Sooner or later, we knew we would have to get one. During the winter rainy months we knew we would have to supplement our solar array with a fossil fuel generator. We've been living on 200 watts of power for seven weeks. It's been fine. Spartan, but fine.
Ran down to Oroville yesterday and bought this Honda 2000. It's the quietest, most dependable, generator. I wish some of my neighbors would invest in one. I didn't really know what to expect, and was amazed to see just how small generators have gotten over the years. I thought I would have to take out the backseat of the van to get one in. Nope. The thing rests comfortably on the floorboard next to the driver's seat.
When talking to others on the Ridge, many have abandoned their solar dreams. Too many trees. Some didn't have that dream anyway. They are just looking for a way to escape California's high housing costs.
Easy to see why others would choose to just use a generator. The start up costs are much less. And a gallon of gas lasts for eight to ten hours. Fossil fuels are hard to replace, given their ease of use and it's energy denseness. Nothing can replace that (and nothing probably will) until in Richard Heinberg's words: "the party's over".
For us, the generator is a supplement until we add another 1,000 watts to our solar array.