By the author of The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living and the online course Build a Better Pantry on a Budget
Imagine going to the mailbox to face the usual onslaught of bills and finding something different…something that could totally destroy life as you know it. Many Europeans are finding just that – utility bills for 1-2 months of power that work out to around $10,000 because of their energy crisis. Yep, you read that right. I didn’t add an extra zero.
How would you possibly pay that kind of a bill?
Is this how the Big Blackout begins?
Go on a flight of fancy with me.
I’ve posited for years that we won’t need an EMP or solar flare to wipe out our power grid. One day we could very easily run into a situation in which electricity and central heat are only for rich people. Maybe the “fictional” Hunger Games trilogy isn’t that far off from the reality we’re facing.
Think about it. What a way to control the populace! There’d be no need to enforce draconian “green” policies if the price of power was approximately what a minimum wage worker earns in a year.
But it wouldn’t stop there. Folks who have voluntarily gone off the grid in the city have run into issues with overly zealous officials condemning their homes or evicting people because there’s no running water or no electricity. It’s happened in Florida and Alabama, and those are just the stories that made the headlines.
What does it mean to have your house condemned?
A house is condemned when the government deems it to be unfit to live in. No one is allowed to live in or use the property because it is a safety hazard. If there are occupants living in the house at the time it is condemned, they will need to move and cannot return unless necessary renovations are made to the house to address the reasons it was condemned.
If homeowners make all the necessary repairs, the house can usually be removed from condemned status. (source)
So not only would you have no power, you might not even be allowed to live in the home that you’ve worked so hard to purchase or rent over the years. Is there really a better way to snap up residential property than to deem it unlivable and seize it from struggling homeowners?
Now, this is not happening right now, but I hope you can foresee the slippery slope that could be in front of us.
The energy crisis in Europe
The UK has announced a whopping 80% increase in gas and electric bills right before winter. German electricity leaped to $1000 per megawatt hour. The Dutch prime minister has warned Europeans that this could continue for several years.
Businesses in the UK and Ireland are quickly going belly up as owners are getting hit with utility bills in the multiple thousands.
Many of these issues go back to strife with Russia, which provides nearly all of the natural gas for Europe.
I guess we showed Vladimir Putin we didn’t need his stinkin’ gas, right?
(What do you eat when the power goes out? Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to find out.)
The energy crisis in the United States
While we aren’t reaching the obscene levels of sticker shock that Europeans are currently facing (yet), Americans are facing our own energy crisis. The Wall Street Journal calls it the worst energy catastrophe in five decades. But there are major differences between the crisis now and the one in the 1970s.
What makes this crisis different than the troubles that roiled the country in the 1970s is how it started and the fixes required to make it end.
This current challenge began with a decade of affordable power that upended the US energy world. The rise of fracking, which extracts oil and gas from shale rock, unlocked cheap domestic supplies while cleaner energy provided by wind and solar farms became far less expensive. Gasoline and oil prices fell while gas-fired power and renewable power pushed aside costlier—and politically less popular—coal and nuclear plants.
It was an era of cheap, plentiful energy. It came undone thanks to a haphazard transition to renewable energy, reduced investment in oil and gas production, political inaction, and unexpected economic forces triggered by the pandemic and lockdowns. Russia’s Feb. 24 attack on Ukraine applied even more pressure to global supplies.
The green agenda may seem warm and friendly, but it could be the end of the United States as we know it. We could be looking at even more rolling blackouts and unaffordable bills. All of this will drive up other prices as businesses struggle to stay afloat.
It’s a vicious cycle, and the victims are ordinary people. The ultrawealthy wouldn’t bat an eyelash at ten thousand dollar electric bills, but the rest of us would be crushed under them. The whole thing certainly seems deliberate. The WSJ continues:
The energy was a political issue for the president from his first week in office when he blocked completion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and froze new oil and gas leases on federal land. He backtracked some as gasoline prices rose, resuming the sale of leases to drill on federal lands, albeit at higher royalty prices and with fewer acres offered, and asking oil-and-gas companies to produce more.
While Mr. Biden has asked for more short-term production, he still opposes long-term fossil fuel investments that will make it difficult for the US to meet carbon-reduction targets. His support for policies designed to reallocate investment from oil and gas to green power amounts to a market signal that fossil fuels are a sunset industry, say executives, making it difficult for them to invest.
