8 common questions about going off-grid

Nature is in charge, not the other way round“.  Doone Wyborn, off-gridder.

Found this fantastic article in Business Insider about Doone Wyborn, a scientist in New South Wales living off-grid and the common myths questions he gets asked.

I’d add to that list:

9.  Are you a hippy?

10. How much?

I particularly like number 5 where he’s talking about what the uptake will be by consumers once storage costs fall – “This is all inevitable and the utilities business model will soon be dead, as will any utility that does not embrace solar.”

The moral of yesterday…

…is never wear your gardening clothes when people are coming.

Unbelievably, over 100 people turned up yesterday to the Sustainable House Open Day here at the Off Grid Solar House.  I had anticipated a quiet day, sipping tea and pulling a few weeds, which was why I had my daggy jeans and ‘yee-haw’ checked shirt on.  In fact, I didn’t even get time to change into something a little smarter when the Geelong Addy turned up for a few snaps.

We had young families building their first home, uni students studying environmental science, retired couples looking to reduce energy bills and a wide range of enthusiastic stickybeaks from all walks of life.  We like stickybeaks.  Thanks to you all, I’m just sorry I couldn’t spend more time answering all the questions.

Thanks especially our volunteers Lee, Viv, Jane and Quentin who were invaluable.  And well done Phil from Radiant Energy Systems who answered all the technical questions I had no idea about.

Geelong Addy

Geelong Addy

Open day this Sunday

We’re opening the doors of The Off Grid Solar House this Sunday 14th September for the national Sustainable House Day.  Don’t come any earlier than 10am as I may still be in my PJs.  Chuck out is at 4pm.  In the middle you can meet moi, Phil Hapgood from Radiant Energy and some other lovely volunteers who are helping me wrangle the hoards of people desperate to get a glimpse at the lifestyles of the off-grid and famous (although it’s only my kelpie who jumps up and down with excitement when I wear my sunglasses at night).  Actually, it’ll be more like a handful of peeps who make the trek out to say a relaxed g’day.

So, all welcome.  According to my insurer, I’m not allowed to provide a cuppa to ‘members of the public’, but if you promise not to sue me for minor burns sustained from a hot English Breakfast we should be OK.  Our battery bank, panels and living areas will be open for inspection, but not the bedrooms, as I can’t be bothered picking up all the dirty clothes from the floor.

And the address…20 Devines Road, Little River – about 30-40 minutes west of Melbourne on the Geelong road.  Apparently there will be some bali flags, but just look for the place that looks like this:


In addition, should you be so inclined, I’ll be giving a presentation about climate change at the GPAC (Geelong Performing Arts Centre) on Saturday 13th at 1pm with two of my Climate Reality Project colleagues.  We could probably do with extra audience members, so drop in if you have the time.

Have a great weekend.