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Can You Live Off The Grid?

If your thinking about living off-the-grid here's how to calculate your energy needs. Check off each of the following items that you can't live without. Then tally your score to find out how much power you'll need to generate to continue your lifestyle:

  • 10 - Refrigerated food
  • 10 - Heat
  • 10 - Hot water
  • 10 - Air conditioning
  • 10 - Clothes washer
  • 15 - Clothes dryer
  • 5 - Oven
  • 5 - Microwave
  • 1 - Xbox
  • 5 - Laptop
  • 5 - TV
  • 5 - Incandescent lighting
  • 5 - DVR
  • 10 - Outdoor floodlights to spot on-the-grid intruders
  • 5 - Vacuum cleaner
  • 1 - Paper shredder
  • 10 - Wine fridge
  • 5 - Cellphone
  • 10 - Elevator
  • 5 - Anything from Sharper Image
  • 10 - Massage chair
  • 5 - Expresso maker
  • 5 - Air-hockey table
  • 1 - Electric toothbrush
  • 5 - Automatic pet feeder
  • 5 - Karaoke night at your house

Answer Key

  • Less than 30 points: You are as off-the-grid as they come. You can probably get by with a small solar array.
  • 31-60 points : Add a backup generator, and you're set.
  • More than 60 points; Are you sure you wouldn't rather live in a hotel?