Feeling a bit of holiday stress? Need a break from the hustle and bustle of the season? Learn a little about the cheapest energy plan out there: living off the grid.
Living off the grid is defined as: not connected to or served by publicly or privately managed utilities (such as electricity, gas or water)
One extreme way to get the cheapest energy plan
People who live off the grid find other ways to meet their needs for power and running water. (Or they do without.)
For example, 100% of their electricity is generated by power from the sun, the wind or other resources without help from the energy grid. Propane can replace natural gas. You can see how no electricity plan at all can naturally become the cheapest energy plan.
Obviously, most of us can’t and/or don’t want to go to that route. But we can incorporate some useful, and potentially money-saving, strategies from those who do.
Sampling the off-grid life
It takes a lot of time, research and personal energy to live the off-grid life. For the majority of people who prefer their modern creature comforts but also want the best electricity deals, here are a few tips from partial or total off-gridders.
1. Install a wood stove (or use the one you have)
A wood stove can be used as a primary heat source for your home. It can also heat water for bathing or cooking, heat up food and line-dry clothes.
2. Use solar power in some capacity
Rooftop solar arrays are becoming a realistic, clean-energy option for many homeowners. But even if rooftop solar is not in your future plans, you can still harness the sun’s power in other ways. A portable solar panel can be used to charge your devices. Or install a solar-powered water heater to cut down on energy usage. This can be an excellent step toward achieving the cheapest energy plan possible for your family without making the extreme leap to off-grid living.
The Solar Energy Industries Association ranks Texas as the top state for solar growth in the next five years. So, it may be worth researching your home’s solar power potential.
Tip: Green energy suppliers like Green Mountain Energy offer many ways to support clean, renewable energy.
3. Rethink your evenings
For many, it’s just a habit to come home from work, eat dinner and then relax in front of the television or play a video game. But studies show that the blue light from screens can disrupt the body’s biological clock and interfere with good sleep.
What would happen if you replaced evening screen time with tech-free activities in front of a warm fire or candlelight? Not only could you improve your sleep, you could also trim some kilowatts from your monthly electric bill. This may not get you the cheapest energy plan like off-gridders, but it could make you more energy efficient than your neighbors.
4. Ditch the wi-fi
If you’ve gone all-in on idea #3, and you don’t need an Internet connection all the time at home, you might be ready to ditch your modem and router. In addition to saving electricity, you’d also be free of your Internet bill. So, even if you’ve found a cheap electricity company or the best rate, you can still save in related ways.
At the same time, you’d still have some Internet access if your mobile device has a data plan. And if you need the occasional wi-fi connection, you could always hop on the network at a local café or shop for free.
5. Use the clothes dryer sparingly
There’s something satisfying about hanging clothes and linens outside to dry. At first, it feels like a huge task compared to tossing them into the dryer. But as you go, it’s relaxing and you realize that it doesn’t actually take very long.
SpeedQueen, manufacturer of washers and dryers, even says that drying clothes outside in winter (on a dry day, of course) is definitely possible. It just takes a little more time and patience.
Compare electricity rates to find the cheapest energy plan
Most of us will probably keep our connection to the electricity grid. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look for the best electric company for our needs or search for one that provides the cheapest energy plan for our current, on-the-grid life.
For holiday shopping that’s empowering and easy, visit Everything Energy and compare electricity rates in your area.