Thursday, 9 February 2012

Off-Grid Living doesn't have to be a Shock

Solar over-powers Grid, collage by wobuilt.comImage Collage: Solar over-powers Grid
2012 @
Image Credits: Microsoft Office Clipart:
smiling sun and smokestacks; powers

“We are now comfortable with it and we’ve had to make some adjustments to our lifestyle, but after last winter we all said ‘yes, this is do-able.’”

-- Derek Zoldy, in the February 9th edition of
the Toronto Star, Shocking: Living without hydro
Embrace solar power: achieve off-grid freedom and save money.

In the above quoted Toronto Star article, the Zoldy’s tell their story about embracing off-grid living. Building in Haliburton, they chose a combination of modern technology (like solar power, LED lighting and efficient appliances) and contemporary sustainable updates to old-world technologies (like sustainable timber construction, tankless water heater, efficient wood burning stoves, and propane).

Thanks to their efforts, they have a beautiful chalet in ski country, and have embraced the freedom and personal satisfaction that comes with living off-grid.

We can learn a few things from the Zoldy’s experience.

First, they spent years researching the possibilities before making a commitment to build.

Too often, people rush construction projects, believing that builders are all the same and that the lowest price is the best option. The Zoldy’s scrutinized their green builder carefully, making sure they would work with them to deliver a finished product suited to their needs. They did the smart thing.

Second, they made a concerted effort as a household to adapt their lifestyle to fit with the off-grid approach, but this didn’t mean compromising on amenities. It simply meant making sensible choices and being more mindful about how they use (and misuse) energy.

Many people are afraid of going solar or severing their connection to the grid, likely because we’ve been conditioned to feel reliance and fear independence. Change can be scary, especially if you believe you must sacrifice comfort on one hand to embrace a better way of living on the other.

Wo-Built believes the better way of living — with greater independence and confidence — is worth making some minor lifestyle adjustments for. The key is to work with a green design and build contractor who will work with you to envision a better life and be your advocate as you make the shift.

This way, you can embrace the new dawn without feeling the shock.

Attila Lendvai
VP of Strategic Development
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

links: Shocking! Living without hydro
by Tracy Hanes The future of off grid homes in Toronto
by Collin Dunn Off-the-grid Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself CMHC Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Energy Use Patterns in Off-Grid Houses: Research Highlights

No comments: