|Original blog header photo. This name no longer accurately describes our "odyssey"|
As you can see from the partially completed new header there are some changes to talk about. All exuberant plans need to be reviewed and revised every so often. Ours are no exception.
|If this turtle isn't careful, he will fall too!|
Then our simple little idea grew. Our first revision incorporated the idea of passive solar design. What a great concept, using the sun to heat your cabin for free. Then came the idea to go solar and get off the grid. And I must add somewhere in here that the cottage plan has now morphed into an all-season home. Lots of dreaming and studying ensued. The real benefit from all of that effort was becoming much more energy efficient humans as we practiced for the eventual living in an off grid home. We ridded our house of phantom power consumption, got our electricity bill down to a reasonable monthly dollar amount, and became aware of the incredible opportunity we all have with the renewable energy sources available to us.
Just when we thought we were getting close to finalizing our want list for our new "retirement home" by the lake Passive House hits us square in the face. Never heard of it before. More studying ensued. Result of all the studying...must build Passive House! With the efficiency that is inherent in a passive house it only seemed logical to build this kind of house for our off grid odyssey. Full speed ahead with plans, architect on board, passive house planners on board, contractor on board.
But something still doesn't seem right. I have many sleepless nights wondering how I will coax Ras into complying with the "minimize then energize" mindset necessary to live in an off grid house. She did say, after all the study and discussion of energy efficiency and solar and off grid stuff, "maybe we can have a wine fridge in the new house!" I chalk that up to her overwhelming exuberance and a momentary lapse into rose-coloured glasses land. My reply: "21 years we've survived without a wine fridge and you want to put one in the off grid house?" Off came her rose-coloured glasses. I still chuckle about that to this day.
|This many solar panels the budget does not afford!|
What to do? What to do? What about net metering?
Net metering seems to satisfy all our needs - power the house from the grid, produce enough electricity with our solar array to send back to the grid and therefore offset our electricity usage/bill while still having a battery back-up for those days when the grid goes down. We still have incentive to keep our consumption low to keep the size of the solar array as small as possible (hence no football field...) and we are still self sufficient in the event of a power outage. I've never been a fan of the micro-fit idea purely from the standpoint that if the power goes out you're still sitting in the dark, even with all those solar panels up on the roof. The monthly check is a nice idea but sitting in the dark...not so nice. Net metering is looking real good to us...even without the rose coloured glasses.
So this is where I am stuck at the moment. I started this blog when the plan was in its infancy and came up with the goofy name of Ohm Free: Our Off Grid Odyssey. The name reflected our goals at that time to be more energy efficient and self sufficient. Many revisions later finds us on a slightly different path and now the blog name needs a revision as well. We are still striving to be as energy efficient as possible, as well as self sufficient. We're just going to come at it from a different perspective...one that suits our lifestyle a little better. The ohms might still be free but only after we've received our credit from the hydro utility for the energy we produce. The "off grid" got revised right out of the plan. The odyssey? Oh...it still remains!
With this game change I now need a blog name change. I got as far as sketching out a little scene for the header but I'm stuck for a new name at the moment. I'm still working on it but no luck yet. I seriously need your help. This is all I've got and, quite honestly, they're pitiful!
Passive House Casa Tortuga...blah
Turtle Falls Tales...nah
Ras & Mimi's Big Building Adventure...not
Net Metering Nerds...hmmm
Musings of an Energy Nerd...taken
Passive House For (By) Dummies...possible...
Got any suggestions? Sure could use the help! Please jot your thoughts down in the comment box. Hopefully, by the next post I will have a new name and a completed header...with your assistance.
Ciao for now!