Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Is off-grid advisable if you're near the grid?  (Read 625 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Is off-grid advisable if you're near the grid?
« on: July 12, 2022, 12:15:04 am »
OK, this is a weird one. Genuinely asking for a friend.

  • 0.5 acre house plot for sale in Northern Scotland.
  • Outline planning permission says private water supply (presumably you dig a borehole) and private sewage treatment plant
  • Next to an A-road
  • Neighbours will all have power
However, my friend wants to build an off-grid house, harvesting rainwater from the roof and using solar power for electricity.


Whilst I guess that's acceptable in the middle of nowhere, does anybody know what the planners would make of doing it where there is a power line there to connect to if you wanted to?


Also, do you know of anybody in Scotland who collects roof water for domestic use? I had to confess that I've never actually seen it done here?


Thanks folks!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Is off-grid advisable if you're near the grid?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2022, 06:12:03 am »
I'm in Wales so don't know if it's the same,  but they don't care if you connect to a utility or not. When it comes to signing off they will expect an electrical certificate though so you may still need to have the pv / batteries signed off by a sparky.


If you were running a generator then the noise might be an issue, and solar alone won't give you much power in midwinter, but the only other issue might be the heat source for the house and energy performance cert - depending on when planning was granted, new-builds will need to meet a certain level of energy efficiency  and may be restricted on types of fuel: for example, my house (still a work in progress) was required to have either an heat-pump (air source or otherwise) or 4kw of PV for the minimum requirements with standard insulation; as it happens I've put more insulation in than required,  already have 5kw PV and hydroelectric, and will have an ASHP too.


Your friend will need a lot of pv to run an ASHP,  but if they’re going for passivehause then that might not be an issue.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Is off-grid advisable if you're near the grid?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2022, 09:35:20 am »
Hmmmmm, I've got some photos of the plot now. There's a transformer one pole away from the plot, and you have to drive under next door's power line to access the land. I'm going to say by all means put in solar PV, but connect to the grid for when the sun don't shine.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Is off-grid advisable if you're near the grid?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2022, 09:54:51 am »
My thoughts as well Womble, because running a generator costs a fortune and is far from environmentally friendly.


Off-grid properties are not permitted here we discovered, after finding a perfect barn for that. Every house must be connected to mains electricity and have a mains water supply, both of which can be rather expensive.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: Is off-grid advisable if you're near the grid?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2022, 12:02:54 pm »
My friends in Aberdeenshire built an off grid house just up the lane from the house I built in 2005  - small hamlet - 8 houses, no mains water within about 5 miles.  Plenty good water sources not very far underground (streams running over bedrock)and quite windy, so they had solar panels, wind turbine, ground source heat pump, well, septic tank, reed bed
Planning committee came out to see the site prior to approval and gave it a huge thumbs up
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Is off-grid advisable if you're near the grid?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2022, 03:51:58 pm »
Private water supply can mean a well or the right to use a spring (often on someone else's land).  We have coped with our hand dug well (c 1500 we think) for 27 years although it's getting a bit dodgy now.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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