I have seen a lot of people express interest in living off grid but I am wondering about some of the underlying reasons for wanting to make this decision. From my perspective, off-grid living only makes sense when you are in a very remote location with no option for power (or it would be extremely expensive to get hooked up), or you think society is going to fall apart in the nearish future and going off grid now will help prepare for that.
Off-grid isn't cheaper. In fact, with the cost of the equipment up front, and the need to maintain that equipment and replace batteries over time, I doubt you would ever break even.
Off-grid could be touted as more environmentally friendly, but that is only true when we neglect to factor in the environmental cost of manufacturing the solar panels and batteries, and the environmental cost of disposing of them when they are no longer used. Lots of individual homes with their own solar setups fail to harness economies of scale like a power grid does. Even if your power provider gets power from a source that you don't agree with, my experience has been that many power companies are actively expanding into things like wind and solar.
When looking at getting solar panels for my home in a grid-tied setup, it became clear that simply buying into my coop's solar farm they were building to supply the entire grid made a lot more sense.
One of the most capable and resilient people I have ever met, owner of an amazing deep-woods off-grid community, lamented that being off-grid often had more challenges than even he would like to deal with.
The reason I ask is I have looked at buying into a small intentional community that intends to be off grid, when power is easily available. They even have cabled phone and internet at the property, so power would be the only modern utility they would do without. I'm trying to understand the rationale behind this decision.
So what say you? Why would you want to be off the grid?