We’re going off grid

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pylon carrying electricityWell ok, only for 8 hours, but I’m really excited!

For a long time I’ve been keeping track our electricity usage. We’ve used an OWL and Wattson to help us and put in various energy saving devices such as solar panelled LED lighting, a woodburner, tankless water heater and other measures.

This week we had a letter saying that our electricity would be turned off from 8:30am until 4:30pm on a day while work is done on trees overhead.

A couple of years ago I don’t mind admitting I would be panicking, but this time I’m going to relish the peace.

I have the woodburner which will provide heat, hot water and I can cook on it. I’m more than happy for an excuse to go off line for the day and we’re thinking of doing away with a freezer anyway, so this will be a good chance to see how it feels.

I’m looking forward to the excuse to slow down, be unable to work and spend quality time with my family. I can envisage a lazy day of reading, going for walks, good conversation and digging out the board games.

Over on the Torchwood project, they have regular off grid weekends and they seem to have a whale of a time. While I’m not ready for an entire weekend, I am looking forward to 8 hours of peace and quiet and the chance to reflect on something I take for granted.

Over on Afriquan woman’s blog I came across a post about a recent BBC programme on the national grid called ‘power to the people’

The show got her wondering how our daily lives would change if we did not have such a reliable supply of electricity and I have to say I’ve been thinking similar thoughts recently.

In her moving post she wrote, of people living without reliable electricity supplies:

“They need power to run their homes and so that the children can read their homework at night.
They need power to make manufacturing run again, competitively and efficiently; and hence productively so that there is enough profitability for mom and dad to have jobs again.
They need power to restore and maintain good clean running water.
They need power to support medical health systems.
They need power to keep their schools open so that they are not closed down due to fears of a cholera breakout from a sanitation problem, which in turn puts more strain on their medical health system.
And they need reliable power to keep the economy in the game of catching up to the rest of the world.
They need power so that the nation can keep geared to the times of the internet age.
They need power to get the economy running again.”

Amazing thoughts for something we think little about on a day to day basis…

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