Solar Energy | June 03, 2008 |
Money Saved By Getting Off the Grid
Forget utility bills. Off-grid systems are being installed with a quickness, thanks to a perfect storm of market conditions that result in savings when ratepayers unplug themselves from resource infrastructure. Off-grid expert estimates that about 400,000 people have unplugged, with that rate growing at an astounding thirty percent a year.
Users can not only break even, but are saving money by installing their own solar or wind infrastructure, drilling wells and growing their own food . These days being resource self-sufficient means being protected from wild swings in commodities markets and consumer prices. Policy has come around; a combination of subsidies, grants, green loans and other incentives has shortened the rate of return people can see in green building and off-grid investments, a rate of return that gets higher as nonrenewable energy costs rise. Another factor encouraging off-grid transitions is a dramatic drop in prices.
Aided by the LEED boom, which has made green building supplies a mainstream requirement, many green building features are markedly cheaper than a decade ago. Materials are being made better and more affordably; installation has fallen in price as environmental renovation services proliferate. These days, going off the grid, building green and providing for oneself environmentally is the economic choice, and no longer requiring much or any sacrifice in quality of living.
Read more at ENN.