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Home Forums General Discussion When is off grid not off grid

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  elnav 7 years, 4 months ago.

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    Someone on Land Buddies expressed a wish to discuss forming an ‘off-grid’ community. I countered by saying a community with shared power, water, or sewage or roads was a rudimentary ‘grid’ and thus the term ‘off-grid’ community is self contradictatory or almost an oxymoron like military intelligence. <smile>

    I live in a small community of roughly 300 people where we have a mix of on grid and off grid inhabitants. One guy lives in a tent set up under a tall pine tree. A new 2000 square foot home was built last year with no connection except for being close to a road. He bulldozed the last few hundred feet himself. Neither have water, sewage, or electrical power so I guess its safe to say they are definitely off-grid. There are maseveral more houses not provided with electricity and nobody has municipal water. However some that are close to the highway do have electricity. Given the number of people that do not have municipal services and not even electricity is this an off grid community or not? I will say this. Nobody is discussing off-grid living. I have only met one guy even remotely interested in discussing the topic but he wont talk unless he has had a few to drink. Also met one guy at a store some 20 miles down the road who casually mentioned he lived off grid only a couple of miles from me. He wasn’t interested in talking off-grid either.

    My observation is living off-grid is something you do but dont waste effort talking about. In other words off-grid is not the glue that binds this community together. The guy who lives in a tent doesn’t talk about it either. He is however very active in the community. He is usually cast as one of the leading characters in the local theater group and is a volunteeer fire fighter plus he hires out as a handyman. Our community has chrismas and easter plays, fall fairs, parades, hot rod show and shine,(attended by 150 out of town registrations as well as the dozen local guys) firework night, senior graduation student appreciation night and a local blue grass band that plays at the 3 day Blue Grass Festival. When the provincial government tried to shut down the local primary school, the entire community came together to fight this move. So as you can see lots of community activity and issues but not one peep out of those living off grid. What then would hold an “off-Grid” community together? And what characteristics defines a community as being uniquely off grid?






    Was this person considering forming the community in an already established community with roads, electricity, water & sewers?



    Not from what I could see based on the initial comments. It seemed like the person wanted to start a new community from scratch based on the concept of not being on grid. My question is how does that differ from the hundred if not thousands of communities already founded on a single common theme. and mostly off-grid as define by Nick. What did the OP consider wrong with the existing off grid communities? There are communities based on single themes ranging from religion to lifestyle to employment and all of them dissociated from the regular world in terms of municipal services. Some are distant others like same Ashrams are located inside urban areas. Where I live we are sort of in the middle. There is now a paved two lane road and at highway speeds you can reach the nearest town in 45 minutes if you don’t hit a moose or bear. People around here are either retired on a pension or self employed ranchers and loggers or they commute to a high paying job. You can’t afford the commute if you make minimum wage. Fuel cost around $4.00 a gallon ( $1.09 / liter)



    I paid $1.o9 down here in central Ontario this morning. It’s $1.20 for high octane, so I think your prices may go up even more before the nights over!

    But thats where I’m confused, with your original post up top. Doesn’t the phrase, terminalogy -“Off-Grid”- pertain to everyone who chooses to be their own power & utilities companies?

    By moving onto my acreage & conecting my panels to my batteries or wind turbine & then retreiving my water by the pail full from the nearest source, I have become “Off-GriD”. I no longer use the services provided by “The Power Authority” is what I beleive they call themselves down here now & I no longer use the water which is chemically treated for my benifit, so I am now, my own utility company. And CEO at that!

    Or do you mean that, by everyone else he has join him in his endevour, all joining into a single array of panels & batt-bank & then live in shacks somewhat close together & perhaps joined by a few trails, in fact make them “Grid TieD”?



    I had always figured you were off-grid if you did not have a connection to electric utility power. I got told that was not politically correct. Off-grid now refers to any municipal services including a municipal maintained road.

    So by that definition I must live in an off grid place because we do not have such services ex cept for hydro and some places don’t even have that. Hence my question to the forum when is of grid not off grid? If the new definition holds true then there a lot of off grid communities in existence.

    That in turn got me thinking about on what basis or how do you form a community with “offgrid” as its focus of existence.

    Even the people here who are off-grid do not seem to spend time talking about being off grid. So what do you talk about in an off-grid communithy whose main focus and reason for existing is ‘off-grid’?

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