Expect a “tsunami of shutoffs” in America.
We’ve been warned to expect a “tsunami of shutoffs” here as it comes to light that 1 in 6 households are critically late on their power bills. That’s more than 20 million homes in the US.
As I wrote recently, once you get behind, catching up is incredibly difficult, with late fees, reconnection fees, and overdraft fees. It’s an entirely new aspect of the already existing energy crisis.
Back in 2019, many American families were already living in third-world conditions. But as prices dramatically rise, that number will only go up, creeping into the middle class. The slow-burning collapse is reaching an undeniable level, and the energy crisis will only exacerbate the inflation crisis, the housing plight, and hunger.
Energy is control just as much as food is.
Those smart meters all the “conspiracy theorists” warned everyone about are being used in Colorado to lock air conditioning thermostats at 78 degrees to manage the “energy emergency”, whether the owners like it or not. California, which is strongly encouraging non-electric cars, is now asking people not to charge those same electric cars due to the heat wave there.
We are reaching a point where we aren’t even supposed to determine where we set our thermostats. And this is probably just the beginning.
What can we do on a personal level during an energy crisis?
I like to write about solutions. But if I had an electric bill that was ten grand, I would not be able to pay it. I don’t know what the solution is for that. The advice I have seems meager in the face of such a disaster, but here it is.
Be frugal with your power. Do everything you can to use less power. Keep your climate settings moderate, and put on a sweater this winter. Use lights only in the room you’re in. Hang stuff to dry. You know the drill. Get more utility management tips here.
Be prepared to live without power. I’ve always had a more low-tech power plan, and I’m really glad of that now. Running a generator would be insanely expensive with the price of fuel unless that generator was entirely solar. Start now figuring out how you’d live without a refrigerator, how to preserve your food in ways that don’t require refrigeration, and how to maintain a livable temperature in your home year-round.
Focus your preps on a dark, cold future. Think about how you’ll light your home, stay warm, and prepare food. Stock up on supplies according to this.
The SHTF isn’t a big one-time event we can all point to and say, “This is when it happened.” It’s happening now, all around us, isolating us and making us feel as though we did something irresponsible or wrong. But that is not the case. This has been done to us.
What we have to do now is respond and be ready for things to get worse – much worse – before they get better.
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How are you preparing for the energy crisis?
What would you do if you discovered a utility bill of $10,000 in your mailbox? How would you manage without electricity or heat in your home? Do you think we’re facing a future with limited power? Let’s discuss this in the comments.
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites. 1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2) The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.
Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.
This is why it’s important to live where you can be food, water and energy sufficient. I plant to use mini hydro electric generators, and micro wind generators, plant a food forest in wood chips.
What is your favorite micro wind generator? Does it play well with solar? I haven’t got access to running water for hydro, but have a pretty steady breeze that should turn a small turbine or two.
https://www.dhresource.com/0x0s/f2-albu-g8-M00-95-D9-rBVaVFytXYuADz_fAE7_6-r-XC0495.jpg/600w-24v-spiral-wind-turbine-generator-red.jpg. I tend to favor this type, because the blades are reinforced at two places. I read one review that said the blades bent back so much in a stiff breeze that they hit the support pole .https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=0j701M5B&id=442A471008457980B30D2CC0A9B5937B79622A29&thid=OIP.0j701M5BbXVOhkKLnmaLgQHaHa&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fae01.alicdn.com%2fkf%2fHTB1rmLfa21H3KVjSZFHq6zKppXaW%2fHousehold-White-Wind-Generator-Small-Mini-Micro-Wind-Turbine-12V-24v-Axle-Vertical-Wind-Blades-Savonius.jpg&cdnurl=https%3a%2f%2fth.bing.com%2fth%2fid%2fR.d23ef4d4ce416d754e86428b9e668b81%3frik%3dKSpieXuTtanALA%26pid%3dImgRaw%26r%3d0&exph=800&expw=800&q=the+best+micro+wind+generators&simid=608024312808433602&FORM=IRPRST&ck=432E2A42E7F5479CAD228B9B101F9FEB&selectedIndex=3 Also, you can buy 8 small generators for $1,000, that will produce 2,000W, instead of a $2,000 generator that will produce 2,000W. This seems to be the most heavy duty, but, $2,000 for 2,000W. https://www.amazon.com/Nature-Power-70701-Turbine-2-Marine/dp/B00F4YANYU/?tag=ecavogb-20
The thing about 8 smaller generators, is that it’s doubtful they would all go down at once.
