Off-Grid Living Blog

The Ottawa River Institute (ORI) group organizes events on energy efficiency & alternative energy & has been a grateful recipient of Trillium funding for many of its projects. To check out ORI & read about recent projects & events, go to

Richard Copeland is a member of the board of the Ottawa River Institute who lives with his wife in a lovely off-grid home in the Matawatchan Hills of eastern Ontario.

Richard writes a regular blog about off-grid living, & I very much enjoy it!

His posts are written in a down-to-earth chatty tone, always informative & often good for a chuckle or two. Richard has a great self-deprecating manner & dry wit. He is also becoming very knowledgeable about the use of solar & wind power & solar hot water.

You can find his posts at

If you’d like to receive a copy of the blog postings automatically in your e-mail, go to the ORI Web site at the link just above. This is a very convenient way to keep up with Richard’s latest news & views.

Here is Richard’s post from February 26th, the one-year anniversary of the start of his blog in Feb. 2009.

“Happy Blog-a-versary – Feb. 26’10

It has been exactly one year to the day when I first took fingertip to keyboard for this blog. The opening statement on Feb 26 2009, focused on our off-grid energy system, its components and how things work. The solar hot water system got a mention and the promise to keep everyone up to date on how the year would excitingly unravel with the off-grid life & with our attempts at growing our own food.

It wasn’t as exciting as one might think. After all, living in an off-grid house is very similar to any other house, once you’ve set the lifestyle and consumption patterns. It would be like reporting on watching your hydro meter numbers go around when someone turns on the TV. But it is actually the sameness of it all that makes it workable. Perhaps when the Smart Meters get cranking with changing costs for a KWhr of electricity the real excitement of electricity consumption will start.

The blog has run around a few issues over the year: food; climate change; pigs; farming & gardening; heating; MicroFit Program; wind; trees; & more – the stuff of country living. Sustainability as a goal is a good one but it is hard to reach, particularly when you hang on to the cultural remnants of your past history. Our lifestyle and our environment improve as we try to reach this goal of sustainability. Each attempt is one of those odd cases where a nice try equals a victory, a win if even in some instances so small.

There are a lot of back blogs on this site that for one who is interested in off-grid info, sustainability &/or the fumbles through life in retirement should be able to find content of interest. Hopefully I have done some reasonable ‘Titling’ to help pick your way through.

The next year, now with each season of the year having had its blogging time, may move my blog toward more commentary and opinion on these topics, but always reporting in on anything interesting with the systems or property.

Looking forward . . .


This blog's 'Quote of the Day' w. this post:

"Even after all this time... The sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’

Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky."

Háfiz, from ‘The Gift.’

Another great one: “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait ‘til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” Thomas Edison (1847–1931)