Started playing with a spreadsheet to plan & cost this thing out.

Next steps

  • Finish measuring power usage of major house appliances
  • Separate appliances into priorities, not just essential vs non-essential.
  • Settle on a phase 1 battery build as a trial learning project, maybe mainly to maintain fridge in a summer power outage
  • Maybe phase 2 includes furnace logic & blower power for winter power outage?


Power outages quickly become problematic. It would be nice to have an option for reserve power at home when that happens.

Most outages seem to last about a day. I have been through a week-long outage at least once in my life. Would like a lot of spare capacity, though. Does "a lot" mean three days, one week, two weeks, a month? What's the order of magnitude of expense between each versus the likelihood of needing the contingency?

Brain dump

Endangered essentials roughly include:

  • refrigerator
  • freezer
  • my CPAP at night
  • furnace
  • AC
  • lights
  • phone charging
  • laptop charging

On generators:

  • I've had one before, I don't have one now.
  • Generators go outside, are noisy, can attract attention, can be stolen.
  • Needs fuel that can be hard to keep on hand and fresh.
  • Acquiring fuel leads to contending with others who also need fuel
    • at best, a long wait at gas station
    • at worst, getting stuck in a crowd where bad things happen.
  • I know there are permanent installation gas whole-house backup generators, but those are spendy.
  • Fuel options
    • Gasoline - gas station within walking distance, but it goes stale
    • Propane - never dealt with it. Does it go stale? Dangerous to keep around?
    • House gas line - assuming it's still working during power outage, possible for a temporary hookup to a portable generator? Bad idea?
      • Grill line is probably too small, need special attention to the pressure draw of the generator and ensure it doesn't starve other things in the house

On batteries:

On solar:

  • Have never dealt with solar.
  • Short of a major project on the roof, would it be useful to have a few panels to put outside in a pinch to bolster batteries?

Hybrid notions:

  • A few days' worth of battery storage to give breathing room?
  • A fuel-flexible generator to support batteries when fuel is more easily acquired?
  • Would like to be able to shelter-in-place and lay low during instability events for as long as possible to avoid crowds, panic, and rushed thinking
  • Some solar panels to charge as possible?

Random notes & links, which are probably inaccurate as heck:

  • Tesla Powerwall - 1 day backup - $12,000. Add 2 more days with solar for $16,400 more.
  • Generac - $9999, 18kWh, 9kW, 50A