(RepublicanJournal.org) – Increasing numbers of Americans are challenging traditional housing norms by choosing sustainability over extravagance. The off-grid market is exploding as a result, leading to whole communities of people who are dumping local gas and electric companies and choosing renewable sources for powering their homes. Many residents see the cost-effective alternative as a means to simplify their lives and connect with others, creating a growing demand for these self-sustaining neighborhoods.
According to BigRentz an estimated 250,000 US residents currently live off the grid, with many opting for tiny houses, shipping container homes, or other alternative choices in an effort to beat skyrocketing energy prices. Solar power panels, composting or incinerating toilets, private wells, and septic systems are among the numerous ways innovative community builders are using to help Americans cut energy and water companies’ hold over them and live more on their own terms.
Slate notes that the initial investment for this type of living includes acquiring the hardware to generate electricity, such as solar panels, as well as multiple battery cells to store it. This hurdle has become much more manageable with the shift to cheaper, smaller battery types. And not all off-grid communities are fully independent or self-contained.
Another major factor driving this alternate lifestyle appears to be a desire to return to a simpler way of life and connect more meaningfully with other human beings. Proponents also cite the dangers of relying on massive power grids, which can leave entire cities without electricity when they go down. They view off-grid, renewable energy as the ultimate option in terms of claiming their energy independence.
The growing demand has led to a boom in sustainable housing and powering options. Global News Wire lists American Tiny House, Designer ECO Tiny Homes, Abengoa Solar, and Sunpower Corporation as among the most popular companies leading a market projected to be worth $68.6 billion by 2028.
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