"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Monday, 22 April 2013

1000 KwH of solar power

On Saturday at 3.15p.m. we hit a total consumption of 1000.9KwH on our Owl Electricity monitor.

The number in the bottom right corner indicates
we have consumed a total of 1000.9 KwH of solar
produced electricity
That equates to .9 tonnes of green house gases which were expelled into the atmosphere.  I forgot to take a photo of that on Saturday, so here is one from 48 hours later which shows .9027 tonnes
In the bottom right hand corner of the Owl
electricity monitor you can see our total
green house gas emissions from the electricity
produced by our solar panels - .9027 tonnes
We have taken 9 months, 20 days and 18 hours to consume what we would've used within 2 months in our town house.  Using 500KwH a month over the same period of time would've cost us ZAR4785.00 which means we are R4785.00 closer to having free electricity - with no increase in the electricity price amortised in :)
Escom's excess power warning
And we never have to worry when this warning comes on to the TV screen - Escom's warning that South African's are using more power than this parastatal can provide.

Love it - we just absolutely love it.

Through using only the power which has been produced by our solar panels (and stored in our deep cycle batteries) for lights, PC, printer and laptop, charging phones and cameras, fridge, TV and MNet decoder, plus charging the one deep cycle battery which runs our converted car radio / CD player...
The LED lights above my kitchen sink
...and the 7volt 12Amp battery which provides power to the LED lights above my kitchen sink, using my solar oven, manual appliances, gadgets and human power, life has been extremely comfortable, and, apart from the occasional wait for the batteries to reach sufficient charge on those overcast periods, life has carried on pretty much as normal.

Doing without a vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, chest freezer (the only thing I miss to be completely honest) electric toaster, kettle, geyser and iron, all those electric kitchen implements and food processors, to name just a few that I can think of on the spur of the moment, has been a breeze.
My hand operated coffee, herb and pepper grinders
An old fashioned  broom and mop, hand operated kitchen implements, using my solar oven to cook in and the small old caravan LP gas stove for heating tea / coffee water / cooking food / making toast under the tiny grill - yes, they all take a little longer, but - what's the rush?  I actually think that I have more time in my day now, than I ever did in the town house with all those aforementioned modern appliances which have supposedly been invented to save you time.

Do you know anyone who has time to spare?  Makes you think, doesn't it :)

RMan summed it up the other day.  He said to me that he is very happy and very comfortable here.  With both of us in the same mindset, it doesn't get better than that :)


DFW said...

I can just hear you sigh with contentment. Congratulations on this milestone.

kymber said...

congratulations Dani - as my friend DFW just said - you have really hit a milestone!!! and by sharing all of this info on your blog, you are inspiring others to follow suit. with both you and RMan on the same page concerning your electricity use makes it all the more enjoyable. it's awesome when a couple is of the same mind set - you are lucky for RMan and i am lucky for my jambaloney. again - congrats!

your friend,

Modern Day Redneck said...

You are so much further along than I am. I think I'm doing good and then I read your blog and know I have so much more to go. My main issue is the house. I do not have the funds to do a total conversion to solar. The last time I priced it, it was around 50 grand. Plus, I can't see getting rid of my freezer.
Good job, and I can hear your content in the way you wrote the post.

Dani said...

DFW - Thank you :) Content - very :)

Dani said...

kymber - Merci, mon amie. Je suis tres content :)

Not only are RMan and I on the same page regarding the electricity, but we are on the same page about the how our move off grid to our smallholding has impacted our lives for the better. Couldn't have a better outcome, could we.

Having a wonderful man in our lives makes us the luckiest females on this planet, doesn't it :)

Dani said...

MDR - Babysteps. Don't forget, it's taken us 5 years to get to this stage... $50 000 seems very high - even with the use of a freezer thrown in LOL Ours cost us +/- US$7 000.

Once you commit to living off grid, you learn to prioitize those electrical goods you need, and work accordingly, as their are alternatives to things like air conditioners, irons LOL, electric heaters, etc. It REALLY is easy to do without the unnecessary electrical goods, if you put your mind to it.

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Perhaps it is the inner green and gadget nerd in me, but these postings dilate my pupils the best. :)

Leigh said...

Well done Dani. And truly, what's the rush. This is what slow living is about after all. :)

Bee Girl said...

Congratulations! I love these posts! Not only do you remind me to keep striving towards our eventual slower lives full of actual life and less consumption, but you prove over and over again that the process is not only possible, but incredibly rewarding! Cheers!

Dani said...

TS@HG - LOLOLOL - you sound like me when I walk into a hardware store...

Dani said...

Leigh - Exactly - slow down and really smell the roses in life :)

Dani said...

Bee Girl - Thanks :) Don't be disheartened - anything worth it's salt is worth waiting / striving for. And the outcome is your "freedom" ;)