Hello from Off the Grid


My name is Tom, and I live in a rural area of greater Ottawa. My spouse and I, and our thirteen month old daughter live in a house that is “off the grid”. We have not yet finished the house completely, but have been producing and using our own solar power since July 2007. We have made very few sacrifices, we have not compromised our ability to stay warm, watch TV, surf the internet or any other item that is in a “conventional” home. We have all of the normal creature comforts of our neighbours, friends and colleagues. What we don’t do is waste energy. We are careful of our energy consumption, and we are mindful of the weather. We started simple, so to speak, and will, over time, increase the amount of renewable energy technologies at our home. This includes eventually including a solar hot water system and a wind turbine.

Our home is not “unconventional” in its construction. It is a standard stick frame home, but we were very careful in the layout and energy patterns. We are not the typical “backwoods family”, using kerosene to heat and light our home, and we don’t have millions of dollars to throw around. We are a “typical” family. We both have full time jobs, we have a mortgage and our baby is in day care.

I think it is important for people to understand that you don’t have to be a millionaire to do what we did, you don’t have to know how to build your own home or hunt for your own food and live in a cave either. What we have done is not that difficult to do, and I think that if people knew how easy it actually is (relatively, since building a home is a headache, regardless of whether you are off the grid or not!), and that with a little education, knowledge and desire, (and perhaps a bit more help from our Governments), anyone can do what we have done.

We would consider showcasing our achievement. We are very proud of what we have accomplished, but we don’t want just anyone to come in and tell our story. We have been looking for the right forum, and I think that yours may be just what we are looking for.

Kind regards,