Wanting to live off grid? Here’s what you need to know.

– Bought a rural block and need an off grid housing solution?
– Taking your home off the grid? 
– Want more information about what you’ll need to go off grid? 


You have come to the right place. Here we will give you a brief guide on how you can make your home, secondary residence and even tiny home, off the grid.

What does it mean to be off-grid?

Off-grid living means you are using alternative power like solar energy that has no connection with any utility service. All of the power you are using to your home or secondary residence is from a source that you are producing yourself or devices that are self-power generating.


Why go off-grid?

Going off-grid has grown significantly in the last few years with homeowners. If you are wanting to get connected back to nature and be more reliant on power from other sources and you want to enjoy the massive benefit of saving from potential hefty bills of electricity companies, this is one of the best options for you.


What do you need to make your home, secondary house or granny flat off the grid?

Construction companies, homeowners and homemakers are getting more and more accustomed to being off-grid. Primarily, what you need is the Solar PV Systems.

Solar PV Systems will generate and produce electricity for your home. This includes solar panels, an inverter, equipment to mount the panels on your roof and a performance monitoring system that tracks electricity production. The sunlight that hits your solar panels will be converted into Direct Current or DC electricity, which is fed into an inverter.


Here are 2 ways to maximize solar energy:

  1. Solar Battery System

Solar batteries store energy that is being produced by your solar panels for later use. So, if your solar panel is producing more electricity than you need, the extra energy it produces gets stored to the battery for later use. What this means is that you can use solar energy even at night and you can also use it as a short term back up in instances where there’s a power outage in your area.

The higher your battery’s capacity, the more solar energy it can store.

  1. Feed-in Tariff

Another way to take advantage of solar energy is to receive feed-in tariff.  A feed-in tariff is a contract that you can apply with your electricity retailer. It pays you for excess electricity generated by your solar PV system that is sent to the grid, and not used in your home.

If your solar panel is generating an extremely high amount of energy, there is a potential of high pay on feed-in tariff. So, if you are living off the grid and producing more electricity from your solar panels and you have enough energy already stored in your battery pack, this is a beneficial way for you to maximize the use of your solar energy.

When you sign up for an agreement with your electricity retailer to receive a feed-in tariff, you need to know how much you will be paid for every kW/h exported.

While many wish to install solar systems themselves for their homes, professional assistance is greatly recommended if you are planning on making your house, secondary house or granny flats off the grid.

This is a recent upgrade for The Pod Canberra as more and more of our clients are asking for this solution and we want to help in achieving a better lifestyle for everyone.


Where to begin?

Going off the grid can be complicated if you have not done your research and are unaware of where to begin or what information you need to be armored with. We recommended asking any and all questions that come to mind, no question is a stupid question, educate yourself before finding the right people/business to assist you in getting your secondary residence off the grid. Here are some key questions to get answered and information you can gather that will help you better decide how to go off grid and what are the best options for your block/lot. 

  • What is the Zoning of the lot/ block?
  • Is it possible to build more than a single residence? If so, how many can I build?
  • How large can I build a dwelling? 
  • What is the building envelope?
  • What planning codes are related to my site?
  • Is there a fire rating on my block? and any restrictions that may relate/ impact my site?
  • Does there need to be enviro-cycle sprayers on my block? 
  • What type of system is required for the effluent management system (septic)
  • What is the power supply I can get on my block?
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