Power at last!

SP Ausnet had a planned power outage today from about 8:30am to 3:30pm, and it was not pleasant. The weather was grey and drizzly but thankfully not super cold otherwise I have no idea how we would have coped. It seems that electricity is needed for absolutely everything.

Did you know that without electricity the solar hotwater doesn’t work? Yup, because a small pump sends the water up to the solar thingie on the roof. No pump, no circulation, no hot water.

And heating is no better. We have gas heating but…a fan is required to blow the hot air around, and also to stop the heater from overheating. So again, no power, no heat.

But wait, there’s more! I knew the electric oven wouldn’t work, but I forgot that the gas cooktop has piezo electric ignition. Thank heavens I had matches! Actually, that’s one of the good things about living in Warrandyte; we have unplanned outages a lot so candles and matches are staples.

And finally, there are the solar panels on my roof. Great investment for my old age except…when the power goes out, they’re automatically switched off because we ‘feed in’ to the grid. I swear, if I ever win tattslotto, I am buying a battery and hooking the solar panels up to that so we have power even when we don’t have power.

But today wasn’t all doom and gloom. The Offspring and I got stuck into garden stuff. Still a work in progress, but we both feel super righteous. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope your day was productive but pleasant!
Meeks

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

54 responses to “Power at last!

  • webbermd

    We lost power for 2 weeks. We decided to build our off grid home. It took a few years of planning, but we did 10 years ago. No more power outages or electric bill. You have the panels already, a small battery bank and a transfer switch to your own solar system shouldn’t cost too much if you DIY the project.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Widdershins

    Funny how the ‘system’, (whatever system it may be) tries it’s damnedest to obstacle-ise us from removing ourselves from it’s tentacled clutches.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      You said it. I am so sick of corporations. It seems that as soon as a company gets to be a certain size, product, customer service and social responsibility go flying out the window. Or perhaps I should say, go flying out with the dividends. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Liked by 1 person

  • Remembering Lives

    It is lovely to hear a fellow teacher with the same views as me. I hope your power issue has resolved now.

    Liked by 1 person

  • anne54

    Situations like this make us remember how thin the veneer of civilisation actually is. Although you would think that solar panels would come into their own in situations like this. Roll on improved battery technology. I am glad that everything is now able to be turned on and off at the flick of a switch!

    Liked by 2 people

  • daleleelife101.blog

    Ahh Meeks, ’tis the way of it. Offgrid power would be a very good thing to have but it also takes quite a bit of maintenance… there’s a cloud to every silver lining! When our power goes out we also have no water to the house, as the pump from the tanks is electric. So no flushing of toilets unless you get a bucket of water from out the back, and that’s where the kettle gets filled too ๐Ÿค“

    Liked by 2 people

  • D. Wallace Peach

    It’s not a bad thing to see what life’s like when we haven’t any power. (At the least, a good reminder to stock matches and candles.) Our only dire, life-threatening shortage would be…. internet. My husband would go into withdrawal. I’m glad your power is back!

    Liked by 1 person

  • marianallen

    I’m extra glad I read today’s post! We’ve just been talking about putting on a solar roof to carry us through during power outages. Now we’ll have to be careful to get a battery or something. We generally don’t have many outages, and they’re not USUALLY for more than a few hours, but there was one that was 10 days long. In the middle of winter. So that was brutal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Dear god…how on earth did you cope? I’m complaining about 8 hours and you had ten days. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
      Did you have an alternate power source or something? Open fire? Seriously, how did you do it??

      Like

      • marianallen

        At our house, we had wood heat. Mom had no heat, but she had a gas stove. She also wouldn’t leave her house without her cats, and we already had cats and they would fight. So Mom and I bundled up and lived at her house and everybody came to Mom’s house because she could still cook. Her house stayed above freezing. We took all her food out of the fridge because it was colder on the counter, and put her frozen food in a clothes hamper on her back porch. Everybody but Mom and I slept at my house. It was an adventure!

