No Electricity

It is possible to lead a relatively comfortable life with no electrical power at all. This choice involves greater adjustments than the move to independent power, but you can't beat the cost!

Kerosene or propane for lighting, wind or hand pumps for water, solar heating for hot water, wind-up radios — the choices exist. Even if you plan to build for no electricity, it is advisable to wire it now or include some provisions for wiring, should you decide to add solar panels or go onto the grid later. Wire mold baseboard or conduit through the floors, walls, and ceilings will allow you to add wiring later without having to tear your house apart.

10.5b

10.5a - b: These photovoltaic panels (right) and solar hot water collectors can generate enough electricity and heat to fully supply a home, or offset costs for fossil fuels, even in a northerly climate. The guts of any renewable energy system are the charge controller (top left), battery bank (bottom) and inverter (centre). The system feeds into a typical breaker panel (right) for distribution around the building.

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