What is an Off-Grid house? What is a self-sufficient house? What’s the price? Is it worth it?
Do you want a house that generates its own energy in Barcelona?
Do you want to know how much it costs to generate your own energy in Catalonia?
In this post we explain basic notions of the a house that is disconnected from the electricity network and therefore Self-sufficient in electric energy.
In case you still do not know us, let us introduce ourselves.
We are ERA architects, one of the young, committed and creative architecture studios in Barcelona.
In this post you can find our professional and simple explanation about disconnected and self-sufficient homes.
What is a Disconnected Home?
A disconnected house is a house that does not need to connect to the electricity grid because it generates its own energy.
What is an Off-Grid House?
Off-Grid House is called to those homes that are self-sufficient of electricity, water (usually harvesting rainwater) and manage their own waste (usually with a septic tank and natural drainage).
Is self-sufficiency a real thing?
Spain is a country with Sunny days and therefore we do not lack the basic source of energy.
However, saving that energy still remains to constant evolvution.
TESLA has made a long way to store domestic energy. Their batteries are the best option on the market to accumulate the energy that is captured from the Sun.
Even so, these batteries have room for improvement in terms of electrical independence.
Surely you may wonder: how many days of electricity do these batteries give me? If it is cloudy for 5 days in a row, will I continue with electricity?
Before answering this question you need to know that each house and family has a different electricity consumption. It is not the same a family of 2 who go to sleep soon and have no washing machine or refrigerator than a family of 5 who use the oven every day to cook.
Thus, depending on the electrical consumption of each family, these batteries can give an electric independence of between 1 and 4 days.
It is also worth specifying that on cloudy days there is also solar gain but to a much lesser extent.
Things to keep in mind
To know how much energy you need to generate, you must first calculate the energy consumption your family uses according to their routines and habits. This means calculating the consumption of:
- artificial lighting (daily consumption hours)
- each appliance (fridge, washing machine and oven are big consumers of energy) (how many washing machines a week? How many meals in the oven?
- heating and cooling (better design a house of consumption in air conditioning almost null) (you can see our post Passive House)
Choosing A +++ appliances is vital for our disconnected home to be function consistently.
In our architecture studio in Barcelona we have a selection of low consumption appliances designed especially for the efficient homes of our clients.
In our architecture studio in Barcelona we have verified that the cost to self-supply:
- a small passive house (50m2 for 2 people)
- with LED lighting
- low consumption water heater (with heat pump option)
- TV, computer, router
- basic appliances A + or higher (induction hob, fridge and extractor)
- You need 9 photovoltaic panels and a Power wall 2 from TESLA.
- This has a material and installation cost of € 20,000 + VAT for an easily accessible house located within a 150km radius of Barcelona city.
Is it worth it?
If your house has an electricity consumption of € 200 / month, it will take approximately 8 and a half years to amortize the installation.
If your house has an electricity consumption of € 100 / month, it will take approximately 17 years to amortize the installation.
In our architecture studio ERA in Barcelona architects, we recommend installing TESLA photovoltaic panels and batteries.
In fact we have the collaboration of official installers of TESLA.
If you opt for this futuristic option, we recommend that you consider a passive, self-sufficient house with home automation control.
In our next publication we will explain the home automation standards and why we, as professionals, offer and recommend this option to all our customers.
You can also check our previous publications:
Esther Rovira Raurell