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          I’m gobsmacked. That’s pioneer living beyond anything I could do. Admittedly we don’t have freezing temperatures here. For us it’s more the summer heat, especially nowadays. It’s scary to think how little it would take to send us all back to such self reliance. I’m no survivalist, but I do wish I’d learned more about living without modern conveniences.

          Liked by 1 person

          • marianallen

            When we first moved over here, we were still building the house up around us. Under roof, but only one water source, cold, in the basement, and only one electric outlet. Fortunately, it was in the summer, so washing outside the basement door in cold water in our bathing suits was kind of fun. Washing dishes in cold water, not so much. And I cooked over a campfire. Me, who LOATHES camping! I’m like my mother, who said, “My idea of roughing it is a three-star hotel.” lol

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            LMAO! Oh god yes. I hate camping too. I know how to start a fire, not the bad kind, but the thought of having to /cook/ over a camp fire…I don’t even know how you’d do it without all the camping gear. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

            The worst I ever had to cope with was when the Offspring was a baby and something went wrong with the Melbourne gas supply [we use natural gas for a lot of cooking, heating etc]. So there we were, a new baby whose bottles needed to be sterilzed and literally no form of cooking or heating. Or washing. I managed to buy a couple of electric hot plates so we could boil water and do very basic cooking, but we had to trek over to Mum’s house for showers as she had an electric hotwater service. Three weeks that felt like three years.

            Liked by 1 person

          • marianallen

            Three weeks! That would be an eternity! The only way I could start a fire is with matches.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            Oh, yes…there were matches. I spent three years living with an open fireplace as the only form of heating. I got to be quite good at splitting kindling. ๐Ÿ˜€

            Liked by 1 person

  • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    We had the same problem with the solar panels – we had them turned off automatically when the grid wasn’t on, and we were told it was to protect workers who might be fixing or changing the grid.

    We never got the battery – a bunch of extra money, and not used very often. But it galls that we couldn’t disconnect from the grid some other way than turning our system off. We could have had power during Hurricane Sandy, had there been any sunlight (and after).

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Yes. Exactly. If I’d known then…. -sigh- Of course back then the only two options were to go completely off grid which I most definitely couldn’t afford or this hybrid system.

      We don’t get hurricanes but we do get bushfires, and then all the power is off. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Like

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        Yup. Batteries are expensive, and used infrequently, BUT there ought to be an option for using your own solar power during the day, as you create it, if you’re disconnected.

        Unfortunately, the grid also serves to balance out the individual’s production/demand, so our panels weren’t usable even then. Yours are probably the same.

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          I think we get to use up our solar production /first/ and only the excess goes to the grid, but still, when the grid’s down, so is everything. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

          From a consumer’s point of view, that is the single most important thing I’d have changed. What’s the point of having a backup if it’s not allowed to back you up when you need it?

          Like

  • Candy Korman

    OMG! That’s all I can say!

    Liked by 1 person

  • tidalscribe

    Thank goodness for gas! We have had few powere cuts, but when we did once I was surprised the gas central heating didn’t work. Luckily my gas rings often don’t light and I always have a box of matches. Kitchen really cosy with all the gas rings lit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      -grin- Yes! I had a big pot of water simmering all day and another one going for the kettle so we could have tea and coffee. I’m just glad this didn’t happen a month ago when the cold was biting. I think I would have had to stay in bed all day. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Liked by 1 person

  • cagedunn

    We had a lot of those earlier this year (about six, if I wish to recall with accuracy). Very annoying when a pandemic is on, stuff is in the freezer, and the power goes out for 12 hours or so and too regularly. I should know better than to say this, but it should be okay now.
    And, like you, as soon as we have any dosh, it’s a battery attached to the PV!

