Monday, June 9, 2008

Going off the grid

After our recent bouts with Pepco and Verizon, I've been considering trying to get off the grid. How feasible is it?
1. Solar panels on our roof (with backup batteries - I know, not very environmentally friendly) for backup power?
2. Satellite Internet for backup? Too expensive based on what I've been looking at from Hughes Net.
3. What about alternative sources of natural gas - and what can I do about water - dig a well?
4. Garbage disposal - compost everything?

Unfortunately, we are all interconnected these days and it is very hard to get off the grid. Perhaps we should be investing in infrastructure to build in some redundancies.

In any case, this thought was triggered partly by this WaPo article.
"Bethesda eighth-grader Jacob Rasch could not do his history homework assignment on the Compromise of 1877 on Thursday because, he said, he couldn't look it up on Wikipedia.

His mother could not e-mail health forms so Jacob can play baseball in high school this fall because severe thunderstorms that rolled through the Washington region this week took down the family's power and their Internet connection.

And his father couldn't fix the generator outside the house because he couldn't visit to find out how to clean the carburetor so that the generator would spring to life and power, among other things, the wireless router to their computer network."

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