Do you have a gut feeling that someday you might turn on a light switch and the electricity will not work? Have you seen and heard of world wide energy shortages?

Electric Power

Electric Power Lines

Some people talk of power outages that may last for a week or more. And then there are natural disasters that would interrupt the entire energy grid. When these events occur, what will you do?

At the very least, I would suggest that you consider and write down a plan.

By putting it in writing , you have put in motion the elements needed to keep your home secure and somewhat comfortable. Although you may have a gas or diesel generator, these are mostly used for short periods of power outages and are not designed to run 24/7.  There is also the need for fuel and maintenance that can cause a significant period of down time. 

Emergency Plans

Your plan should include emergency medical / first aid items and a clean source of water. There are numerous online sites that can help you with food storage for a few days or for a whole year. Just remember not to buy food that you don’t like. Buy what you eat, and eat what you buy. 

Now, back to the lights. With extreme weather conditions out national regional power grids have been pushed to the failure point. I myself am content to site beside a wood stove with stew cooking on the top. A good book and maybe a bottle of wine will entertain me for quite a while. I have planned for food shortages and power outages, and tried to help my neighbors do the same thing. 

Wood Stove

Heat your home with wood

As a master electrician , I am able to keep my central A/C fan running (with a small generator) and circulate the warm air from our wood stove thru out the house. My next project will be hot water. But, you have to plan ahead for these items. This is not something you can launch and get working in an emergency. If you live in a city, this probably won’t be something allowed by city codes. 

So, if you can’t use wood or you don’t have fuel oil and a fan to keep the heat circulating, then backup electricity may the route to go. (photovoltaic panels) Solar Panels with battery backup  for cloudy days and even for night use is a great option. The panels make no noise, and you don’t have to keep adding fuel as you run them for the long haul.

Solar for the Long Haul

Talk to a trusted solar system  contractor that can help you calculate an energy budget that can generate power during the day and also can generate more power than you use and then store power in onsite batteries to be used at night time. These systems have a very good return on investment (ROI) and many of my customers have systems that are still generating power after 20 years with little maintenance . Best of all, after all the increases we have seen in energy costs, these legacy systems are still operating and generating power at the 1999-2004 prices. Great huh?

Lower your everyday energy costs and have a backup system for those unexpected outages. Todays solar panel systems are cheaper, more efficient, and able to store power as never before. Battery technology has come so far, and I believe it will continue to evolve.

Take some time to learn about Solar Renewable power and cross this issue off of your checklist/plan for when the lights go out. Oh, did I mention that there are substantial cost savings for installing Solar PV systems?  Via tax credits. And add to that the renewable solar energy credits that will soon be available to everyone that generates Solar Power.