Yesterday was our first real experience of being off the grid. During a sweet Valentine’s Evening celebration the lights in the restaurant blinked on and off several times. It was only a momentary thing so we didn’t think anything of it. When we got home, we checked our emergency back up monitor, to see if we had also had a momentary power loss like the restaurant; and low and behold our monitor indicated that there had been a short interruption of our service. We settled in for the night with plans to catch up on the news. As we sat on our couch to our complete surprise, we heard our generator start up.
What was actually going on, unbeknown to us, was our home was one of 2,400 in our community that had lost power and still had no power as far as the power grid was concerned. Before the generator turned on, we were watching TV and running our lights, microwaving our tea, checking our email, etc. all on the power being provided by our emergency battery back up system that is coupled with our generator.
Now that was amazing to be sitting there completely oblivious to the fact that we weren’t on the grid.
Once we figured out what was going on, we went outside to see that all of our neighbors were in the dark. Now, an hour or two in the dark is one thing; but this situation lasted about 20 hours. And all during that time, our home, our freezer full of food, our Aquaponics greenhouse, our fish, our pumps and everything just kept humming away as if everything was normal.
We spent a lot of money putting that system in; but yesterday and today (in those 20 hours) it paid for itself in self-satisfaction, comfort, saved food and live fish swimming around in their Aquaponics tanks. Our next post will be written by Oliver who will explain the details of this back up system, how it works (and what he learned by this black out).