You can search ‘Best micro wind generators’, and there are several articles.
I had wood chips, but we had five inches of rain in a few hours. It washed my garden down the draw. I am looking at changing how I raise food.
So, for those who may know, how many solar panels, and batteries would one need to efficiently run a fridge, pump, and gas furnace?
You need to look at your energy bill historically and figure out what you use. There is no average number for that, they are all using different amounts of electricity.
The German price for electricity went to $1000 per MEGAwatt hour, not a KW hour.
My husbands ex is in a three story house. She is only heating one room. His son’s family is doing the same. His girl lives in a condo. The committee is putting locks on the thermostats. Germany’s Food prices is making it harder for them.
Whoops – thank you for catching that! It’s updated.
That’s correct. And this price is at the stock-exchange and not for single housholds. As a houshould you have got a contract that states how much a kw/h of electricity is. Currently that ranges from around 0.38 cent up to around 1 Euro for new customers (depending on the electricity company). But here in Germany from my electicity provider we got twice a new contract for electricity – an the amount has increased by around 100 %. But in the near future – because of the exorbitant electricity price at the stock exhange – it might increase further.
I’m trying to conserve what little power I use. I’ve bought a big sine wave battery and some solar panels to run what I need to run. Not even considering a refrigerator or air conditioner. Those aren’t that important to me. A fan will do, more clothes when it’s cold will do. I’m an old snow camper, I love the cold anyhow, plus I’m from phoenix,I can stand a bit of heat as well, I know the drill. I’ve lived in Panama and Puerto Rico, know about humidity. I don’t need a heckuva lot of power. If at all. If I got a huge bill for electric, I’d use it to start a fire. Since there is supposed global warming I’m going solar power, it’s free, batteries for storage in the lean solar days. And yes… power, like water will be worth more than platinum in the future, which is real soon. But what I’m doing works for me. That’s what counts.
Kevin, One thing that I did was I converted a 110 volt light, table top or floor lamp into a 12 volt DC light, I just cut the 110 volt plug off of the light and added a 12 volt cigarette plug on the end, I then bought a three pack of 12 volt DC LED lights off of ebay. the lights put out 60 watts of light but only use 5 or 6 watts of power, I then plug it into my solar generator, if a person does not have a solar generator they can just add battery alligator clips onto the plug and just us a battery, The light will run for about 100 hours on a standard deep cycle battery at 50 % of battery charge, it will run much longer with a solar generator or a lithium batter.
I have been watching the energy crisis unfolding across the UK, the EU, and other places.
A few weeks ago, it was noted that the EU is buying up so much of the LNG on the global markets, third world countries are experiencing blackouts.
Read an article the other day, saying the US will not be immune to the energy crisis over seas.
I think the situation in CA with asking people not to charge their EVs during a spike in energy demand in the form of AC is an apt analogy for exactly how green energy production is lacking to meet demand. Of course, as more people buy EVs, the idea that was touted earlier plugging in to charge their EVs during “off peak” hours, add a few million more EVs and they just created “peak” hours 24/7. Note: CA is the biggest importer of energy in the US.
Didn’t CA recently pass a law mandating smart thermostats?
True. I thought that myself. Also, have you seen how much they are charging for an hour of a charge? It adds up to over $100 for 8 hours (which is a full charge.) My gas guzzling truck doesn’t need that much in gas unless its over $5/gal.
I read an article on EV charging. IIRC, there are the simple, slow chargers. They cost the lest up front, and per kWh, but as you noted, take 8 to 10 hours to charge.
The faster chargers of course cost more up front and more per kWh.
Regardless, have a more than a few million people all plugging their EVs in to charge in the evening with solar off line (ya know, that night thing) what is that going to look like?
Some say battery storage facilities.
Okay, how much do those cost? How many are needed to meet demand be it regular load or when the temps go into the triple digits? Will people be okay with something like that near by, or go all NIMBY?
They can kiss my grits. I’ll let the SOBs turn my power off and they can go pound sand. It is time for a revolution against tyranny here and around the world.
