We would love to be able to say we were going 100% solar— but that's not in the budget. A solar panel/battery system large enough to power our entire house would run well over $10,000. Some tiny housers opt for propane for things like cooking, heating and cooling. But we'd like to stay away from fossils fuels and all things fracking-related. We have the less-expensive option of being grid-tied to our friend's house, but one of our goals for the house is to move toward sustainability, so tying into a power system that derives much of its power from coal plants doesn't seem quite ideal, either.
Our stalemate has finally been broken. We've decided to buy what solar we can afford now: a modest system capable of powering all our outlets (largely for charging devices), LED lighting and ceiling fans. For now, we'll tie our energy "hogs" (water pump and water heater, for example) to the grid. Our goal will be to move all our energy to sustainable sources down the road, once we've finished with the expense of our initial build.
So, we started stringing wire! The miles (or so it seems) of yellow wire will lead to two breaker boxes: one will draw power from our battery bank, the other from the grid. The GFI outlet in the bathroom has a dedicated wire. The ceiling fans have their wire. The kitchen lighting another wire. Before we string any more lines (for kitchen outlets, bedroom plugs, etc.) we'll tape labels on the existing wires to keep everything straight.
Bill's done a bit of wiring on houses past. What he doesn't know he looks up in building codes and watches YouTube demos. I have everything to learn. Luckily, I have a patient teacher. Though we're not at the point of putting in plugs yet, Bill tutored me step-by-step through the process so I would have a better understanding of the entire wiring job. Time to get back down there and power things up....