3 Smart Hedges for Power Grid Failures

By Lee Bellinger / November 12, 2013

Three Power Backup Options
That Keep the Lights On…

#1) One very simple thing you can buy is a battery backup system.

You can find a variety of batteries designed specifically to run certain appliances during a power outage. For example, your refrigerator, home medical equipment you or a loved one depends on, and even your communications equipment (CB radio, rechargeable walkie-talkies, etc.) These are somewhat affordable, but you can’t recharge them until the power comes back on. As a short-term, affordable solution, they work well and are worth considering.

#2) You can’t go wrong with the tried-and-true gas generator.

And if you don’t like the loud noise, you can find “quiet” models that run under 60 decibels (about the volume of an average conversation). Gas generators will run as long as you have fuel to feed it. And there’s no need to wait for it to recharge like a back-up battery. Feed it fuel, turn it on, and it works. Quieter models tend to cost more than the regular ones, but if you don’t want to wake up the neighbors, this is a good option. And if keeping your backup generator stealthy is important, you can build an enclosure to help muffle more of the excess sound.

#3) The last option is a solar–powered generator. Technically, these don’t “generate” power. Instead, what they do is collect solar energy through their solar panels and turn it into electricity, which charges backup batteries. Similar to the solo back-up batteries above, this set up comes with special inverters allowing you to plug in all kinds of household appliances and equipment (even a power drill!). As long as the sun is out, these systems are working and recharging the batteries.

They’re also scalable. Meaning you can have a simple system to run a few essentials, or build a system that can literally run your entire house night and day (a set-up which would cost much more). However, you can build it and add to it piece-by-piece. You’ll spend somewhere between $1500 and $2500 or more on a small, prebuilt version. You may be able to run your fridge for a few hours, but then you’ll drain the battery and need to give it a rest while you recharge.

Long-Lasting, No-Fuss Power…

In general, solar power has a long shelf life. There aren’t any moving parts to breakdown. Your solar panels will work reliably for up to 30 years as long as you clean them 2 or 3 times a year. You may have to replace your inverter after 15 years or so, but that’s really all the maintenance you should expect.

When it comes to reliable, long-term, no-fuss power systems, it’s hard to beat solar power. In the long run, your solar panels will pay for themselves by reducing or even completely offsetting your monthly power bill. And if we ever experience a long-term power grid interruption, your solar panels will be the best investment you ever made.

Long-Lasting, No-Fuss Power…
Cut Your Taxes and Lower the Upfront Costs
to Solar Power at Home…

If the high upfront cost of buying a solar power system concerns you, you can take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit, as well as numerous state and local utility incentives for installing this kind of system for your home.

We really do wish we could believe that abstaining from participating in such government programs would make a difference and get us back on the right track, but it just won’t. So, protect your financial future and your family’s security in the best way you can. If that means getting a tax credit so you can have a reliable backup power system, so be it.

The fact is, all levels of government have placed such large tax burdens on our nation as a whole that all you need to do is put your conscience on hold for a moment and reclaim some of your money back through one of their hackneyed programs! It is perfectly legal.

And frankly, we consider it your civic duty to minimize the money you pay to government to the smallest amount legally allowable.