Saturday 3 March 2012

Off the Grid....Tonight.

We have always considered going off the grid and creating our own electricity. The topic always comes up when the power goes out.
If it were an easy choice then we would have done it a long time ago.
I still work on solutions but for now the grid is the most practical source of electricity.

We can go quite a while without electricity. Living rurally you have to expect the lines to go down often.

So far, we have managed without a generator although we have borrowed one during long outages.

If it were just me and Kira living here, we could go off the grid without much problem. Having kids changes that scenario. The washing machine runs almost constantly because of cloth diapers, peed beds, and the usual spills and other child mayhem.

When the power is out we put the heavy loads on hold and focus on lights, cooking, and water. Our heat isn't affected because we use a woodstove. We can cook on the woodstove or the propane barbeque. If we're watching the weather, we usually get some water together before the power goes out. If we're caught off guard, we have a creek and pond to supply us with water. It just means hauling water up to the house. I've always meant to install a handpump in our water line for outages but that is usually forgotten as soon as the power comes back on.

Lights are easy. With LED lights you hardly need any power. A 12 volt battery and an inverter will give you hours of light. I like the Christmas lights for this. They are cheap and bright and versatile. They also brighten up the home with some colour at any time of year.

As far as the Internet goes, our only way to get it is through dial-up or with the cell network. We have a smartphone for our Internet access.
I use the phone with an old laptop to do this blog. Tonight I'm just using the phone.

I really would like to go off the grid someday. It's helpful when the power goes out so that you can see where the electricity is important and where it is just excess or luxury.

Tonight there will be some grilled pork and some coloured lights.
I think we'd be fine if the power never came back on.

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