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How Do Tiny Houses Get Electricity?

How Do Tiny Houses Get Electricity?

For many, it’s a fantasy to live in a tiny house one day. These accommodations take you away from everyday stress. Have you dreamed of owning a trailer, mobile home, or recreational vehicle (RV)? Some lodges, parks, and resorts indulge guests in these cushy tiny homes. 

If you love the idea of living in a tiny house, you will like to know how these homes get electricity. What are your power options in a tiny home? Also, what are the pros and cons of these (grid and off-grid) options? We will now see. 

How To Get Electricity for Your Tiny House

You can power a tiny home like any other home by connecting to the electrical grid. However, some owners prefer using off-grid systems like solar. No wonder sustainable systems like solar and wind power are popular in these settings. Still, some people use a hybrid system in their homes. Having both grid and off-grid power tends to be more reliable, especially during emergencies. 

We will now discuss the common ways to power your tiny home and which method is best for you. Let’s get started. 

How Do Tiny Houses Get Electricity?

How about Grid Electricity for Your Tiny House?

The grid is the system for generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity to homes. Many tiny homeowners connect to the grid for electricity. Often, this method is convenient and does not attract a high initial cost. Let us now see the benefits and drawbacks of joining the grid.

The Pros of Connecting to the Grid

As you would have guessed, connecting to the grid brings many benefits. We have outlined these benefits below: 

  • You Enjoy Constant Electricity: Grid electricity does not rely on the Sun like solar systems do. So, unless during an emergency or natural disaster, you can be sure of constant power. This benefit is more than we can say for conditional systems like solar. 
  • You Can Save Initial Costs: After setting up your tiny home, adding an alternative electricity source like solar or wind can dip into your pocket. Many tiny homeowners save initial costs by connecting to the grid instead. They may later decide on other electricity sources when their finances are ready. 
  • The Grid Can Serve as Backup Power: Some people rely on 2-3 energy sources at once. For example, some houses have a solar generator while being connected to the grid. Imagine a day when the Sun isn't strong enough to power your appliances. In such cases, you can switch to the grid without affecting your productivity or convenience. 

The Cons of Connecting to the Grid

Getting on the grid used to be the only way to get electricity, but not anymore. Users can now access other options that solve these two challenges with on-grid electricity:

  • On-Grid Electricity Is Often Non-Renewable: Today, everyone is talking about renewable energy. You can get this improved energy from water, solar, or wind sources. This "green" energy is better for our earth. But, several on-grid electricity use non-renewable sources. In the future, these natural sources will become more popular. Until then, many electricity users are coming off the grid. 
  • Power Outage Is Common with On-Grid Electricity: Your on-grid system can go out for several reasons. Imagine being forced to live in a blackout due to an emergency. This thought scares many on-grid users. No wonder some people favor a hybrid (on and off-grid) connection.

Process of Connecting Tiny Houses to the Grid

You should not make electrical connections if you are a novice. Instead, you should hire an electrical professional. These experts will follow the local laws as they do their job. You may be asked to buy a circuit breaker and switches for the process. Often, you must contact the local power provider for approval to join the grid. You can enjoy electricity in your cozy home once the connection is complete.

Consider These Points When Choosing to Join the Grid

It is still common to see many tiny homes using on-grid connections. If you prefer this power source for your tiny home, then remember these points:

  • The Long-Term Cost of On-Grid Electricity: With on-grid electricity, you can save some extra bucks when connecting. For example, you can avoid buying special hardware needed for solar or wind electricity. However, you should consider the not-so-obvious costs that can include taxes, tariffs, and connection fees. If you think about these costs, you may prefer an electricity solution that is cheaper in the long term. 
  • How Reliable Is On-Grid Power?: In some areas, electricity can go off often. This can cause you inconvenience. So, you should choose a reliable power provider. Also, it is a good idea to have backup power.
  • On-Grid Power Is an Environmental Concern: Many customers now prefer renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Does your local grid use these sources? You may have to find alternative power sources if this is absent. 
How Do Tiny Houses Get Electricity?

Solar Power for Tiny Houses

Do you get enough sunlight in your tiny home? This may be enough to support all your electricity needs. Then why not use solar power? Solar for tiny homes can make more sense if your home is in a remote, off-grid location. You don't need to bother with getting approval from the provider or paying electricity bills later. 

Installing Solar Panels on Tiny Houses

If you decide on solar, there are 3 steps that you must take to complete your setup:

  1. Decide on the best solar system for you
  2. Place your solar panels correctly
  3. Wire your solar system to bring electricity

You should go for a solar system that can support your everyday needs. What are the appliances you use every day? They can include a microwave, coffee maker, refrigerator, and the like. Make sure your system can power these heavy appliances.  

