From the Forums: I'm An Energy Hog
I must confess, I'm an energy hog. I have a diesel truck, a 10-cylinder car, a big air conditioned house in the desert, and.. and... and....
However, I want to change everything. I'm selling my vehicles and going to get a couple hybrids. So that problem, though not SOLVED entirely, is something we are making progress with.
I have been on these boards for a long time getting great ideas and have been making a lot of changes in the last year. But I'm ready for the huge leap.
We are planning on moving out of the big city and moving to mountains of Montana. My plan is to be as green as I can and self-sustaining as I can.
We (family of 4) want to live "off the grid," but the area we are moving to presents some problems for me. This is where I could use your help.
The days of sun shine are pretty low, there is NO water for hydro (even if there was, it would freeze up.) Now, the kicker... How can I get completely off the grid in a place like this? Is this possible? Is solar still an option with only 20% sunshine in the winter months?
Oh, I must mention before everyone tells me I certainly CAN do this be eating canned food and sleeping in a hay-igloo in a sleeping bag, I STILL want to have a "normal" house... with computers, fridge, TV, lights at night, etc. I'm not opposed to getting energy efficient things... that's actually what I want to do, but I don't want to live like a smelly hippy or a 19th century pioneer.
Am I dreaming, or is this still possible? Is there enough energy in the sun to still do 100% solar effectively in an area like this? Are there other alternatives?
I'm buying a piece of land, and I plan on building the house JUST the way I want it. I plan on making it every energy efficient (great insulation, orientation, etc.), so that's a huge advantage, but I still need some serious help with the "green" part.
Well TreeHuggers, can we help?