I agree but I think Daisy is trying to make us think logically here. Depending on where you live you might need some other form of heat or power in general. I know I do.
Im a retired nurse living on a tiny retirement fixed income. I spent 3 grand of my life savings on a 3500 watt pure sine wave inverter, 4 lithium batteries, and 6 solar panels. Yes thats some significant cash for me and a lot of people but when my power is out that solar unit runs 1 fridge 1 freezer and another small fridge. It also powers a large room portable ac unit while running anything else I need to use temporarily. The solar panels work great even on a cloudy day and I even live in a Appalachian holler. I need more batteries to last all night which ill be buying soon. Solar technology is better all the time. Im very happy with this preparedness investment
Yikes. Yes my neighbor and I, who pool resources sometimes, were looking into solar generators with battery packs for our freezers. Tesla told my neighbor he could make a down payment, but they had no guarantees on what the final cost would be, or when the generator would be delivered. My neighbor decided to pass on that. . . We’ve got some small gas/propane generators for now.
For me, I’m slowly working through canning/dehydrating what I’ve got in the freezers. Fortunately our winters our usually cool enough that, assuming the S doesn’t HTF this week, I should have some time.
Already bought a year’s supply of propane, and nice wool sweaters and long undies for myself and the kiddos so we should be able to move through it slowly. Propane was more expensive than in years past but not as bad as natural gas is going to get. This winter will be interesting.
Interesting. I live in England,and yes,fuel is going up. A lot. At the moment,looking at the exchange rate, the average UK gas/ electricity annual bill will be around about $7,000 US. 1 in 4 homes have already said they will not turn heating on. That will lead to some tragedies for sure. Most folks rely on gas heating
Personally, we will be ok this Winter. Our primary heating is wood/ coal ,and we have enough wood for two Winters and coal for this Winter.We have LED lighting,which economises bills.As back up,we have battery powered LED lights,which are very good. We have back up for cooking,refrigerator etc also. But of course,we are country people,and Preppers too.
There will be a lot of pain here. Businesses will shut their doors,and there will be unemployment,which of course means less money about. Basically,as this goes on,we will experience economic collapse.
Most people might need more effective food storage if they cannot use their fridge, but I need heat. I live in MN where winters are long and cold. Not in the cities either. We have been thinking and researching best ways to heat the house. We need to get a wood stove. But, the prices rose so much on them that they are almost out of reach as well. We want to get an older one and we will have to cut a hole in the house to do it. We are installing one in the detached garage (our woodshop) and if we had to we could move out there for winter. Its smaller and easier to heat. Or we might move that one into the house. (Dont want to pipes to freeze.)
All of this does require some logical thought and a fair bit of money. We are switching our oven and stove to propane from electric so that would still be useable without electricity.
And winter ???? IS coming.
What do you need to be focusing on right now?
Things we have done over the years,
Up grade windows and doors to more efficient ones.
Spray foam insulation.
Up graded wood furnace and wood stove.
Switched to propane stove.
Things we are considering,
A second propane tank. Two would give us a full years worth of usage.
A ground based solar array. In the past I was not keen on solar, but watching everything that is going on, might be good investment.
Wind might be an option too.
Note, look into tax incentives for any kind of home improvement, more energy efficient windows, doors, etc. at the local, state and federal level.
Marine, .always appreciate your comments on everything im thinking of adding a small wind turbine to my solar unit as well
Thank you for the compliment and your comments.
I wish we had an older kitchen range. We bought ours about 5 years ago. It’s propane, which will still work if the electricity goes off, but the oven has electronic ignition and I wish it didn’t. Never mind that I really don’t like the way Whirlpool made the burners. There’s not a regular burner on it. It has power burners, which cannot be turned down to low, and even the simmer burners won’t turn as low as my old stove.
How bad is the power grid in the south east US for those of us with nuclear power? Because a power bill like that and we are without power. Our area says no power is ok but no running water means uninhabitable. Our last water bill was double our average.
Wife & I knew this day was coming. We built a Monolithic Dome in 2018 and paired it with off-grid solar. We don’t know when utility power goes out.
You Lucky Ducky! I love those Monolithic Dome homes! Energy efficient, safe, and spacious; they are so terrific.
