Fact or Fiction: Living off the Grid Quiz


You have to be pretty committed to the environment to move off the grid. Disconnecting from government-regulated electricity, water, sewer, gas and phone services would be an enormous -- and difficult -- life change for most people.

start quiz

Question 1 of 10

What is this "grid" you speak of?

space grid
highway grid
power grid

... It's the power grid -- the utilities system.


Question 2 of 10

What's the first step in going off the grid?

cutting all wires that connect to your house
figuring out how to supply your own power
buying a tent and moving into the woods

... The first thing you'd need to do is switch your home to solar or wind energy.


Question 3 of 10

The next step is to think about your water supply. What percentage of American homes supply their own water?

10 percent
15 percent
20 percent

... According to the EPA, about 15 percent of homeowners get their water on their own.


Question 4 of 10

How much does a private well cost?


... Prices vary, but $15,000 seems to be the high end.


Question 5 of 10

What's the best way to live without the grid's sewer system?

installing your own septic system
using an outhouse
living by a fast-moving stream

... You can install a septic system that returns all of your waste to the ground, where it's absorbed as nutrients.


Question 6 of 10

What's the most common heating method for off-the-grid homes?

a propane or electric heater
gas heater

... Most off-the-gridders rely heavily on wood stoves for heat.


Question 7 of 10

What happens when you're off the grid and using solar energy -- and it rains for two weeks?

You have to call the electric company and ask for help.
You turn on your biodiesel generator.
You borrow power from a neighbor.

... Most people who live off the grid have a natural gas, gasoline or biodiesel backup generator -- but only for real emergency situations.


Question 8 of 10

Which two celebrities publicly advocate living off the grid?

Dustin Hoffman and Mary Tyler Moore
Ed Begley Jr. and Daryl Hannah
Jason Bateman and Sarah Jessica Parker

... Ed Begley Jr. has his own TV show called "Living with Ed" that documents his efforts to reduce his carbon footprint. And Daryl Hannah built an off-the-grid house in Colorado.


Question 9 of 10

About how many people around the world live off-grid?

163 million
678 million
1.7 billion

... According to a World Bank report, about 1.7 billion people live off the grid -- most of them not by choice, of course.


Question 10 of 10

Why did an off-the-grid man in Pennsylvania go to jail in 2006?

He kept removing a power line that was run through his property.
He refused to pay back payments on his utility bills.
He threw rocks at a city water department vehicle.

... Seventy-six-year-old William Williams has served jail time for repeatedly removing a power line from his property.


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