How much electricity do you use?

	All the recent ice-storms in the Northeastern US/Southeastern
Canada have once again reminded me of the need for independent home power
systems. This recent disaster left more than a million people without
power, many of them for more than a week, at the coldest portion of the
	If this isn't a market that's begging for a better solution, then
I'd like to know what is. :-)

	So, going along the lines of my previous posts, I'd like to develop
a fuel-cell system that could be used in homes to provide more than enough
power for the occupants, as well as provide extra to sell back to the
utilities, or to provide to neighbors in times of emergencies like now,
(Through the "mini-grid" that gets woven between small communities...)

	To this end, a small survey, if you will. To all of the Reality
Sculptors on these mailing lists, (and any friends you can get to

	1) How much electricity do you use per month, on average? 
	2) How much propane/gas do you use, if any?
	3) Where are you located? 

	For myself and my girlfriend, and all our computers, we tend to
average somewhere around 28-30 kwh of electricity per day, which is really
an astonishing amount. Propane is a new thing at this new house, so I don't
have accurate figures on this, yet.
	We live about 1.5 hours south of San Francisco, CA, in the Santa
Cruz mountains. There's almost never any snow here. Perhaps 1 day per

	Using ourselves as a (hopefully!) non-standard example, it would 
take a fuel-cell capable of generating approximately 1.25kw/h to cover 30
kwh/day usage. But since we use some of that power in bursts (running the
toaster, microwave, washer/dryer, oven, etc...) it would need to have a
higher capacity. 

	In our old house, we had a hottub, which ran about 3
heating/cleaning cycles per 24/hour period, and our computers (at least
some of 'em) stay up 24 hours per day. 

	All of these can serve as a rough guideline, to help determine the
sort of fuel-cell needed for a home environment. I'd be interested in
knowing what sort of averages others of you have, and where you're located
in the world. 

	Go grab that electric bill, and take a look. You might be
surprised. (Hopefully, you'll put me to shame. :-) ) If some of you
domesteaders are running your own power systems, you probably have very
good ideas about your consumption rate. Care to share your data?

	   ___________________Think For Yourself____________________
		 Patrick G. Salsbury <salsbury at sculptors dot com>
	   "You never know when you might have to face the censor,
	     so I don't pretend to want to make too much sense."
						-World Entertainment War

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