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being off grid

eco and green

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We didn’t set out to run an eco and green tourism in Scotland! We weren’t eco warriors! We just fell in love with Singdean, discovered how off grid it was and so began a very steep learning curve! Everything just has to be done in a different way. 

So, what is off grid? Well, we are not connected to anything. Not a thing, apart from a telephone line that’s a bit quiet and fuzzy.

Electricity is produced by our fantastic solar panels which then feeds into a massive battery bank. During the Winter months, this needs to be topped up with our ‘silent’ generator. So, we never run out of electricity. But it also means that anything with a heating element (such as an iron, hair dryer, kettle) will gobble masses of electricity and the genny will run. Which is fine, but you can hear a low hum. And we’d rather you didn’t hear anything but nature whilst you are here. All our light bulbs are LED and all electric appliances are low energy. So, we don’t get to use the tumble dryer unless it is a sunny day in Summer, which seems a bit wrong! So, when the sun is on the panels, it is either topping up batteries, or it is being used for our "it’ll get done Sun-time" jobs!

Heating and hot water are produced using a biomass boiler so it’s always warm and cosy. This is like a very efficient wood burner - it burns wood pellets which we try and buy locally. We fill the boiler with several bags a day.

Water comes from our own spring. It is lovely and always so cold! Spring water on tap. And in our pond - the overflow from the spring runs into the pond. Since we redid all the pipe work in 2013, the overflow has never stopped flowing. Sometimes it will slow to a trickle, and at others it is a torrent!

Internet comes via a dedicated satellite just for internet. Which works well!

So, is it difficult to run a shop and B and B off grid? Yes - it’s tough. Sometimes it can be vexing! But once you get used to it, it’s great.  We live here in our 'Singdean Bubble’ and being off grid adds to it.