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Yes, the freezer was my worry too. Luckily it stayed frozen. Would not have been happy if all that food had gone off.
      What I don’t understand is why the system is set the way it is. Why couldn’t the /house/ disconnect from the grid, leaving the PV as the sole source of power? Sorry, rhetorical. The cheapest alternative is rarely the best. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  • DawnGillDesigns

    We’ve PV too, and also feed back the excess into the grid. The UK has a scheme of subsidies for this, so, unless we want to forfeit the very generous and useful income we get from generating the electricity, we can’t store the power, and yes if there’s a power cut we won’t get to use our own electric either as ‘it stops generating in case we can’t use it all, there’s a build up and then that creates a fire risk’ (or at least that’s what they told me back in 2009 when it was installed, I have my doubts, it was a very patronising installation guy) The payments will end after 2025, at which point we’ll investigate installing some more panels and a battery

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      Hah! We were told that the shutoff was to protect the grid, or grid workers while they fix whatever’s wrong. That is fair enough, but I’m sure there could have been a better way of doing the same thing.
      You’re lucky. Here in Australia we started out getting a very nice ‘feed in tariff’. But it was reduced so much it’s barely worth it. We /pay/ roughly 30c per KWH. Our feed in tariff is about 11c per KWH. And the utilities companies complain about how our roof top solar is messing with the grid. -sigh-

      Liked by 1 person

      • DawnGillDesigns

        we are lucky, we were right at the beginning of the FIT package, when the install costs were high (cost us ยฃ12k to install our 2.4KW) so the resulting generation for us is 55p per KW, and minimal for export. 2 years later the FIT payments dropped to about a third, but, that’s to reflect the reduction in install costs – my mum retrofitted 4kw to her flat garage roof for less than ยฃ4k. Our current import electricity is 14p per kw, with a daily standing charge of 19p. It’s easy to switch supplier for the import (not the gen/export) and we have the lowest tariff on the market ๐Ÿ™‚ (#SmugFactor)

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          That actually sounds similar to what we have too, and two years ago I finally started using the brains I was given and started ‘churning’ electricity retailers. Before then I’d been with the same retailer for a decade and assumed that they all charged much the same. Dumb Bunny >> me. I felt so ripped off when the penny finally dropped. I wish/hope that micro grids become affordable in the near future coz I’m sick of these big companies bleeding customers dry for shareholder dividends. Grrrr!

          Liked by 1 person

  • jenanita01

    A little gardening (between showers) yesterday restored my sanity for a while, driven out there by a need to escape, rather than no power!

    Liked by 2 people

  • Remembering Lives

    Hi. Pretty cold too. We used to get power outages all the time-not great fun when you have small children. However after dealing with screaming toddlers in a pitch black house, I made sure I was ready for future blackouts. My lovely neighbour would check on me too but I did not get caught again. I have wind up everything including a radio. We had a pretty sensitive safety switch too. I had insisted on one as my son was sooo active and I had remembered my brother nearly electrocuting himself when he was little. The lights had flashed and we had gone into our lounge to find my brother with a startled look and a blackened wall.
    Oh and yes I once lived in a house with an electricity meter. That was fun, going down into the cellar in the dark to put a coin in the meter.
    I am a bit of a doomsday prepper/former girl guide so I usually hate getting caught out. Plus I am a former backpacker, so I tend to have most things.

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      -shudder- I’m so glad your brother wasn’t seriously hurt. Toddler-knife-power socket was my all consuming fear as a young mum.

      As for a coin in the slot power meter? Seriously, I cannot think of anything worse. The closest I’ve ever come to that was decades ago when I was travelling. Stayed at a youth hostel where the showers were coin operated. Ended up rinsing my hair in freezing cold water. Never again!

      I’ve never been into camping but after moving here, we soon learned to be prepared. I have those wind up torches, battery operated hurricane lantern, a ton of candles and, of course, matches. Oh and bottled water in case we get stuck in a bushfire. Strange to think that we still need these backups in the digital age.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Zoewiezoe

    Happy you survived!
    It’s weird indeed how we forget to realize how dependent we are on technology.
    Try going without Internet/WiFi for a week or two and count the times you’ll think ‘wait let me look this up online’ ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿคฃ

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      lol!!!! I was thinking that after less than an hour. I had my Kindle [fully charged the night before] but the wifi was offline, of course, so I only had what was on the Kindle at the time. Felt like a bird with its wings clipped.

      Like

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