As usual, the day after a big storm is typically gorgeous. That’s not much consolation for the folks who are seven days (and counting) without power. And there are plenty of those people scattered around the state. If nothing else, this recent weather event has made everyone think about how helpless we are without electricity. We’ve come to rely on electricity for just about everything in our homes. And while some would argue that most of those things are amenities not necessities, here in New England there’s something to be said for the ‘convenience’ of heat and running water.
I’d love to be less dependent on the utility company, but my fifty year-old home wasn’t built to be self-sustaining. I have a fireplace, but the hearth is in the basement, not the living room. So a wood stove or propane insert wouldn’t help. Given the square footage of the house is small, I don’t have the floor space to sacrifice to a wood burning stove. And then there’s all the work involved in cutting and hauling the wood. I know of what I speak; I burned wood and coal exclusively to heat my dwelling some thirty years ago. I was able and willing to do the work then, but I wonder how much I’d relish the chore now? I’ve always said this house would be a perfect candidate for solar panels, but have you priced those lately? Good grief! Apparently the time to install a solar system is when you build the house.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I’ll be the first to admit that my concern isn’t coming from the PC ‘green’ angle. Twice now in eight weeks I’ve experienced a very small glimpse of what happens when it’s every man for himself. It’s not a pretty picture. I’d like to know that I could solder on without having to sit around and wait for the utility company to come rescue me, because for many, that plan has proven to be an abysmal failure.