time, the cost of solar power is close to converging with the cost of utility power. The price of oil has remained at or over $100 a barrel; sales of wood-burning stoves are at their highest since the introduction of gas central heating; and house prices remain unaffordable to vast swathes of first-time buyers.
At a time when housing in this country is facing multiple crises – of affordability and supply, and, in the case of social housing, of funding and allocation – we need to be willing to embrace brave and new solutions.
But as with so many other useful ideas in Britain, politicians are unwilling to lead us towards them.