Moving off-grid for low EMF
An overview of the issues
This article provides a brief overview of the issues to consider when moving off the electrical grid. People with chemical and electrical sensitivities may benefit from off-grid living, but many of the technologies commonly used in off-grid houses are not tolerated by people with MCS and EHS. There are work-arounds, but they must be considered carefully.
Some people need to live without grid power due to their health. This may be because they do not tolerate the electrical and/or magnetic fields from their household wires and appliances. Some people need to do it to avoid the radiation and dirty power from smart meters, including their neighbor’s.
There are multiple ways to move off the grid:
• Disconnecting an existing home
• Disconnecting a home, while keeping power in an outbuilding
• Move to a new home that is in a rural area without grid power.
The most effective method is to move to an area without grid power, as that also greatly limits EMF from the neighbors, transmission towers, ground currents, etc. However, it is not always feasible to move, especially for people with MCS who also need a non-toxic house.
Some people have grid power in a separate garage or outbuilding, where they keep their refrigerator, washer and dryer, and perhaps also a well pump, electric stove and other appliances.
Moving off the grid is not a simple task, especially for people with chemical and electrical sensitivities, who often cannot tolerate many of the technologies commonly used in today’s off-grid homes.
It is possible to live comfortably in an off-grid house. This author does, but it is not for everyone, and it must be thought out thoroughly in advance. People who find it unpractical to do chores such as recycle and use a clothesline, or rigorously conserve electricity by turning off lights, may not be good candidates for off-grid living. Every member of the household must fully accept the new lifestyle for it to be a success.
The various issues to consider are listed in brief. Not all will apply in all cases. People who have a grid-connected outbuilding will have fewer of these challenges.
• No 120 volt AC power (inverter not tolerable)
• 12 volt solar power
• 12 volt wiring (possibly new wires needed)
• Hot water (propane heater outside house)
• Refrigerator (propane or solar)
• Cooking (propane stove and BBQ on porch, not indoors)
• Lights (12 volt or flash lights)
• Washing clothes (generator power, or done elsewhere)
• Drying clothes (clothesline, generator power, elsewhere)
• Well pump (solar or generator power)
• No air conditioning
• Swamp cooler (dry climates only, biocides, mold, dirty DC)
• Space heating (hot water radiators or in-floor, propane boiler outside, wood stove)
• Lifestyle restrictions
• Need to live within system limits
• Conflict with other household members over restrictions
• Owner needs basic mechanical skills
• Maintenance of system
• Difficult to obtain financing
• Telephone landline may not be available in off-grid areas
• New house needs to be non-toxic
There are various options for almost all the issues. The choices will have to be tailored to each situation.
This is a very brief list of a large subject. The articles on www.eiwellspring.org/offgrid.html cover these issues in detail, and list resources for further information.