Here’s a little exchange between somebody named Stella, Nicole, and of course, Charles who is basically irrelevant.
And here’s a clip from the link that Stella provided.
Stella’s statement, you aren’t off the grid if you are still using electricity, is incorrect, of course. Her link is not.
Nicole’s statement of what being off-grid actually means is equally incorrect, or more like disingenous.
Nicole’s basic idea is that if you simply unplug from the local electric company and use a generator, you are off-grid. You aren’t connected to the electrical grid, therefore you are superior.
Dave has two chainsaws. One is a largish, gas-powered saw which he uses mostly for bigger pieces of firewood. The other is much smaller, much lighter and electric. He uses it mostly to limb trees.
Sometimes, those trees are located too far away from an electrical outlet to be convenient, so he puts a generator in a wagon and takes it with him to the tree.
According to Nicole’s idea of off-grid, Dave is being just that when he’s using a generator to power his electric chain saw. He’s also off-grid when he’s using the gas-powered chain saw.
We have an outdoor shower that we use in the summer months. The hot water is supplied by a propane on-demand hot water heater.
According to Nicole’s idea of off-grid, that means our shower is off-grid. The energy to heat the water comes from propane, and the water itself comes from our well.
We are not connected to any regional water supply. We have a well.
We have a septic tank, so we are not connected to any sewer service. According to Nicole’s idea of off-grid, we are off-grid when it comes to sewage disposal.
Off-grid implies autonomy. It carries with it the idea that not only are you not connected to the power pole at the edge of your property, you are not dependent in any way on the electric company.
Joe and Nicole have a couple of very small solar panels. I do not know, but doubt, that those produce enough power to keep them running that large monitor/TV that they have in the garden shed for any significant length of time.
I know for a fact that they run a generator a lot. I was there right after dark one night and it was going. Nicole mentions it a good bit, enough that I suspect they run it every evening, all evening, until bedtime.
But let’s argue, for the sake of this discussion, that their two little solar panels supply what they need in terms of electricity on the shitstead.
If that were the case, then that would mean that the Nauglers are, in fact, off-grid regarding electricity.
However, they are not off-grid when it comes to water, or sewage. Nor are they off-grid if they rely on that generator for more than emergency use.
They tried to be regarding sewage, but ran into the long arm of the law. They now have a Porta-potty, and whether they like it or not, that set-up is owned by an outside company and dependent on that company to come empty. I am assuming here, probably incorrectly, that they are actually using the thing and not still just dumping shit in defiance.
They have no water source on their property that isn’t contaminated. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that they have any serious water filtration system, and much of their difficulties with other people seems to center around their efforts to obtain water. They haul water from the shop.
They have a refrigerator at the shop. They have electricity at the shop. They have water at the shop. They have a bona-fide bathroom at the shop.
All they do is obtain what they need in terms of utilities from the shop and transport it to the shitstead. Or in the case of the generator, they obtain the energy source they need from the local gas station and transport it to the shitstead. That was what Quinten was doing on the day the Blessed Little Chariot fell apart.
I highlighted two key words in the definition that Stella provided to Nicole and Nicole didn’t bother to read.
They mean just what they say. It’s not about a plug in the wall. It’s about independence.
The Nauglers would last, in terms of utilities, about a day on that shitstead without any outside inputs of energy. Maybe two days if they hauled a hell of lot of water in and stored it.
What we really need is for Nicole Naugler to write a blog post about preparedness.