With PG&E turning off the power all over the state for fire safety my thoughs are turing to alternative energy sources.
When my house was built in 2007, I had an automatic transfer switch wired into the house for a future propane whole house generator. But I never took the next step of havng the +/- $6000 generator installed. Instead, I rely on my super noisy gasoline generator.
It turns out that propane generators consume a lot of your propane.  In Bear Valley, homeowners who have these propane generators are always shocked when they go through their entire winter supply in one longer power outage.
  A typical home propane tank is a 500 gallon tank which for safety reasons gets filled only to 80% or 400 gallons.  Your typical Generac style whole home generator burns about 5-6 gallons an hour.  Since these generators are hooked up to Automatic Transfer Switches inside the home, they come on automatically when the power goes out and run automatically, continuously until the power comes back on. Even when you aren’t here!
For every day of no power you will use about 120-144 gallons a day. So you will run out of propane starting from a full tank in 3 days!
Lately I’ve been running my gasoline generator which burns about 6 gallons of gas ever 10-12 hours. So, much more fuel efficient than propane. Gasoline produces higher BTUs than propane.  But it’s LOUD! And, it spews fossil fuel carbon emmissions and because of the carbon dioxide exhaust it needs to be placed well away from the house.  That’s difficult in the winter when only my deck is shoveled. When I put it on my deck it’s too loud and I can still smell the exhaust inside my house. I also keep spilling gasoline on my shoes and pants when I refill it.
About 3 months ago I saw something in a basement of a  house in BV that really excited me. So I bought one!
The Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Ion power cube.
 This is a 1400 watt hours lithium Ion battery.  I bought two expansion “tanks” that are an additional 1000 watts each for a total of 3400 watt hours.
It’s chargable by a regular household electrical 110 outlet.  I addition, you can charge it with solar.  The black cord you see goes out to a solar panel on the roof of my office.
 I can run my office internet modems, 2 computer work stations, our phone bank, my “open” sign and a few lights for 2, 8-hour work days.  All completely silent and with no emmissions.
Best, it is completely portable so I can take it between my office and home if I want.