Living off the grid? Occupy Puna has taken this up as an issue. The goal is to get everyone living off the grid so that Helco, our local energy company, will stop developing geothermal energy due to lack of demand. This is lunacy. All of us who live here are absolutely dependent on outside resources to sustain our way of life.
Living off the grid is especially problematic, because the solar system takes a lot of maintenance, and it uses batteries. Are we going to manufacture our own solar panels and batteries? And anywhere off the grid also has to supply its own water. Catchment tanks have to be kept clean, chlorinated and so on, and even at that catchment water is not safe as drinking water unless you put in a triple filtering system. So most people living off the grid get drinking water from a safe water source. And they drink lots of soda drinks in aluminum cans! Furthermore, there is little public transportation in Puna and none at all in most of this huge area. So everyone's dependent on gasoline for their cars. It's a long drive from Puna into Hilo, too, where most of the services are.
This is really a class issue. People have moved into these areas because property and housing is cheap (though beyond the means of most, now, due to continuing accelerating poverty at the bottom of the economic heap). Many sought a simpler way of life, but what they did not account for was rising energy costs.
I really think Occupy here is on the wrong track, choosing the wrong issues to look at. What Puna needs is at least a 20th Century infrastructure. It will never happen, though.