‘The Off-Grid Guy’ Who’s Teaching Others How To Transform Houses Into Sustainable Homes!

Dec 16, 2022by Olivia Harper - F&F

Micheal Mobbs set out in 1996 to renovate his inner-city Sydney terrace and make it almost entirely self-sufficient in terms of energy, water, and waste disposal. He now teaches others how to make their homes off-grid and how to live sustainably!

Michael Mobbs Home Solar PannelsMichael Mobbs Home Solar Pannels

Image: Sustainable House 

Turning An Inner-City Home Entirely Off-Grid  

Meet Micheal Mobbs, also well known as ‘the off-grid guy’, who’s proved that a regular inner-city home can be disconnected from the grid and that it’s possible for almost anyone. In March 2015, he decided to disconnect his house from Sydney's mainstream electricity supply system.

Now all the electricity used on his property comes from the sun, with his own system that uses solar panels, batteries and an inverter. Micheal also collects all of the water his family of four needs from the roof top, and is a major advocate for rain water!

He currently offers coaching for home or office projects, can provide design concepts and solutions, and more! You can also schedule a tour of his home in Chippendale, Sydney.

Michael Mobbs KitchenMichael Mobbs Kitchen

Image: Sustainable House

How Can You Improve Your Food Purchasing Choices To Live More Sustainably?  

After making these electricity & water source changes to his home, he came to the realisation that although his house had become sustainable, he still wasn’t. While his home saved 100,000 litres of dam water a year, the same amount of water is used to produce ten days’ worth of food for the average Australian.

So, Micheal turned his attention to reducing the pollution and resource use associated with growing, processing, transporting, selling and disposing of food. Even if you’re not in a position to go off-grid, you can still do a lot to reduce your impact on the planet by making a few simple shifts in the way you buy and consume food. Here are Michael’s top tips!

  1. Buy local and buy in season
  2. Grow your own
  3. Reduce waste
  4. Buy less-processed foods
  5. Opt for low levels of packaging
Michael Mobbs Home Street ViewMichael Mobbs Home Street View

Image: Planet Ark

This Converted Home Now Brings In Bills Of Less Than $300 A Year!

In the time that Micheal has converted his home to be off-grid, here are just a few incredible milestones he’s achieved; For almost two decades, his four-person household has had energy and water bills of less than $300 per year. No stormwater leaves his house, keeping that much pollution from Sydney's harbour and beaches. Capturing his own water means two million litres of water has been retained from Sydney's main water storage dam.

On top of this, 160 tonnes of air pollution has been kept out of Earth's atmosphere, 80 tonnes of coal have not been burnt, and 160 tonnes of food waste has not been tipped into council dumps. Wow! These are some majorly inspiring accomplishments and we are beyond impressed by these stats!

Micheal Mobbs has shown the home to more than 30,000 people from around the world, as well as many media organisations interested in the idea of living off the grid. As a longtime passion project, he’s also written books on sustainability and worked as an environmental lawyer for 19 years!

What are your thoughts on his off-grid home? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

If you love hearing about sustainability-focused stories as much as we do, head to our Eco News category and check out the blogs below.

These Transparent Windows Look Like Normal Glass, But Generate Energy From Sunlight!

This Off-Grid Lamp Harvests Its Energy From Plants

Engineers Have Innovated Solar Panels That Generate Electricity At Night!

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