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Off-Grid Resources

Tech Support from the Pros

Tech Desk is open 9am - 5pm PST Monday-Friday

The pros at the Real Goods Tech Desk are experts in all things off-grid, with thousands of renewable energy systems' worth of experience. Whether you're planning your first solar installation or you're an expert already and seeking a solution to a unique challenge, our techs can help!

The Complete Off-Grid Living Resource

First published in 1982 and now in its 14th edition, the Solar Living Sourcebook is widely regarded as the most comprehensive resource on off-grid living available. With over 600,000 copies in print in over 40 countries, it is the quintessential guide for anyone interested in renewable energy, conservation, green building, remote homesteading, alternative transportation, or simply reducing their environmental footprint. Many of our customers refer to it as "the desert island book" - the one book you would need to have if you were stranded on an island.

"The best single source I've ever found on the technologies, philosophies, and the lifestyle changes we must embrace in order for our species to survive and thrive into the future. Time is of the essence for all of us to start walking the talk and this book is the guide for taking those first steps."

Woody Harrelson - environmentalist and actor

System Sizing Tools

Use our Solar Load Calculator to calculate your average Watt-hours/day - a crucial metric for sizing a PV system (and especially an off-grid PV system).

Design your own grid-tied solar PV system with the components you want! You'll get an instant estimate, and we'll follow up with a formal quote.

Request a quote for a grid-tied or off-grid solar PV system using our self-guided form (we're available to help if you get stuck).


There's no more inspiring example than the Solar Living Center in Hopland, CA to see how renewable energy, green building, permaculture, and off-grid living can come together to create a beautiful, comfortable, and harmonious place to live, work, and play. The SLC is best experienced in person (along historic Highway 101 in Mendocino County), but we've also got great photos, videos, and even an interactive 3D virtual tour to give everyone the chance to be inspired by this one-of-a-kind site.

  • The Real Goods retail store
  • Trees taking back the land and growing through gas-guzzling cars from the 1950s
  • Solar panel arrays at the Solar Living Center
  • Central ponds at the Solar Living Center

Professional Solar Training

We offer IREC- and NABCEP-approved solar installation courses through the nonprofit Solar Living Institute. Beginner through advanced courses are available.

Online solar courses are also available through the SLI! These courses offer great training for solar industry careers including project management, PV installation, finance, sales, marketing, inspection, customer service, and administrative support.

Solar Living Institute class

Books & Resources

Since 1978, we've been sourcing, scouring, and offering the best of the best when it comes to off-grid and renewable energy know-how. The library of books you'll find on our website and in our Hopland store...

The Real Goods Blog

Check our blog for posts on renewable energy, off-grid living, and food, as well as the latest news about Real Goods. Blog contributors include our Solar Techs, our founder John Schaeffer, and host of other green living and renewable energy insiders. Interested in contributing to our blog? Email [email protected] and let us know what you'd like to write about.