Utilities SolarSelf-reliance is important in my neck of the woods. While we aren't fanatics about emergency preparedness and self-sufficiency, we make an effort to be reasonably ready to deal with a moderate calamity.

We have a one-year supply of food and water and a 72-hour kit for each person in our family. We are working on gathering other essentials (clothes, toiletries, etc.) that could be used in the event of a catastrophe or difficulty as well.

While we'll never be “off the grid,” we would like to be less dependent on utility companies and municipalities where reasonable. We started by building our energy efficient, foamed concrete home.

In Eagle Mountain, we had a propane tank, septic system, and well water. None of those are going to happen in our Lindon home, however, we are hoping (one day) to move to geothermal and solar to provide some of our needs.

The options and technical details in new, uncommon technologies can be overwhelming, but solar is made easy by getting the straight-up information without a sales spin. The options in geothermal, when obtained from a reliable source is likewise invaluable.

If you're thinking about moving toward energy efficiency or less dependent home, make sure you get info from groups or company that don't have a vested interest in your final decisions.