SO WATT!

Annually I consume just under 1400 kWh of electrical power, less than 1/8th the amount consumed each year by a typical home in the USA. 1350 kWh of that power is generated by a small photovoltaic array keeping a bank of 8 deep cycle batteries fully charged from which I use an average of 3.5 kWh per day. The remainder is produced by propane powered generator for pumping the water well once per week to fill a cistern, a 12 volt DC driven pressure pump powered by solar electricity to send water from that cistern to the house, and lights which are all 12 volt DC powered by a separate 190 watt PV panel keeping a small bank of 3 marine batteries topped off. I‘ve lived this way here for just over fifteen years now, operating a small company at home for twelve of those years.

A lot of people can't or refuse to live like this. A lot of people can and do. A lot of people live without electrically powered technology altogether (the movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy" comes to mind). Without being judgmental and having lived more than 75% of my life on the grid burning through much more electrical power than I do now or ever will again before my demise, I can honestly say it isn't very difficult to live at less than 1/8th national average power consumption level. All the electrically-powered appliances I need are put to use on a daily basis (lighting, refrigerator/freezers), and all the toys I like to use are turned on a portion of most days (computers, sound systems, musical instrument amps, large screen displays and DVD players). I want for nothing more and don't miss any of the other stuff. And knowing more than 96% of electrical power I consume now comes from the Sun is delightful.


So what if I could be consuming eight times more electrical power than I do. It's not needed.