Read our cookies policy.
modonnell1984 wrote: »
Apologies for the delay - they deleted my original post so I didn't receive notifications that anyone had actually replied. Saying that "justaquestion" I found your reply totally sarcastic, condescending and unhelpful to anyone who had previously asked for help.
In response to those that are still stuck with huge connection charges or in remote places without actually any access to power...
It is 100% possible to live a normal life, in a modern spec home - completely off the grid. I have been doing it for over 2 years now. I have a 2,100 sq ft home with over 100 lights, internet, TVs, all the mod cons etc and have no electricity bills and relatively low heating bills.
Capital cost at the start it will cost approx £20k.
That would get you 6kw of solar (Which will generate for an average home enough electricity from March - Sept in northern Ireland)
A 10kw inverter / charger - that converts low voltage solar to usable 230v domestic power and it charges your batteries.
15kwh of batteries i.e. about a day and half worth of electricity (The average home uses 10kw per day).
From March - Sept, you have enough electricity to power your home - in fact you will have excess during peak summer months which can be diverted to heat your water for showers/heating/ anything else so your oil bills end up well reduced over the year too.
Oct - Feb, you will have to run a generator (Not included in the above 20K rough cost) to top up / suppliment the batteries as the solar will not be generating as much. The generator can be programmed to run automatically to do this - you just need to fuel it every now and again like you'd fuel your car weekly.
My annual running costs for heat, power, light, gas/oil, diesel for generator for my home, are under £950 per year: comparing like for like youd need to add a normal 2100sq ft house's electricity bills and Oil/gas bills.... £950 would be well below average for a house this size. Id expect most peoples annual electric bills to be around £500 and heating £1,000-£1,500 depending on heating system/usages.
If you want less hassle / not having to run the genny as long during the winter season - buy a bigger battery bank (An extra days usage = + additional 10kwh battery bank, say an additional £5-6k roughly).
Any one want to know more just let me know.
All the very best
modonnell1984 wrote: »
Good points and fair questions.
Running a generator only - i.e. no off grid battery bank, would mean running a generator 24/7 in order to keep your fridge/freezer/heating etc going throughout the day/night - this would just not be physically or financially practical. There are 8,760 hours in a year... the fuel bill would be astronomical - easily £ 5,000+ per year. The genny would be destroyed - it'd be like running a car or a lawnmower 24/7 for a year - it would need constant fueling, servicing, repairing, replacement - never mind all the noise, the physical fueling of it.... It is just not an option physically, logistically, financially, practically etc.
You need to invest in an off grid battery bank system, and you need to put solar / a renewable in so that you you don't have to supply it by running a generator all the time. (The solar element is also not the most expensive part of the system - probably only about £4,000 of the £20,000 total cost - so its well worth doing as it will supply over 2/3rd's of you annual electricity).
You then need the generator as a secondary / back up / supplementary supply for when the sun doesn't shine enough to supply the house with enough power entirely on its own i.e. from Late Autumn to Early Spring, say Oct - February.You would spend £5,000 approximately on a good quality generator.
You will burn approx £250 per year of fuel depending on your household usage.
You'll only need to service them once per year, if even. as long as you don't abuse it.
You'll only need to run it less than 250 hours per year depending on household usage,
Average 10hrs per week or less Late Autumn to Early Spring when the sun is low)
These levels of genny are built to run for 1,000's or 10's of 1,000's of hours so they should easily last 10+ years, if not ALOT more.
You could get by one for less - say one at around £ 2,000 - but I would not recommend it at all.
If you buy a poor quality genny at under £2,000 - you'll have to service it more regularly, fuel it more often, change oil more frequently, run it alot more and it is a pain as you mentioned. These small generators are noisy and dirty and less reliable. These big ones supply hospitals etc - they are solid reliable pieces of equipment.
With a bigger £5k genny you will have to fuel it perhaps monthly, and run it alot less (it'll be 3-4 times more powerful than a smaller/cheaper generator and indescribably more reliable - it will be more like an on grid living experience).
Yes this adds approx £5k to your capital outlay, so say £25k instead of the £20k I already mentioned. But after this you will have no electricity bills to the corporate Electricity companies who are screwing you to install your grid connection in the first place.
Yes you will have diesel bills of £250-300 per year - but this is alot less than your normal electricity bills. Also in summer you will have excess solar electricity that you can use for heating water, or alternatively sell back to the grid for £0.05 per kw. This could save you a few hundred £s off your heating bill and contribute to the cost of diesel.
Summary - It doesn't make living off grid a financially viable option if you have a half decent NIE grid connection quote of £ 5k or even £10k...
But if they are quoting you £20k+ and electricity bills on top of that for the rest of your life... It is certainly worth considering as a viable alternative.
If I had a choice of paying a company £20-25k plus bills for the rest of my life to a corporate company, or paying £20-25k to live indepently and environmentally friendly off grid with little/no electricity bills - I know where I'd be putting my money.
Hope that is in some way helpful!?
All the very best
Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support