Live without electricity. There are many ways. PELLET STOVES, SOLAR PANELS that you build yourself, GENERATORS. And we have some other tips.

My friend bought a generator. The non-Honda, non-Brand name generators go for l00$ online, delivered. You can run your PC  for an hour a day, handle orders. Then turn on the camping lamps for  a few hours. Then use generator for TV. My friend just got his generator and is very happy with it. another friend, a U.S. Navy Nuclear Engineer writes about many ways to get off the grid.

1.If you are in a deregulated state, like Connecticut, where I live, then you can choose whom you buy power from. Prior to "deregulation", I had only one choice - CL&P at about $0.12 per KWH [kilo watt hour]. Now, there are several choices. After a little internet research, I started purchasing from Public Power and Utility at about $0.105/KWH. There are at least three generation suppliers in CT, besides CL&P. It varies by state, but
it's easy to find by plugging your state into a Search Engine. It is important to note that your electric bill, in a deregulated state, shows two charges, one for distribution and one for generation. The discount is only for the "generation" charge, but in my case, this resulted in a total discount of about 10%. This is not earth shattering, or life changing, but combined with other expense reduction strategies, can be significant. Just by asking, you can cut 10% off your monthly electric bill.

2.Use a Power Factor Correction unit. [ see ]. I do not sell these, I just  USE it, and am passing on the information. This is a box that connects, through a regular breaker, to your home's breaker box. The way it works is that when electrical power is supplied to your home, substantial energy is stored in magnetic field around coils [i.e. motor windings] and in the electric fields of capacitors. When the power is shut off, the magnetic fields collapse. Houses are always predominately inductive because of electric motors [freezers and refrigerators, air conditioners, fans, etc]. In inductive circuits, voltage and current are slightly out of phase, and you are paying for the electricity that is "flowing", not for how much you are "using". By bringing voltage and current back into phase, these two amounts become the same i.e. you are paying [i.e. your electric meter is "reading"] only for the power you are actually using. I know this to be true - as a nuclear submariner, we did something very similar in the engine room, but using a different technique. This typically is about 10 or 15% less than if you are not correcting your power factor. This varies according to how many motors are running in your house, and for how long they run. The unit costs about $300.00 plus installation - you can install it yourself, if you happen to know how to do that safely. Knock another 10%, or more, off your electric bill!

3.Another way to save power is to build your own solar panel. If you buy it, it costs so much that it makes little sense [like paying $40,000.00 for a hybrid electric car] but if you build it, for two or three hundred dollars, it makes sense. In particular, for a relatively small amount of power [e.g. for supplying power to your garden shed, or chicken coop ;-) There are a surprising amount of grants for renewable energy. See:

For YOUR State] For more info, see ... I'm NOT selling it - I'm just passing on the information.

4.INFRARED HEATERS! I have not completely researched this yet, but I believe it would be effective to use Infrared radiant heaters [like EdenPure]. It makes sense to me, but I'm a little skeptical about both the energy savings and health concerns. The energy saving part seems feasible because, as a reactor operator, I have encountered many scenarios where you have two different systems, one for gross, big adjustments, and one for tweaking smaller increments. It's like, when you start your vehicle moving, you have to be in first gear, but once the car is moving on a flat road, you can shift to overdrive. Use one heating system to bring your house up to temperature [my family has a wood pellet stove; (That reminds me... see ], but once your temperature is good, maintain that temperature in the most efficient way possible [i.e. a radiant heater]. An additional advantage is that you heat ONLY the area where the people are, like your kitchen or living room,
(If you google pellet heaters, you will find dozens of companies. The stoves are gorgeous. )

The Keys to Surviving Off the Grid
by Nancy Castleman

It's a pretty safe bet that in the near future, for one reason or another, some of us are going to lose power for a week or more. How would you handle a massive power failure?

Marc and I live a pretty simple life, but even for us, no power gets old pretty quickly, especially in the winter. A few years back, Marc researched generators, picked one out for us, and installed it. It cost $479, which is a lot for us to spend on anything, but it makes me feel a million times more secure.