I’m trying to have different options for when the power and water stops flowing. I bought a couple of small (2200 watt) gas powered generators (Yamaha and Honda are two of the most well known brands) that I can move around on my own as a single female. Have done a trial run and one of them will run my fridge and chest freezer. Also bought a couple of those Jackery portable power stations to use. Jackery power stations are available in various sizes and can be charged with the generator or via solar panels which I also purchased.
Water is a little more difficult for me. I do not have a stream or body of water on my property so I have stored as much water as I can. I also have 2 of the Berkey water filter systems along with replacement filters. Have been collecting rain water to use for the garden and will most likely be filtering this water once my stored supply runs dry.
Cutting down on electrical usage is a good idea but will only go so far. I remember reading about a woman in Commiefornia stating that she had tried to cut down on her electrical usage to save money. She lived alone and worked 12 hour days so no one was home most of the day using power. When she was home she used the bare minimum. Her electric bills were still sky high because the power company implemented a “minimum usage” rate that was very high so no matter how little she used, she still had a very high electric bill.
A similar thing recently happened to me with my water bill. A few months ago the water company sent out a notice that our water bills would be increasing by 6% starting in June 2022. When I got my June bill it was not a 6% increase but it was a 30% increase. The water company raised the “minimum usage” limit up another 20,000 gallons. Since I live alone, I almost never reached the “old minimum usage” rate except once or twice in the summer when I’m watering the garden/washing the car. So now my “new minimum usage” rate has increased so much that I will never use that much water a month but I still get the bill for it. In essence, I am paying for something that I’m not using. And the fleecing of the middle class continues…….
So when will you be suing the water company for unlawfully charging you for services not rendered?
Plenty of leases to drill except the oil companies don’t want to spend any of their mega profits on paying for it themselves. And really, time to cut our use of oil. Infrastructure has been so neglected over the decades – the rich and corps need their tax cuts ya know.
Not a lot of options for alternatives in some areas (Europe for example) or large cities. Despite people buying wood stoves in the Y2K panic, where is the supply of fuel?
No simple answer to a complex problem. But some are more spoiled than others and don’t think they need to consume less. After all, we need grass/greens in the desert .
Heck, Texasistan can’t keep their “we can be our own county” (not) grid up.
As Daisy mentioned, this admin has made it clear they intend to put the fossil fuel industry out of business. As one energy CEO pointed out, asking them to increase production only to shut them down a few years later makes no business sense. Or common sense.
According to a recent American Affairs article, The Rise and Fall of the American Electrical Grid (Fall 2022, Volume VI, Number 3), “A report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation declared that the central and upper Midwest, Texas, and California were staring down the barrel of blackouts.”
So, it is not just Texas.
New York’s grid is not any better.
The article also notes that due to tax incentives and credits artificially lowers green energy production lower than traditional power plants. As a result those traditional power plants are getting shut down.
Sounds great, right?
Except current green energy cannot come close to the out put of traditional power plants. And do it reliably or on demand to meet demand. See the recent CA energy demand on their grid as temps rose into the triple digits, and energy officials asked people not to charge their EVs. As I noted in a previous post, CA is the biggest importer of energy in the US.
One thing people do not talk about is the reduction of their carbon foot print. The average home size in the US is 2,400sqft. If someone crunched the math and determined a high efficient home, with solar panels, limited yard, and only say, 1,200sqft was “carbon neutral.” Can you hear all the cries now?
Can you imagine Ophra, Harry and Meghan, the Kardashians, Leo (who drives a Prius, but then flies on his private jet half way around the world to hang out with friends on a mega-yacht), Babbs, Jay Lo (as I understand it she has several homes as tax shelters and has not seen a few of them), the Obamas, Gates, Bezos, et al. giving up their Mega-McMansions?
Neither can I.
But they would insist that we did. And we would own nothing and be happy about while eating bugs, sitting in the dark as the grid was down . . . again.
Thanks for your permission for Texans to remain independent thinkers.
My comment above was not to 1st Marine; it was to Selena.
California avoids blackouts despite heat wave. Tuesday still looks rough as heat intensifies
Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/article265350931.html#storylink=cpy
Federal Oil Leases Slow to a Trickle Under Biden
“The Biden administration has leased fewer acres for oil-and-gas drilling offshore and on federal land than any other administration in its early stages dating back to the end of World War II, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.”
