The term “Off the Grid” refers to any structure that is not connected to or relies on municipal or outside source utility systems, electrical, water, sewer, natural gas….
Electrical power for a battery or converter system can be generated on-site with renewable energy sources such as solar, wind or with a generator and adequate fuel reserves; or simply done without, as in Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities. Such a system is called a stand-alone power system.
On-site water sources can include a water tank or well, stream or lake. Depending on the water source, this may include pumps and/or filtration. Rainwater can also be harvested.
There is a new era of change that is being promoted in the design and development of new toilet systems, most recently the “Reinvent the toilet fair” hosted by the Bill and Malinda gates foundation in Seattle Washington. Traditional Flush toilets waste tons of drinking water. Composting toilets and solar powered incinerator toilets are constantly improving and are more economical and environmentally friendly. They also don’t rely on a sewer system to operate.
HEATING, COOKING AND HOTWATER
These can all be done by using propane. This is where the tiny house and the RV are similar. There are several types and models of propane heaters, cooking ranges and hot water heaters. All only need the propane source to operate. There are also solar hot water heaters available in several different designs. In the state of Hawaii these have been required on all new housing construction.