Then we suggest you place your panels on the ground facing the sun. But you can place it on the roof if it is not safe. On the ground, you can adjust and clean your panels when you want to. 

Finally, you will wire the panels and battery (or inverter). You can use our high-capacity 12V, 200Ah battery for this use. Most systems have a guide that you can follow when connecting the wires. But it is not a bad idea to hire a contractor for this step.

Why Opt for Solar Power for Your Tiny Home?

Solar electricity will suit your tiny home for several reasons:

  • It saves you from paying utility bills.
  • Solar electricity supports a sustainable lifestyle. 
  • It can serve as an additional power source in case of a power outage.
  • If your home is fully fitted with solar, it raises the market value. 
  • Mobile homes that cannot be tied to the grid can still enjoy electricity. 

Disadvantages of Solar Power for Tiny Homes

Despite the above benefits, solar electricity in a tiny home has its problems:

  • It can cost a lot if you're just setting it up.
  • The power it produces depends on the presence of sunlight. Hence, the system may not serve you during winter or spring. 
  • You will need to buy a solid battery brand for storing solar energy. 

Battery Storage Systems for Uninterrupted Solar Power

The reality is that you will need a good battery when using solar power. This will give you electricity even on days when the Sun does not shine. If you are a high-energy user, you can purchase our 2560Wh LiFePO4 battery for more charge. But you can also find other high-quality batteries with lesser capacities for your needs. 

How Do Tiny Houses Get Electricity?

Wind and Hydroelectric Power as Alternative Electricity Sources for Your Small Home

You can get power from wind and hydro(water) electricity. Any of these two power sources can carry your tiny home. You will need wind turbines and dams if you want to get electrical power through these methods. 

Things to Consider Before Installing Wind or Hydroelectric Power

Many homeowners fancy these power sources because of their eco-friendly status. But you should note these points if you must use these sources:

  • These sources (water and wind) depend on your location to work well. You must be in an area where there is enough water or wind. 
  • Secondly, the methods need infrastructure like dams and turbines to generate electricity. 
  • These infrastructures can cost you a good fortune to set up. 
  • Lastly, after setting up, you must maintain these structures so they deliver electricity to your tiny home. 
How Do Tiny Houses Get Electricity?

Using Portable Generators To Light-Up Your Tiny House

Do you know about portable generators? These machines can light up your tiny home. Some homeowners use them as backup power in cases of blackouts. Usually, you have to power it with gas, but there are other types of portable generators. The popular ones are:

  • Gasoline-Powered Generators
  • Diesel-Powered Generators
  • Natural Gas-Powered Generators
  • Dual-Fuel Generators

How To Maintain Your Generator

Here generator will last long if you care for it: 

  • Replace old or bad parts of the generator.
  • Clean the generator regularly. 
  • Make sure the wires are connected correctly. 
  • Change the oil and add gas when due. 
  • Power your generator every three months so it does not develop faults. 

The Benefits of Portable Generators for Your Tiny Houses

Generators are not the best power option for your home. Still, you can expect these benefits: 

  • You can get a small generator for easy storage and movement.
  • Generators are affordable, so you don't have to spend your last dime on electricity. 
  • You can use these machines as backup power in case of emergency.

The Disadvantages of Portable Generators

Do you want to own a generator? Note that a generator has these disadvantages:

  • It depends on gas and is thus expensive to maintain.
  • Some generators make loud noises. This is a nuisance if you must enjoy your quiet. 
  • It emits dangerous carbon monoxide gas and is a health concern. 
How Do Tiny Houses Get Electricity?

Why You Should Care about Energy Efficiency in a Small Home

Tiny homes don’t use as much electricity as standard ones. But it is good practice to manage your energy use. This will save you from paying high electricity bills. Also, when you conserve electricity, you can backup electricity for when you need it. 

How to Reduce Your Electricity Consumption

Are you using too much energy? Follow these tips to save energy: 

  • Turn off appliances that you don't need. 
  • Use energy-saving appliances like bulbs and coffee makers. 
  • Instead of turning on the heater, close doors and curtains to keep warm.
How Do Tiny Houses Get Electricity?

Our Final Thoughts

Getting electricity to your trailer or mobile home is a milestone. You can start living the life of your design! You can choose how to solve this power problem. But remember that installing a solar system with high-capacity batteries is one superior solution. 

This is why you should choose GoldenMate Energy. Whether you operate a mobile or stationary home, you can trust our batteries to meet your demands. 

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