If you're open to making a similar investment or giving a pricey present to a loved one, I urge you to consider a generator -- plus a check to cover the electrician's bill. Unless you're fortunate enough to have a Marc in your life, someone who has a strong background in all matters electrical and a willingness to learn how to safely install and use mechanical devices, you'll need to bring in a pro. When installed wrong or misused, generators can be very dangerous, as well as expensive.

Once, when the lights went out, we couldn't get the generator started. We learned that you can't plop it in the garage and forget about it until you need it. If you haven't maintained yours and kept it filled with fresh gas, it probably won't act like one on ER, automatically coming on at the first sign of a blackout.

But once your generator's safely installed, if you're willing to maintain it, you'll be able to weather major power outages. For us that means we can have heat, cold and hot water, lights, refrigeration, the greenhouse, and Good Advice Press all up and running in no time, for a long time.

High and Dry
The average person needs a gallon or two of water a day, at least 2 quarts for drinking and 2 for food preparation and sanitation. Assuming you'd like to be prepared for at least one week off the grid, and yours is a four-person family, that's 28 to 56 gallons.

In theory, between our deep well and our generator, Marc and I don't need a separate water supply. Still, I always feel better about having some extra drinking water on hand, and when a power failure looms, we fill the tub. (Being able to flush makes off-the-grid living a lot more tolerable!)

Even if you have city water, something could happen that would leave you high and dry. So build up a water reserve and/or consider other water sources. For example, we can get water directly from our water tank. Maybe you can, too.

Important: Experts say that when you store tap water for drinking in a container, you should purify it. For detailed instructions, go to:

A Simple Way to Cook
Since our stove is electric, if the lights go out, we can't cook. But since we can boil water with a handy little one-burner, propane stove that I've had for decades, we can quite comfortably weather any short-term blackout without even bothering to fire up the generator. Don't have a camping stove? I highly recommend one, for yourself and as a gift. VISIT THE HOT ROCK METHOD WEBPAGE

How Long Could You Live Off Your Larder?
The pantry's always pretty full around here, and we could certainly survive quite nicely for a few weeks if the supermarket was closed, its shelves bare, and/or the road to town impassable. But we're always happy to stock up when the items we regularly use are on sale.

Do it too, and take advantage of an unbelievably powerful investment opportunity, while you prepare for emergencies. For example, if you buy extra cans of tuna on sale at 50 cents apiece, and the price goes up to $1.00, you've netted a 100% yield on these "supermarket stocks." Buy bottled water at 3 gallons for a buck, instead of $1.00 each, and get an immediate, guaranteed, incredibly high return of 200%.

Focus on canned goods and dried fruit that can be stored without refrigeration and eaten without cooking. Don't go for warehouse-sized cans, unless your family can eat the contents in one sitting. Without refrigeration, food can go bad quickly. And if you don't have a hand-crank can opener, pick one up.

These days, Marc and I make sure we've got a generous supply of the medicines that we take, and we've asked our doctor for back-up prescriptions, in case the info stored in the pharmacy's computer is lost or unavailable when we need it.

Don't forget to keep a supply of the items you buy at the health food store, any paper goods that you regularly use, and include some comfort foods, too. You'll all be happier campers if you've got some special treats squirreled away.

Don't Forget Fido! Consider what your pets will need, and put that amount of food aside, with additional water for each dog and cat. In case you're wondering, the rule of thumb is 30 ml of water per pound of pet, which translates to 2 1/2 cups for a 20 pound pooch.

Where to Store It All
Before you start spending for your emergency stash, think through where you're going to store it all. That may help you more than anything else to find the right balance between your anxieties, your space, and your purchases. Ideally, you want a cool, dry, dark spot for storage, say in your basement, away from old paint cans and other hazardous chemicals.

Live in an apartment? Think about empty corners and spots under tables and beds. You could always cover stacked boxes with tablecloths and use them as end tables. If it'll make you feel more secure, why not?

Get Smart
Here are two Web sites that can help: and Others will pop up if you search online, but you may not be able to get online. So here are three books you'll be glad to own. We've recommended two in previous issues, but thought they deserved another mention, given the events of recent months.