flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

Why Some Californians Are Opting to Live Off the Grid

billboard - default
Energy Efficiency

Why Some Californians Are Opting to Live Off the Grid

California residents are leaving cities in droves to try out affordable and energy efficient off the grid lifestyles

March 16, 2022
Off the grid home
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Frustrated by rising home prices, hefty electricity bills, and blackouts and wildfires caused by failing utilities, a growing number of Californians are migrating away from major cities to live off the grid. A fully off-grid home setup in California can cost anywhere from $35,000 to $100,000, and a recent decline in solar and battery costs is making it an even more affordable option for residents, particularly those priced out of a supercharged housing market.

The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) predicts that by 2031, most California homeowners will ditch city living for off the grid lifestyles, a trend which could also catch on in the Northeast over the coming decades, The New York Times reports.

Most current off-grid systems rely heavily on solar panels because their cost has fallen to less than $4 a watt from about $11.40 a watt in 2000, not including state and federal incentives, according to the California Solar and Storage Association. Lithium-ion batteries weighing as little as 30 pounds, requiring minimal maintenance and costing $10,000 to $20,000 have replaced banks of lead acid batteries that used to cost tens of thousands of dollars, could weigh thousands of pounds and needed regular upkeep. 

Off-grid systems are particularly attractive to people building new homes. That’s because installing a 125- to 300-foot overhead power line to a new home costs about $20,000, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. In places where lines have to be buried, installation runs about $78,000 for 100 feet.

Read more

leaderboard2 - default

Related Stories

Energy Efficiency

IRS Offers Updated Guidance on Tax Credit for Energy-Efficient Homes

The 45L tax credit incorporates certain energy-saving requirements from the Energy Star and Zero Energy Ready Home programs to determine the tax credit amount

Energy Efficiency

Climate Change's Role in Enhancing Building Efficiency

New building regulations push for increased resilience and energy efficiency amid a worsening climate crisis


10 Energy-Efficient Products for a More Sustainable Home

These energy-saving products can significantly lower utility costs while reducing a home's overall carbon footprint

boombox1 -
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category

COVID-19 may be easing its grip on the U.S. after a disastrous two years, but lingering supply chain disruptions have builders holding onto their pandemic business tactics

An archive of NHQA-winning companies that represent home building's best in Total Quality Management

Don’t let the current hype about single-family B2R communities obscure the need to create long-term sustainability and asset value

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.