March 25, 2023

I just got my second “your power is out” email of the year from the power company, Appalachian Power (the second this month, actually).

West Virginia apparently has frequent power outages (an average of close to 3 times a year based on pre-pandemic records), which comes as a surprise to me. I currently live in VA, and I’ve only lost power once in the past several years. (This was during the huge snowstorm in early 2022, when a lot of the east coast lost power.)

Clearly I am either going to have to invest in a backup power supply or get used to not being able to work.

The most common backup power solution is either a natural gas or kerosene generator. I am leaning towards the former because if I hook it up to the gas line then I don’t have to worry about refilling the supply tank or making sure the fuel is still usable. (My grandfather had one.)

Unfortunately, my house no longer has a gas meter. It was taken out 30 or more years ago when the central air unit was installed (I am guessing based on the rust). So if I do put in this generator then Ill first need to have the gas company (Mountaineer Gas) come out, confirm their pipe is in good condition, and re-install the gas meter.

We’re looking at a $10k expense here, ball park.

I think I am going to have to get used to the dark for the time being.

EDIT: A reader suggested that I consider solar. I forgot to mention that I had looked at that option and decided that it wouldn’t be a good solution to my situation.

My biggest issue is going to be losing my heat at night in the dead of winter. Solar won’t help at night, and it won’t be terribly productive during the winter because of inclement weather, and so on. So I would need a battery backup, and those cost something like $25k to $35k.

While solar would be nifty, I can’t justify the expense.

This blog was launched in order to share one newbie home buyer’s experience in buying and remodeling a wreck of a house.

Like the house itself, this blog is a work in progress.

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