Life off the Grid: Unplugging Tomorrow’s Homes from the Power Plant

September 7th, 2012

An Earthship in Taos, NM

In the past, energy production industries have suffered under some of the most intense levels of state intervention facing any type of business. Harsh regulations, punitive taxes, and malinvestment-causing subsidies have clouded consumer choice for decades.

What’s worse, fiat-financed government research and development grants have encouraged some of the greatest minds in the sciences to take jobs pursuing the abstract fantasies of politicians, rather than helping companies support consumer demand for emerging tech.

Despite this uneven playing field, the market trudges on in its quest to deliver power with less waste and at a lower cost to the end-consumer. Additionally, internet forums are abuzz with conversation between people who seek to experiment with individualized energy sources. For the family that wants to experience a normal, modern life off the grid, disconnecting from public power infrastructure is the final step. To accomplish this, people are working on new ways to generate domestic electricity using innovative technology from the comfort of their own private property.

While technology does not yet support full-scale, affordable, individualized energy production off the grid, experiments by free people are taking incremental steps towards this goal. Homes like Earthships, currently in use or under construction all over the United States and Europe, combine recyclable materials and alternative energy tech to create a fully-powered and insulated home which provides a lifestyle somewhat comparable to those enjoyed by households connected to municipal power infrastructure.

Earthships Foreshadow a People-Powered Future in Home Energy Generation

An Earthship concept sketch

Earthships are DIY houses, often built using commercial waste such as used tires to insulate the interior, thus naturally reducing the amount of energy necessary to warm or cool the home. Personalized wind and solar tech, along with tools like power organizing modules which convert old batteries into AC power, help provide the supplemental energy necessary to run household appliances.

While consumer technology to individually harvest electricity from the environment has not yet reached a level of efficiency and affordability that competes against the local power plant, hobbyists and wealthy homeowners all over the world are experimenting with different technological options that allow them to generate their own power. Each experiment provides more data from which better solutions can be gleaned.

State-Free Energy Solutions May Drive Government-Run Power Plants into Obsolescence

Considering the consumer demand for off the grid lifestyles, it is only a matter of time before technology achieves the end-goal of affordable, individualized energy harvesting for households. Innovations are also moving modern society closer to achieving state-free alternatives in water collection, food production, and sewage disposal.

With each passing day, the efforts of free people bring us closer to a future where individuals and families can run modern, self-sufficient households with power generated using personally-owned technology on their own private property. It also follows that tomorrow’s families, with power, food production, water collection, and sewage disposal being done in-house, may have little practical use for a welfare-warfare state.

Onward comes a people-powered tomorrow, where individual consumers will be able to choose from a variety of personalized energy options to achieve a state-free family home with all of the comforts of a modern lifestyle. Though progress is incremental, thousands of baby steps are being taken each and every day by enterprising people all around the world. It’s only a matter of time before public power infrastructure becomes irrelevant in the face of a robust market of electricity-producing energy options.

About the Author: Barry Donegan

Barry Donegan is a singer for the experimental mathcore band Look What I Did, a writer, a self-described "veteran lifer in the counterculture", a political activist/consultant, and a believer in the non-aggression principle.