As frugal types RUDE is wary of the issue of ‘green’ consumerism.  That is where certified green industries and companies are charging an arm and leg for products and services.  For us frugal living is first and foremost on the agenda.  Secondly, if green products are competitive or cheaper all the better for us and the planet.

We have not embraced solar panels because we are close to retirement and have not yet decided where we will be living.  Also financial incentives and restrictive contracts are not attractive.  In our opinion it’s all set up for big business to make money.  Those we know and have read about, who have solar panels, are not raving about them.  Some say there is very little advantage in shifting to solar in the current political and economic environment.

Whether solar panels or off-the-grid it would be great to have either experience. We were recently inspired by a family who has decided to go off-the-grid across the plains from us in Little River [yes, where the Australian pop rock band took its name from].  The Off the Grid Solar House was recently featured in an informative article in The Age newspaper.  You can read the article on the blog and follow this family’s journey.  Emma from the blog writes a good yarn.  She will make you laugh with her take on how the west of Melbourne is winning the solar race.

Solar graphic


9 thoughts on “Off-the-Grid

  1. I have friends in in the country who have gone off the grid, he is a builder and all the sons are tradies so it was only material costs but I think it’s amazing. I would love to but with a large family I think it would be very hard to get enough power


  2. We are completely happy with our small solar installation in Paso Robles, Calif., USA. Ten panels for $5000 (15 year pre-paid lease through Sungevity) is less than we’d pay the power company per month. We are retired, in our mid-60’s and this is exactly where we want to be. Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief Activist for – blog, podcast, eNews, free resources, social media


    • Thanks Jerry for your reply and personal experience. Our current government is ‘in bed’ with the dirty energy companies. And cost of solar power for many is prohibitive. We hold out hope that the situation will have to change in the years to come.


  3. Thanks Karen for the awesome post 🙂 You’re right, there’s so little financial reward for solar these days, it’s an expense that many are not prepared to pay at the moment. It’s such a shame that the Aussie government seem to be allowing the dirty energy companies to win over the renewables. Maybe we need to move to California with Gerald!


    • Thanks for your reply, compliments and thoughts Emma. I don’t know about moving to California but I would love to go there for a holiday. Seriously, I do wonder why this current government was voted into power. It certainly likes it’s power dirty but definitely not clean.


      • Rita and I belong to three international home-stay clubs — Mennonite-Your-Way, Evergreen and Affordable Travel Club. The latter two are for people 55+. You’re welcome to stay a night or two with us in Calif. (our winter and summer) or Iowa (fall and spring). The Central Coast – midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco – is glorious, though currently drought-ridden.


  4. Over here, solar panels are always in test-bedding phase, and it’s been going on for 20+ years. I think the reason why it hasn’t really taken off is because it is expensive. I don’t understand this because the cost of other electrical equipment like computers and phones has been going down each year so why can’t this happen with solar?


    • Thanks Agy for your comments and insights from a Singaporean perspective. In Singapore you may be facing the same issues supporters of ‘green’ energy here in Australia are up against.


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