I can’t even imagine a bill that high. From the picture above, that bill included a VAT, which doesn’t appliy in the US *so far*.
The interesting thing about our situation is our electric bills are always higher in the summer. That is because we run two AC units when it’s really hot. Just one unit for the normal temps around here. (With one unit, bills are around $60.00. With two units this past month it was ~$150.00.
In the winter our heat doesn’t require any electricity. (Propane floor furnace) We lucked out and filled the tank last spring before the prices spiked, so we’re good for this winter.
Our biggest users year-round are the electric stove and dryer.
I am curious to see what happens since they installed our “Opt Out, non-Smart Meter” in August.
for anyone interested. Direct to AC multi-directional barrel turbine prototypes exist. halcium.com just achieved and investment round to refine the design I am eager to get my hands on.
Had an interesting convo with someone (who happens to currently drive a big gasoline 4×4 truck) who wants to own an electric car LOL!
These ppl don’t get that they have to pay an electrician to run a separate line from the house to be able to charge said car. You can’t just plug it in to an existing outlet.
So add that to the ‘cost’. Might not be a bad time to be an IBEW member!
One thing that I did was I converted a 110 volt light, table top or floor lamp into a 12 volt DC light, I just cut the 110 volt plug off of the light and added a 12 volt cigarette plug on the end, I then bought a three pack of 12 volt DC LED lights off of ebay. the lights put out 60 watts of light but only use 5 or 6 watts of power, I then plug it into my solar generator, if a person does not have a solar generator they can just add battery alligator clips onto the plug and just us a battery, The light will run for about 100 hours on a standard deep cycle battery at 50 % of battery charge, it will run much longer with a solar generator or a lithium batter.
Handy tips from New Zealand: change shower heads, turn off old fridges and use LED lightbulbs https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/pilot-king-country-initiative-helps-communities-cut-their-power-costs
Earlier this summer I brainstormed what I called cheapo off grid solutions in case electric prices got too high or unemployment hit again.
We can’t afford official off grid equipment so I knew I needed a plan for the what ifs.
We have wood heat that doesn’t require electricity. So heat is covered. To cut electric costs certain breakers would be turned off. The well pump, washing machine and refrigerator would stay on. Everything else would be turned off. My cook stove top works without power but I do need electricity for the oven. We have used candles, battery lamps and oil lamps before during extended power outages.
This is a thought-provoking article. And the comments took a turn (regarding refrigeration, lighting, and generators) that I wasn’t expecting. Please check out “The Non-Electric Lighting Series” of books on Amazon (that I wrote about 8 years ago). It’s material that I believe is worth knowing. It’s at least worth knowing that it exists and where to find it. https://www.amazon.com/Ron-Brown/e/B08LB1R7L8?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000
I wrote the series with blackouts and power outages in mind (caused, presumably, by weather conditions courtesy of Mother Nature or by human warfare). I must confess that $10,000 electric bills never entered my mind. Merciful heavens!
Hi. I’ve stocked up on propane, butane, kerosene, gasoline, candles, charcoal lighter fluid (it’s supposed to work good in my coal oil lamps), 2 gas generators, a few solar panels/ inverters and a few years of fire wood.
I’ve just purchased some UST LED tent bulbs (Menards $1.15 each after rebate). My ability to cook food off grid is only surpassed by my pantry :).
I might not need all my preps but I’ve bought them over the years one by one as I could afford them and when I could buy them cheap and could see a future need. With the warning of power outages too come I feel it behooves us to prepare in advance.
Heck I even bought some DDT at a yard sale a few weeks back just in case. Not planning to need or use it but it was cheap and kills bugs and in a grid down situation could be useful.
That is something I have wondered about.
I have a good friend who works for a county in Florida, monitoring and spraying for mosquitos.
Grid down event, would we see a increase in mosquito borne diseases?
Well since I couldn’t be sure that’s why I bought it but I think we will at least have a lot more insects if no effort is made to kill them off. One can is designed for use indoors in kitchen cabinets the other can is in powdered form and includes Dithane for your garden. It was dirt cheap all things considered and if the weed killer I bought a decade ago still works this stuff probably will too.
