Tod duBois

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since Dec 13, 2013
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Recent posts by Tod duBois

Thank you, everyone, for pitching in, a lot of good insight. I've decided to shelf the idea or concept for awhile and return to academia (if they'll have me) and go earn a doctorate and be a professor (that's the vision).

It remains unclear if the university will allow me to study the off-grid community in an analytical way but who knows. Maybe I can use science instead of opinion in the future;)

Good luck and keep the lights on!

2 years ago
Yes! We are now getting to some of the meaty topics:

Kim brought up a HUGE one: "Actual off grid homes (no grid tie) are not conventionally financeable" - it's worse than that, off-grid homes are actually discriminated against by appraisers, bankers and mortgage companies. If anyone has tried to refinance an off grid home be advised - it is a very good idea to have a spoof meter so the home looks like on grid with solar - your appraisal value will be much higher. This is one of the topics the association would try to tackle - if a home is off grid why can't it be worth the same as a comparabe grid home?

Ranson then added: " where I live, I'm required to have it installed and inspected by a certified electrician who has a certificate for off-grid style installations.  If I don't, then my insurance won't be valid and I run the risk of not passing a building inspection." Actually, this applies to where everyone lives though you may not know it or may not want to comply. The reality is inspection is about keeping people safe, both the residents and the neighbors. It's not about unnecessary regulation. People die when fires happen.

Home Power is great but like all media companies are funded by those selling the products. So while they provide a great amount of useful information, you are regularly directed to the products that support the media flow.
2 years ago
Friends, fans and less than fans. We all know that off grid living is possible, the real question is it sustainable and safe for society. We have a duty at least somewhat to the greater good even if we as individuals are amazingly resourceful and willing to sacrifice our own safety for some lower costs or perceived freedoms.

The REAL question is is this right for Grandma, your daughter and her children when you are long gone and for other people in and around your property. How do you know if you are now damaging the environment? How do you know your systems won't start a fire someday and hurt people and property? What responsibility do we each have to the rest of society?
2 years ago
Interesting about Australia. Please tell us more about how the local authorities keep people safe in rural Australia. In the USA most off grid properties are only quasi legal since most are not built with permits or have permitted systems that the inspector doesn't really understand and may not be maintained properly. In California, for example, it is almost always required to have a fire sprinkler system. A fire sprinkler system requires a substantial pumping system and water supply. So a home might need to power a 1.5hp pump for an hour or more in case of a fire. That's just for the interior of the home, not property firefighting.

2 years ago
Myself and many others (off grid experts) are struggling to find a sustainable business model supporting off grid property owners (power, water and waste grids). The reality long term is that off grid living is not very sustainable. We have yet to see anyone build and maintain any off grid property with utility grade infrastructure thru a full family lifecycle. In other words, when you get old you can't stay in your off grid home. After a decade or so huge amounts of deferred maintenance mean the property and environment get compromised. Of course, if you don't want electricity, internet, water and waste systems that meet EPA standards when you are 80 - that's different.

There are lots of retailers making money selling equipment that is usually improperly installed, often unsafe and hard to maintain.

So several of us are trying to decide how to proceed. We are considering forming some type of national or international property owners association. The idea to become the consumer's guide and reliable technical resource. So much bad and even crazy info on the web. So much waste and potential danger to the environment and more importantly your families economic future.

What do people think?
2 years ago
Yes, it is possible. Though the only patent I know uses ozonation and proprietary technology and costs about $30,000

We are working on a black, ok grey project to process grey to potable in a more cost effective way. It's the holy grail of off grid water.
3 years ago