Crazy Electricity Prices! Alternatives?

SD51555

5 year old buck +
I did a little homework today on the cabin idea. I found out Lake Country Power in North Central Minnesota has a monthly base charge of $45. Ufda! Considering we'd probably use about $5 of power per month bringing it up to about $600/yr, anyone have any ideas for alternative power? Is there such a thing as a quiet propane generator?
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
I have lake Region Electrical Cooperative out of Pelican Rapids and my monthly fee is $23 total per month. $45 is steep but central station power is nice to have.

Not certain about a propane generator but the honda and yamaha generators are pretty quiet but they do use gas.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
I am not concerned about the marginal cost, but the fixed cost of the electricity, or the viability of a generator that'll only run 3-4 times per year.
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
I am not concerned about the marginal cost, but the fixed cost of the electricity, or the viability of a generator that'll only run 3-4 times per year.
I ran my place for 4 years on a Yamaha generator and it worked just fine. You just need to wire your buildings correctly. Using a generator has allot more positives then negatives and if your only their 4 times a year it should work great. The units are portable, not terribly loud and pretty economical to purchase. The only pain I saw was adding gas but it was not a big deal.

Good luck!
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
I've found some propane generators on Amazon. Not seeing any branded stuff though. From the looks of it, it'd run for a little more than gas on a per/hr basis. A 4000 watt generator ran for 8 hours on a 20lb tank. I wonder if a guy couldn't get a rural propane tank put on their land a find a way to run a hard line to their generator? Maybe a split somewhere in the line?

A honda 4000 watt gas would run 16 hrs on 6.2 gallons of gas. 6.2 times 3.50 for boat gas is $1.35/hr. Propane at $15/tank divided by 8 hrs would be $1.87/hr. Both are at half load. But if I could ditch the aged gasoline concerns and hook this up to a 200lb cabin supply, i'd deal with the extra 50 cents per hour.
 
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Freeborn

5 year old buck +
With your level of fuel consumption the cost difference is minimal. One thing to keep in mind is the decibel rating on the generators. The yamaha and hondas are well know for being quiet and are approved for use in camp grounds. Id look for a propane generator with similar db ratings.

I like the idea of the 200 lb propane tank as it would be very convenient.
 
M

MoBuckChaser

Guest
Your complaining about a $45 a month Bill for electric? That should be the least of you worries!
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
The 2000i from Honda is rated at 58 DB. I haven't found a propane I'd consider yet for the alternative. The ones on amazon that are 4000 watt propane are going around 68 DB. I wonder if you couldn't build a well ventilated shack around your generator to further reduce the noise at the source, and spray foam a small cabin for two walls worth of distortion?
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
The 2000i from Honda is rated at 58 DB. I haven't found a propane I'd consider yet for the alternative. The ones on amazon that are 4000 watt propane are going around 68 DB. I wonder if you couldn't build a well ventilated shack around your generator to further reduce the noise at the source, and spray foam a small cabin for two walls worth of distortion?

Id do some searches for lower db rated generators first. propane is popular there should be a unit available.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Your complaining about a $45 a month Bill for electric? That should be the least of you worries!
My brother and I are penny pinchers. We grew up broke. Vowed to never be again. We don't mind investing something if it's valuable, but at $600/yr for power, I think we can get that down and have the same level of comfort.

Omaha Steve is an electricity guy. He pointed me to Electric Generators Direct website. I found this guy: http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Generac-6000-Portable-Generator/p7161.html
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Never a permanent. Only longer duration stays many moons down the road. I'd never give up my tax free status in South Dakota.
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
My brother and I are penny pinchers. We grew up broke. Vowed to never be again. We don't mind investing something if it's valuable, but at $600/yr for power, I think we can get that down and have the same level of comfort.

Omaha Steve is an electricity guy. He pointed me to Electric Generators Direct website. I found this guy: http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Generac-6000-Portable-Generator/p7161.html

Nice looking generator, I think it would work well and provide good power.

Agree on conserving cost at first, always enter an investment with an exit strategy and having to many costs into your investment makes it harder to get out. Thats why I have not built a permanent structure on my place. If I decide I want a better piece of dirt my place is less expensive and easier to sell.

Right now I feel comfortable I can make money on my place as the improvements are modest and I think a potential buyer would see value in what I have added to the property.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
There's a 20 down the road from us. I believe it was listed at one time and never even got a showing. Too much house and not much land. Where we are, it's a hard place to live if you don't love the outdoors and can live without the bells and whistles of urban life. Not a place you'd want to sever an artery or search for starbucks.
 

Jim Timber

5 year old buck +
Non-oxy gas and stabil would solve your problems.

Building a secondary muffler - either enclosure wise or just another baffle stack on the pipe would be cheaper than the super quiet gensets.

Spending $400 on a genset vs 45/mo on usage fees wouldn't be a hard sell for me. If it were more usage, the fuel hauling would start cutting the advantages, but for limited use it's almost a no-brainer.

Keep in mind, they might have hook-up fees and you'll likely have to pay for wire or a transformer depending how far of a run you need to get from the pole.
 

tooln

5 year old buck +
For what your looking to do a gen would be your best bet IMO. Like Jim sys high quality fuel and stabil.
 

kabic

5 year old buck +
what are your plans for power useage? There are plenty of people who are happy with some solar panels\battery 12 volt LED lights and a way to charge a phone.

if you plan to run a fridge tv etc then generator idea is a good one.
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
I wouldn't worry about an electric fridge, plenty of good dual electric/propane powered ones on the market.
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
One thing that's nice about the small generators is they are portable. I have used mine in the field to help build tower stands running circular saws, drills etc. In addition you can use them for camping or other hunting trips.

Even though I now have central station power I'm keeping my generator, lots of uses.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
My other brother told me to look up a generator worksheet online to calculate the maximum amount of wattage I'd need at any given time. If we configure the oven, stove, and heat(no in unit fan, rely on ceiling fan) to run on propane I could get the job done with 3250. That could take all the load I'd need. The only pinch point would be if the air conditioner and fridge kicked on at the same moment while someone was using the toaster.

Here's the worksheet I found: http://www.sussexrec.com/pdfs/Generators/Generator Sizing Worksheet1.2.pdf
 

foggy

5 year old buck +
I included a "standby" home generator when we built our house. Pretty affordable these days. I bought mine from WISE SALES.....whom is a large internet dealer. I have a Brigg & Stratton upright model.....and it looks like an A/C unit. It runs on NATURAL GAS......which for me is important. Fuel storage is a huge deal for larger gennys.

I bought the right battery for mine. It starts each week, runs for 20 minutes, and "exercises" and charges the battery. You can buy these with or without a transfer switch.

I also own a small 2000 KW Honda Genny for emergency issues. Sips gas and powers quite a few things. Lots of folks connect two of these together and can live off the grid.

HOWEVER......if you have power avaialbe from the grid.....why would you fool around with the cost of a generator and fuel storage? The power to my shed costs me $11 per month (minimum).
 
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