The big problem here in Germany is gas. The gas supply from russia via Nordstream 1 has stopped now completely (around 1.9.) and other sources of gas will not deliver enough (like LNG tankers – because there are not enough tanker capacity to transport the amount of gas needed – this has been calculated). Some of the gas is used to generate electricity. Gasprices have been increased sevenfold and more. A household that hat a bill of around 200 Euro for gas is now charged around 1400 + Euros PER MONTH!!!! This is not payable for the majority of people. A lot of people have bought electrical heaters, to heat the house in winter and to avoid using gas. So there will be a much higer demand of electricity.
Getting wood stoves – no chance any more. They are sold out! If you order now, you will get it delivered in some month (I heard from people the waiting time is between 6-8 month for a oven. And than it needs to be installed and you have to get an appointment from chimney sweeper for inspection and approval. So no wood heating this winter. And the increased demand for firewood – the same prices have increased – if you can get any firewood at all.
It is beeing feard that due to the increasing use of electricity for heating that during winter there might be a blackout because there is a gap between electricity demand and produced electricity sometime during the winter times (officially proven and calculated energy statistik).
In additon a lot of small companys will probably not be able to pay the increased electricity and/or gas bill (business and industrie have different kw/h rates than private households.
A lot of people are unaware of the seriousness of the situation. They still think “it is going to be ok”. The government will find a solution. 🙁
To name it with one word “SHTF” situation in winter if there will not be found a solution.
What a thought provoking article! I wish that I could build a root celler; I would only need a freezer. Kommiefornia is already suffering with this God-Awfull heat. (112/113 anyone??) Don’t use AC is a death sentence. So, I purchased foam backed drapes that keep the sun out in summer and the heat in for the winter. I would love new energy efficient windows, but at $10,000 to do my very small home (1034 sft) that is out. So I plan on also putting up the plastic this winter-Daisy wrote about it. I took the garbage disposer out. Kommiefornia is all in on the green: so we are supposed to put all food garbage in the cans and the authorities will “sort it”. But I did it to have 2 useable sinks: I can use a food strainer in the sinks and I no longer worry about stop ups. I do have light sticks, battery powered lamps, and a sun oven. Daisy has written about those too. My cookstove is gas but electric ignition-so I purchased 2 ceramic match holders and the old wooden strikers my grandma always used. I purchased some new nonstick cookware that I love, but I still have my cast iron ready to go. I need more barbecue bricketts but the Weber is ready. Think of how your great/grandparents would handle the deficiencies on the horizon and adapt. It’s all we can do.
Government and power company overreach is a looming problem. What Denver did to their customers with smart meters doesn’t surprise me. I think it’s wicked, but not surprising. Utilities rationing and grid down is what concerns me more.
I’m always going around turning off lights, especially in the daytime, partly to save electricity but mostly to save my incandescent bulbs. I hate LED bulbs with a passion and would rather sit in the dark than use them. We’d just have to get used to getting up at dawn and going to bed shortly after sundown. I need to get some new hurricane shades for our oil lamps, so there would be that.
Solar doesn’t really interest me. The investment is way beyond our means. Probably the only solar charger we’ll get is for our phones and maybe some usb fans. Texas gets really hot in the summer and I’m more concerned with summer than winter.
Our hand crank radio needs to be replaced. My husband plays the piano beautifully, so we’ll always have music. We also have lots of board games and many, many books, so even though I spend a lot of time now on the internet, and I do think there would be some withdrawal issues, we can adapt our entertainment.
We kept our land line, but I don’t know if the phone company would be operational in a grid down.
Years ago when we moved our trailer out to the country, we sealed off our furnace vents and installed a wood stove. I’m so glad we did. We’ll put plastic over the windows, but not until January because we rarely get very cold weather here in this part of Texas until February, and I open the shades for passive solar heat before then. Our kitchen stove is propane but sadly, has electronic ignition, which is okay for the burners (as
Sandra said, we can light them with a match), but the oven probably won’t work. I’ve cooked soup on top of our wood stove before and we could also build an outdoor fire.
For a long time grid down, I’d consider building an outdoor clay oven. The Townsends youtube channel has a couple of videos where they made them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0foHjPVbP4 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJKxQ9YC7N4
Today we bought a cast iron Dutch oven with a flat lid (to hold coals) that hopefully will allow us to bake bread. Cowboy Kent Rollins has some good videos about cooking with cast iron over an open fire. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViELDkMiQKU