Getting off the grid

First off, it must be said that we do not advocate disconnecting yourself entirely from the main supply of electricity and water. You never know what the future brings and you may need municipal supply at some time in the future. We suggest that reducing your need, to a point where you can be completely independent but choose not to be, is probably the best possible solution.

From an electricity point of view, it is possible to install a changeover switch that will detect that there is electricity available from your off-grid system and disconnect the main supply automatically. As your off-grid system resources are depleted, let's say in the middle of a Cape Town winter, the changeover switch will automatically reconnect you and everything will work fine from the main supply.

Similarly with the supply of water. You get a certain amount free every month, so use this for drinking and bathing etc. All your other needs can be satisfied by harvesting rainwater and re-using grey water.

Some first steps:

Step 1 : Carry out an energy audit.

Step 2 : Carry out a water audit.

Step 3 : Turn your home into the most energy and water efficient environment possible.

Step 4 : Do regular checks to ensure that you are meeting your targets.

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