Oklahoma Senate passes solar panel surcharge


I think this falls under the “What are they thinking????” category. I am amazed, they SAY it’s not against the solar or wind power users, yet the power companies are wanting to charge an extra fee on those who generate enough power to sell it back to the power companies…

Right now, it’s apparently awaiting the governor’s signature, I would hope that the governor is smart enough NOT to sign this into law.

Oklahoma City, OK, April 22, 2014- Some Oklahoma residents who install solar panels or wind turbines on their property in the future are likely to get hit with a surcharge on their utility bill. Senate Bill 1456 passed 83-5 on Monday, and awaits a signature from Governor Mary Fallon. (more…)

Why we oppose Wind Farms
by NICK ROSEN on APRIL 21, 2014 - 2 Comments in ENERGY

onshore wqind farms, offshore wind farms add to corporate profits

Wind farms owners are rarely eco-friendly

For some politicians it is a badge of honor to come out in favor of wind farms. It allows them to suck up to green voters, while at the same time keeping in with big energy producers.

At off-grid.net we like wind turbines and solar panels, but we oppose large arrays of them. We believe in distributed power – consumed at the place of production.

Big wind farms attract big government subsidies, paid for out of taxes. Spending large amounts of public money adds to politicians sense of self-importance but in the case of solar or wind farms this money goes straight into the coffers of large companies, (more…)

Its not selfish to live off-grid
by NICK ROSEN on APRIL 21, 2014 - 1 Comment in COMMUNITY

The Arizona Daily Wildcat carries an article this morning questioning the whole idea of living off-grid. The author says it is selfish and ineffectual, that it would be far better to stay inside mainstream society and try to change it.

Leaving aside the question of whether the current celebrity obsessed, materialistic society is worth trying to change, its easy to understand why many prefer to BE the change, rather than merely argue for it.

Here are three reasons why its NOT selfish to live off-grid: (more…)

New golf cart batteries


Today was the first full day on the new batteries, we had everything hooked up to them, including the new chest freezer to refrigerator conversion, about a month (or so) ago our old one smoked on us, fortunately it happened during the day and I was there to catch it, it might not have gone any further, but as far as I’m concerned, when you see smoke, fire usually comes next. I’ll do another writeup on the new fridge very soon, until then you can read about how I DIY’d the conversion here and here.

Our previous batteries were marine type deep cycle batteries, I’ve been told on more than one occasion that those types of batteries aren’t true deep cycle batteries, in fact the newer ones being sold have cold cranking ratings on them instead of amp hours, and that has little (or nothing) to do with being deep cycle, that has to do with starting motors and such. Those are a hybrid of regular and deep cycle batteries, more robust than a standard car or truck battery but not as heavy duty as a true deep cycle battery. (more…)

Direct Energy sister company gouges consumers
by VEG-HEAD on APRIL 19, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

The owners of Direct Energy – one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related services providers with more than 5 million residential and commercial customers, has been accused of paying staff bonuses to inflate customers’ bills by up to 60 per cent.

British company Centrica is already known for playing hardball. Its boss Sam Laidlaw has long been one of the highest paid energy bosses in the UK, and unashamedly gouges the British consumer.

When the British Government regulator announced an enquiry into the running of the energy market last month, Laidlaw responded by threatening to cut investment in the UK.

Now a whistleblower has claimed that his British Gas subsidiary is paying staff bonuses to inflate customers’ bills by up to 60 per cent. (more…)

Simplify and be happy

For years, Katie and Doug Sanders were stuck in their version of the suburban slog. He worked long hours as a systems operator for a software company; she home-schooled their children during the day and ran two dance studios at night. They lived in a three-bedroom home they’d bought in a suburb of Colorado Springs. (more…)

Charge your phone with this foldaway windmill
by TECHSTAR on APRIL 14, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY, MOBILE

Forget plugs – you can now charge your mobile with a portable WIND TURBINE:the Trinity propeller harnesses breezes to power up a phone and other USB devices.
Created by American electricians Einar Agustsson and Agust Agustsson, the power station folds into a 12-inch cylinder when not in use. (more…)

Off grid hiccups


A while back my current deep cycle batteries began to get weak, they would charge up quickly and not hold much of a charge, unfortunately the batteries are the part of the off grid system that need to be replaced on a semi-regular basis. I am hard on my batteries, that has never been a secret. This next week I plan on buying four 6-volt deep cycle golf cart batteries. In the past I have used marine type deep cycle batteries, they are more heavy duty than regular automotive batteries, but aren’t near as hearty as golf cart batteries.

As my current batteries began getting weaker and weaker, it began creating problems with my inverter, causing it to go into fault mode for a few seconds, meaning it would cut off the power during that time, it only did it during the day when the batteries were charging or fully charged, never at night, it took me a while to figure out where the problem was. (more…)

Building an off-grid village
by NICK ROSEN on APRIL 11, 2014 - 3 Comments in COMMUNITY


I had an article on the Guardian web site today about a plan to build an off-grid village. It’s a very difficult thing to do in the UK because the powers-that-be are dead against it. But we have found a possible site in South Wales and we are looking for finance, and for pro bono help from lawyers, architects and housebuilders. (Contact nick@off-grid.net)
IF we do not succeed in raising finance for this project I will be trying to build an off-grid township in the USA where far more people live off grid already and there are fewer obstacles. (more…)

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