4 comments on “Going Off-the-Grid

  1. Maybe you should actually do the math on off-grid solar before recommending it?

    PV has dropped in price. Batteries have not. The typical storage for off-grid systems is still the lead-acid battery, and the cost of a lead-acid battery still roughly equals the cost of the electricity it will store over its entire lifespan. You will not save a dime going off-grid if you have grid power available. Maybe you’ll feel better about yourself, but you’ll still throw money away. Not to mention that in the climate here, a backup generator is essential (looked at the weather forecast lately? Going to be two weeks before we see the sun again), and running the generator to charge the batteries a couple times will cost your whole month’s electric bill.

    If you want to save money, and you’re on the grid already, go grid-tied. You help the environment, and you save money, not throw it away. Off-grid is only a good idea if you’re unable to access the grid.

    Oh, and your article is fucking ugly, has a bunch of huge images that are utterly irrelevant to the content, and generally was a complete waste of everyone’s time spent reading it. Normally I ignore your stuff when it shows up on LoCo, but as someone with a lot of experience with off-grid power, I thought maybe you might have something interesting to say… but nope. Still a waste of everyone’s time. I won’t make that mistake again.

    • Thanks for wasting so much of your time, and for giving me the opportunity to address your silly objections.
      First, I use a pair of gell-cell batteries that were four years old when I bought them, and I have used them for eight years already. I paid 60 bucks for the pair. How many electric bills would that pay Mr. Math Whiz? Part of the beauty of going off-grid is that you use a lot less electricity than you would have, on the grid. You learn to do more with less, and appreciate the electricity you generate more.
      Second, I live out here, on a North facing slope, and I never use a backup generator even though I use my PV system all Winter.
      Third, going off grid is a good idea for anyone who doesn’t want to support nuclear power plants, fracking, gas leaks or smart meters. I realize that you don’t understand principles like that, but suffice it to say that money isn’t everything, and grid-tie is a ripoff. PG&E will never pay you for the surplus energy you produce.
      Third, You demonstrate that going off-grid doesn’t make you any smarter. You can still be an idiot and live off-grid, but as you remind us, it’ll cost you.
      I hope you’ll keep your word. If you’ve learned not to waste so much of your life online, I have done my job.

  2. SO TRUE John! Thank you! For me the issue with solar has always been that I am a moving renter in a land of a housing crisis and land-investor- wannabe-lords have zero incentive from their short-sighted perspective to go solar. One example- I lived in Arcata once and we had 3 houses tied to one electric bill unbeknownst to me upon signing the lease, I would be 100% responsible for paying. This cost $600 plus every month because we were charged as if we were growers regardless of the 3 houses tied together, PG&E didn’t care if there were elderly there or pregnant women or children, disabled, students, they would turn us off constantly and for months at a time. We all got the grower tax for the landlord’s negligence and the landlord even insisted I should pay for HIS bill for the entirety of my renting there on top of it, 4.5 years later it added up. So naturally I had Solar winds Northern lights come all the way up to fickle hill in arcata to speak with my landlord and neighbors about the feasibility, ease and cost. All the renters were excited about going solar. I even told my landlord I would pay for everything (not easy for me), the installation, parts etc. and he could take the large tax breaks. He flaked on the solar meeting I set up and continued to refuse to let me go solar. It infuriates me that people can freely own land and rent to people and have so little regard for the inhabitants of their homes and planet earth, and that PG&E/ government support extractive landowners instead of those who need protection from their abuse. As is said, with freedom comes great responsibility, and it is largely not taken by those who own property here (including gov). I say it is time for renters to demand and revolt. Maybe we should occupy the forest and show these old paradigm people how living in harmony with the planet is really done. The government is never going to incentivize landowners or solar power in an authentically sustainable way, for they have no incentive in this economic paradigm. Much love to you brother John and sister Amy!

    • Right on Shakti! Maybe we should occupy all of the rental housing and liberate it from the greedy landlords, stop paying rent and buy solar panels and build composting toilets. It’s our planet. We’ve let these old paradigm people fuck it up too much already. It’s time for a change. Thanks for the comment, and much love to you too Shakti!

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