Eco-Friendly Side Of Swedish Interiors
A recent look at the more eco-friendly side of Swedish interiors and the needs for better insulation and energy efficiency made me question the use of solar energy and the prospect of going completely off the grid.
Off-grid living is a massive step, and while it is little beyond my personal comfort zone, I can appreciate why some people say goodbye to expensive, annoying energy companies altogether and start generating their own solar panels and battery backup generators for power when the sun goes down.
My interest in Swedish design and their ethos when it comes to interior design is evident to see across this site – if I am not gushing over a new design idea that I can bring into my own home, I am exploring new ways of making the most of the materials used.
Why Switch To Go Off-Grid?
There is something quite romantic about the idea of setting up a little solar farm in the back garden or on the roof of the house and only using the power that you harness from the sun. For many modern homeowners and designers, this has become a reality. Many home builders or contractors are looking into the prospect of a solar-powered, efficient home completely off the grid in a tranquil location.
The reasons for going off-grid with solar power are numerous. For some, it is merely an exercise in cutting costs – either through reducing energy bills or giving a quick middle finger to a utility company that shackled you down with high tariffs and fees.
Some feel the need for independence from the system on a higher level, often over fears of an over-reliance on an energy provider when self-generation could be more reliable during blackouts and other disasters. Finally, there are environmental implications. There is more and more pressure to go green these days, and the idea of going for a renewable form of energy is the ideal way to make a significant impact.
Essentially, if it is affordable, manageable and more likely to save money and bring more power than cost money and lose power, there is no harm in cutting the supply and going it alone. It does, however, require a little careful thought and planning to create the ideal set up. How many panels will you need to generate the right amount of energy for the average daily usage? How is the excess being stored? Once you have created a flexible plan and got it set up, all you have to do is sit back and reap the benefits.
Why Solar Panels vs Wind Energy?
So far I have focused on solar panels as the way to go for a green, off-grid solution. While I can see that there are other options available that could also help – wind power being, another modern concept. These wind turbines are just not as useful, or attractive as solar panels, and there is something brilliantly simplistic about taking energy from sunlight.
And using the world’s best, natural heat source to power a home. Provided you live in a sunny area you should have no problem getting access to this power. Now I know that a lot of you reading this are very keen on your DIY projects. Some kits can be bought that homeowners can install themselves to work a water heater or provide a boost to the electricity supply.
The problem is that this is not a necessary installation that can be set up in a matter of minutes; this is a complex electrical system that you and your family will come to rely on. My personal advice would be to go down the professional route and have expert company access your needs and create the best system that will efficiently power your home.
Are solar-powered off-grid systems right for you?
There is a lot to take into consideration when thinking about making that leap to off-grid living, and I know that I would struggle to make the jump just yet, but if you want to cut off the utility companies entirely then it can be done.
Don’t make the switch on a whim and the assumption that it will all be for the best because of moral grounds. Do your research, carry out the right calculations and talk to the experts to determine your needs.