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Power — Off & On
Last Wednesday, California's largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) intentionally cut power to 500,000 customers in parts of 22 counties in to prevent wildfires. This came after huge wildfires for the past two years, both started by sparks from equipment from PG&E.
We were warned of these power outages in June and given plenty of time to prepare. But still, it was difficult for many people. Here in our part of Sonoma County, we were not affected directly by the outages, but we did experience shortages of products that are delivered daily, like hard crusty French rolls which couldn’t be delivered because the bakery was closed and couldn’t bake the bread. So there was considerable inconvenience and economic loss by these involuntary shut-downs.
We, however, had no loss of power because we have our own power system. When we first heard about the coming outages in June, we bought a Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Power Stationnew blog on our tiny house building adventure coming soon). So we decided to buy it sooner rather than later, so we would be covered if we lost power.
I’m happy to report that we didn’t have an outage (yet) and that at the moment it is 100% charged.
Now what prompted me to write this post was the act of turning off my computer at the end of my work day. Larry told me to do this every day so the power station could recharge overnight. I often forget, but last night I was really trying to remember, and noticing that turning off the power at night so the station can recharge is very much in alignment with how Life works: activity during the day and rest and recharge at night. Whereas the grid runs 24/7 so that power is available at any time, whether it is needed or not.
But actually, the grid power is NOT available all the time. We just had intentional outages from the company itself.
Which begs the question…do we need a grid at all?
We’ll be going off-grid entirely when we finish building our tiny house and move in. At the moment we are recharging from the power source at Larry’s Mom’s house (where we live). This power is part solar (there are solar panels on the roof of my office). When we start living in our tiny house we will have a few solar panels—not a whole array because we only need a few to produce the amount of power we will need for our electrical devices.
With new technology, I’m thinking it won’t be long before each house could produce their own power affordably. We didn’t go solar before because we lived in places where there was power and it was too expensive to install solar.
But now, with our tiny house, the total cost will be less than $3500.
Yes, it will require that I turn my computer off at night, but I don’t need to burn power to keep it on all night when I’m not using it.
When we start thinking differently and are willing to make changes in our lifestyles as a result, all kinds of new ideas and actions can come forth.