Off-Grid Living in your Forest Retreat

If you’ve taken a look through our property offerings, you may have noticed that many of them describe sites for “off-grid” cabins. Why do we describe them this way? Usually because the sites are a long distance from the nearest power pole. These days, with the incentives and rebates available in some states for renewable energy installations, purchasing an off-grid system can be less expensive (often significantly less expensive) than connecting to the power grid.

For some folks, the idea of an off-grid place is appealing. For others, the thought may be daunting. However, today’s solar energy arrays are much improved from when they first came out. Most people find that they can live off the grid comfortably with few adjustments. They may get in the habit of turning lights off more religiously or search more diligently for efficient appliances. But overall, you can have most modern appliances and conveniences and still live off the grid.

Even if a building site is far from power and, thus, a good candidate for off-grid living, it may not be the best site for solar, depending on its relationship to the sun. A solar company will come and do an assessment of the amount of solar energy you could collect at the site and compare that number to your anticipated use and see if a solar system will work. To improve the likelihood of solar working on your site you may cut down a few trees, add more panels or eliminate an interior appliance or two. Solar panels can be roof or ground mounted and there are now solar energy collecting roofing materials. Other renewable energy options include wind and hydro, but these are more sight specific and will be regulated by town zoning and, maybe, the state.

While we at Fountains land know a lot about land, we are not experts on how to live off-grid. I found a couple of informative articles on the subject and wanted to share them:

If you’ve been considering one of our properties that has an off-grid cabin site, such as Upper Devlin Road Parcel in Vermont, Little Cathance Lake in Maine or Middlesprite Forest in New York, take a look at these articles. They may have the answers to a lot of your questions. And, if you still have more questions, contact a local solar provider. Or give Fountains Land a call and we’ll help you find the resources you need.


Alisa Darmstadt

The author is the Marketing Manager at Fountains Land and a Real Estate Salesperson specializing in rural homes.