Remodeling for Off-the-Grid

When remodeling your home, you can take the chance to do something beneficial for the planet. In most cases, that means making green choices or installing some kind of sustainable energy, such as solar power. Most homes are connected by telephone and power lines to the energy "grid." However, many times families are choosing to disconnect, removing the connection and dependency to this electrical grid. Solar panels have multiple benefits for a family or individual. You can save money, as the most basic benefit, but you can also help conserve energy and live a cleaner lifestyle. There are also other reasons that are even more profitable if you choose the right sustainable energy for your home. A remodel is the perfect chance to finally take the leap towards renewable energy and living off the grid.

Solar panels allow you to reduce the cost of energy to nearly pennies and reduce your carbon footprint. You can also use solar panels in combination with a wind generator, which will increase your power sources. You can use the wind on days when its especially windy, supplementing the power from your solar panels. The sun and wind occur naturally and will never go out, which is why you won't have to worry about a power outage. Every year, you can save hundreds of dollars spent in electricity bills, eventually saving thousands in the future. If you are remodeling to create a more efficient home, then there is nothing more self sufficient than being able to depend on your home during a storm. Solar power guarantees that you do not have to depend on power lines for electricity in a crisis.

There's also the idea of remodeling for a simpler lifestyle. It is a commitment to live without electrical energy, but it snowballs into depending on yourself and learning about alternative systems to living. You will become more aware of the sun and weather patterns. Everything in your house can run on solar power. Just think, you could save money and still be able to use your coffee maker or microwave. It will also teach you about using your home's elements efficiently, such as washing clothes on sunny days and hanging them out to dry instead of using a dryer. On less sunny days, you can learn to cut down on your energy usage. A remodel is just the first step to starting a healthier lifestyle in green living.

If you look around your house, you can probably find several ways that you are wasting energy. If it's time for a remodel, then consider adding in some things that will change how you treat energy in your home, such as a tankless water heater or a skylight. There are great benefits for living off the grid. Since your home uses renewable energy, you no longer have to worry about the many fossil fuels used to produce the energy in your home. Estimates show that over 40 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. come from generating electricity. Each person on average uses 12 percent of his carbon footprint on home energy. You can drastically reduce that simply by choosing to live off the grid.

A remodel for a green energy home may seem expensive, but there are ways to get some money back and eventually even make a profit. Tax incentives and selling your energy to the power company are just two ways in which people who live off the grid manage to afford the installation and continue to earn money from their green energy venture. Every state has some sort of solar energy or wind energy tax incentive that pays you for the energy that you generate. There are also multiple tax credits that you can take advantage of in your state. This is just one more way that living off the grid pays off. These are just some ideas to think about while renovating your home. A green remodel is a good way to start a healthy future.

Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.
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