How Do You Power Your Homestead?

How Do You Power Your Homestead?

  • Solar Panels

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • Wind Turbines

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Local Power Utility Company

    Votes: 13 100.0%
  • Solar & Wind Hybrid System

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Micro Hydroelectric Power System

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Portable Gas/Diesel Powered Generator

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 15.4%

  • Total voters
    13

SS Project Manager

Lovin' The Homestead
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The easiest way for most homeowners to reduce their utility bills is by cutting back on energy consumption through self-discipline and increased efficiency.

So we're interested to find out: How Do You Power Your Homestead?

Place your vote above - if you select "Other" please indicate in the comments section your power source.

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wyoDreamer

Super Self-Sufficient
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LED lights save a lot of money. WE added a wood-pellet insert to our big drafty granite fireplace in the family room when we bought the place. It really helps to make the place cozy warm. It will run off battery if we need to.
 

flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
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we use propane for heat, but the electric company for juice. would love to do solar hot water and solar electricity some time but i'm not sure if/when that might happen. if the prices keep falling sooner or later it will really be worth it. the other option is to pay the utility company a bit extra and they'll develop more solar and wind and we can just keep doing what we're doing and still be supporting the way things should be.
 

flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
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LED lights save a lot of money. WE added a wood-pellet insert to our big drafty granite fireplace in the family room when we bought the place. It really helps to make the place cozy warm. It will run off battery if we need to.
yes, we were going to eventually switch all the lights to LED over time as the price was very expensive for as many lights we have (most we don't use often), but it turned out that one day we were at the store and they were having a Utility Company sponsored sale on six packs of lights and it worked out perfectly between the two of us we could get four packs which finished the entire house for the whopping price of $12. i'm sure we've saved at least that much many times over since we did the change. at the time we also had to replace the large flourescent lights we use for the kitchen and Mom's room and upgraded her room to have more light for her sewing. again, saved a lot of money through the years since then i'm sure enough to pay for those a few times over too by now.
 

Mini Horses

Super Self-Sufficient
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coastal VA
Watch consumption. Close off upstairs unless someone here to visit. Use propane heater downstairs, vice central unit. Good insulation and multi paned, gasvfilled windows at build. Solar heat gain or restriction (seasonal) with shades on windows. Also cut water heater off/on by breaker for an every other day reheat. All insulated so stays hot just fine! I've even gone 2 days off & 1/2 day on with good results. It saves a lot.
 

CrealCritter

Sustainability Master
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Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
The farm came with a brand new tankless hot water heater, runs off propane. I absolutely love this thing, it's rated for 250 gallons per hour. My wife and I will never use that much hot water in an hour. If you can afford, get one - you won't be disappointed.
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farmerjan

Almost Self-Reliant
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Mar 12, 2017
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Shenandoah Valley, Va
The house I just bought is oil furnace with baseboard hot water heat. Hasn't been run in 7 + years, so waiting on getting the tank reset on the blocks so I can get oil delivered and the furnace checked and all. I am looking at an outside wood furnace which will work perfectly with the baseboard hot water heat....they are expensive, and the model I am looking at is said to be the best by 2 friends that have it compared to other types....But he said that the payback is about 5-8 years and then.... there is PLENTY of wood available here and with us always cutting trees around hayfields and all.... plus I can get on a "drop list" for a tree trimming company... they are always looking for places to dump wood that is taken down when they are in a certain area... and also for chips when they are chipping stuff.... and my ds works for the DOT so there are always ways to get wood from trees down... with the ash trees dying from the infestation of the emerald ash borer, they are talking of having to start next year of removing trees that are in danger of falling into roadways and such. Ash burns good and splits well.....
My stove will be propane as I hate electric stoves. There is an outlet for an electric dryer, but I have a propane one that has been in storage for 20 years. I use the clothesline and prefer it. The current hot water is electric.... The electric company has an incentive to add solar panels so that will be something to look into next year when I get some trees and scrub brush and HUGE way overgrown boxwoods taken down. I will only put panels if they can go on the roof of a building... not wanting them using up lawn space.
Also considering a hybrid wind system to add because this ridge has a nearly constant breeze blowing here. Need to see what I have to do to check out the feasibility of it. I would give my eye teeth to be where I could have hydro/water power.... but no stream/creek here.
After I am into this house will have a better idea of what it costs for the electric monthly, and then will be able to make better decisions as to what needs to be upgraded first...
 

flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
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mid-Michigan, USoA
solar hot water with solar panel and converter sized to run the pump for the hot water moving. no external juice needed to run it as it only runs when the sun is out and then you set it up to drain back when the sun isn't out and the temp is too low or in danger of freezing so that there isn't damage from the cold. i think this is the most economical starter system for anyone as it heats hot water and can provide some small electric or even some heat when the hot water is all set.

after that pays for itself then you can add more solar panels for the more general electricity and since those keep improving in efficiency and lower prices through the years it will likely be even more affordable by the time the hot water setup pays for itself.
 

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