With housing costs on the rise, more and more Aussies have been looking into the option of living ‘off the grid’. Living off-grid means relying on standalone power systems to achieve a more eco-friendly lifestyle. If that sounds like something you’d like to try, here is a brief guide to what you need to live off-grid.
Why is living off the grid is so popular?
Off-grid living in Australia has become quite popular in the past decade or so. There can be a lot of upfront costs if you want to switch to this kind of lifestyle, but the returns are big once you’ve settled in. According to the people who’ve tried it, switching to off-grid living can pay for itself within three to five years.
Factor in the advantage of controlling your own utilities (a huge problem in urban housing), healthier food choices, and the easier access to tools that make it possible, living off the grid has moved from a dream to a way of life for many Australians.soweboughtavanView Profile
1,557 likes – View Post on InstagramI have realized that, in my efforts to keep what I post about vanlife “real and honest”, it may seem as though my view towards this lifestyle is becoming negative. That daily life on the road is too much and that bad days are beginning to outweigh the good. To clarify, the good days ALWAYS outweigh the bad. If they didn’t, I would change things or stop traveling full-time. – I talk about anxiety and the challenges of living in a van to paint a very whole picture of what this lifestyle is for me, not to complain about it. Like most things on the internet, vanlife can be very glamorized, which provides this false idea of what my day to day life is actually like. And I’ll admit, I do believe a lot of vanlife is wonderful and beautiful, with freedom and nature and constant fresh air. But a lot of it is also tiring and testing and really, really challenging. – So, to reiterate, I’m not here to complain or seem ungrateful or completely miserable. I just think that life can be hard and pretending that isn’t the case is inauthentic. The good and the bad both contain lessons to be learned and I’m just out here trying to grow as much as possible. That is all 🙃
Is it illegal to live off the grid in Australia?
Absolutely not! Living off the grid isn’t illegal, but it comes with a few caveats. For example:
- Zoning and housing permits: Each county or town may have its own laws about living off-grid, so it’s best to check the local regulations about living off-grid.
- Rebates and incentives: If you get your off-grid setup up and running, you might be eligible for incentives from the government. These can further help offset the costs of switching to this kind of lifestyle.
- Land and ownership: Off-grid living may require special land for sale if you want to build your own sustainable housing on it.
Living off-grid has a lot in common with choosing commercial housing with all the research required. It’s easier than ever to switch to an off-grid set up, but you should always look at the laws governing construction and land use in your area you to make sure you avoid breaking any laws.Getty
What to consider when building off the grid?
There are three important things to keep in mind if you’re considering living off-grid:
- Power: You’ll need one (or several) kinds of off-grid power systems to provide you with basic power. This is crucial for a lot of your other utilities, like water or food.
- Waste: Since you’re disconnected from the sewer line, you need to be comfortable handling your own waste – bodily or otherwise.
- Location: Very few urban centres offer space for off-grid living. Most available spaces are located outside of the city which can be an issue for those who have jobs within the metropolis.
2,931 likes – View Post on Instagram@casa_warrandyte, a mudbrick home built by Alistair Knox in Australia #unconventionallyminded
What are the off-grid power systems available?
One of the biggest factors that makes off-grid living possible is the variety of standalone power options available nowadays. They’re easy to integrate and use, even for people living in the city. Here are two of the most common power sources:
As one of the most popular sources of sustainable power, solar energy is the off-grid system of choice for many Australians. With major companies like Tesla creating power wall batteries for homes, it’s a convenient and affordable energy source to switch to.
The better for open locations far away from cities, wind energy can accumulate a lot of power quickly. Storing excess power is no issue, since plenty of off-grid setups often have a spare battery or two to hold it for later use.thecabinlandView Profile
12.6k likes – View Post on InstagramThe fall colors are starting to creep into the Northeast, and I couldn’t be more excited.🤩 By @dirtandglass @heypamcakes Cabin @ablackaframe Follow us 👉 @thecabinland
Does anyone live off the grid in Australia?
Absolutely! If you’re looking for like-minded individuals who have disconnected themselves from the grid, there are communities like Chewton Bushlands that have been living off-grid for decades. There are also groups like the Cohousing Australia Initiative and Tiny Homes Australia that offer comprehensive guides on how to go off the grid.
Living off the grid may seem like a big step, but there are plenty of Australians who survive and even thrive doing it! If you’re willing to take the extra step to become more self-sufficient, and more environmentally-conscious person then you should seriously consider the off-grid lifestyle.