Energy class: Part 2 — Understanding your electric bill

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #112 • July/August, 2008 In Part 1 of this series of articles, I hopefully made you aware that your home's utility costs should be more of a concern than what...

Dim bulbs in California

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #107 • September/October, 2007 By now many of us have heard that under a bill proposed by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D), the state of California is about to become the...

Solar-Powered Electric Fencing

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #147 • May/June, 2014 A new electric fence attached to older traditional wood fencing   More and more people are turning to electric fences as the cost of standard metal and wood...

Homemade electric power

By Jim Van Sant Issue #131 • September/October, 2011 Ever wonder how you could live off the grid when the sun isn't shining on your solar panels? Our homestead alternative energy system is based on 12 volts...

Generators alone are not enough

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #157 • January/February, 2016 When talking to fellow preppers at self-reliance expos across the country, I am always impressed by how many already have long-term food supplies, stored water, medical...

Prepper power! Part 1

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #136 • July/August, 2012 The interesting thing about being a "prepper" is most preppers don't want anybody to know they are one! No doubt many fear they will be ostracized...

Powering medical equipment during a utility blackout

By Michael Hackleman Issue #70 • July/August, 2001 Most people consider blackouts a nuisance. However, for some folks, a blackout can be paralyzing or even deadly, particularly if a critical piece of medical equipment lacks electricity....

A solar primer — How it works, how it’s made, what it costs

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #72 • November/December, 2001 Buying a solar power system is not like buying a kitchen appliance or power tool. These, unlike a solar system, have published capacity and performance data...

How to select the right backup generator

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #82 • July/August, 2003 Now that the threat of terrorist sabotage to our utility infrastructure has been added to our basic concerns about storm related power outages, this may be...

Add solar power to your truck camper

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #93 • May/June, 2005 The recreational vehicle (RV) world is having a major comeback with the influx of baby-boomers. Today's travel trailers, 5th wheels, and motor coaches now include everything...

Amateur Ham Radio – The Ultimate Tool for Survival Communications

By Jeffrey R. Yago, P.E. N4LPE During any major disaster or grid-down event, communications will not only be critical for coordinating rescue efforts, but could actually save your life by receiving alerts and evacuation instructions. Unfortunately,...

Solar Food Drying

By Marcella Shaffer Issue #58 • July/August, 1999 The oldest known method of food preservation is drying food using the heat from the sun. Unfortunately it has become the least used as freezers and pressure canners...

Battery powered weekend retreat

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #83 • September/October, 2003 Blake McKinney owned several acres of beautiful deep forest wilderness along a fast-moving year-round fishing stream that was perfect for a planned weekend retreat. Mr. McKinney,...

Grid-tie solar-powered farm

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #94 • July/August, 2005 Photo 1: One of two Fronius 3-kW grid-tie inverters. Note the DC-rated safety disconnect and all high voltage wiring installed in metal conduit. Most of my past...

Water pumping windmills

By Dorothy Ainsworth Issue #90 • November/December, 2004 Standing tall like a giant sunflower in a sea of undulating prairie grasses, or in any rural setting, a windmill is a thing of beauty. Not only are...

Solar Power 101 — Solar arrays

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #90 • November/December, 2004 This article is the fourth and final part of our beginner's course in solar electricity. Simultaneously we have instituted a Home Energy Information (www.homeenergy.info) section on...