Just a thought, RM (although you’ve got enough going on already, IMHO): solar power. It’s been a WTF goal of mine (since we lost power for two days several years ago) to be independent of the electric grid (I worked for an electric utility think tank in the early 1990s, and the prognosis was that unless someone started putting some serious investment in the grid, in 20–40 years things could be Very Bad). I looked at natural gas generators (off the ELECTRIC grid, not the whole utility industry), but too expensive for what they did. Then we got ambushed by a Tesla sales person at Lowe’s Depot (as Deb refers to our DIY stores collectively), scheduled a call, and found that, thanks to the good luck of having a south-facing roof with no shade, that we can be off the grid (with a Tesla battery for night use) for less than $50K, before electric utility rebates and tax breaks (which would drop the startup cost into the $30s, but YMMV). Still not cheap enough, alas (and we had our backyard landscaped instead, which we’re getting MUCH more use out of), but we told Tesla thank-you-but-no and have gotten one email since, so it’s not like some of these outfits that will harass you to insanity if you turn them down. Like I said, just a thought, and it may not fit anywhere into your plans.

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Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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