A Life-Changing Problem


Jack Fernard"Do you ever get the feeling that we're just forcing a bad situation through?"

I look at my wife of twenty-one years as she chases our three year old around and I can't help but groan in frustration as I know exactly what she is referring to. "Yeah, kid ... I do."

After years of talking about it, we finally owned that perfect piece of property and were now building our dream home. The property was just the right size, big enough to breathe on but not so big to get lost on. It was in just the right spot, located perfectly in the country but only five minutes from the freeway. It had a great mixture of berry trees, hardwoods and even a small stream at the back of it. It was all we could have hoped for – except for one small thing. It didn't have electricity.

Proud owners!

This might not seem like a big issue considering that there are no less than four transformers in the immediate area. Heck, there was even a power pole already on the property – busily supplying our neighbors. Yet despite all of this obvious potential, we couldn't have any of it. The problem was easements, or rather the lack of them.

Confused by this, I met with the utility representative and it was explained to me that when the surrounding power poles were put in, many years ago, no legal permission was obtained. It was assumed that permission was granted; otherwise, how would the home owners be able to use the electricity that they were asking for? Fast forward to today where people tend to be a little more eager to sue and that assumption disappears.

9/15/2015 12:02:51 AM

NebraskaDave 'but hey,what does an old Nebraska farmer know?' -- obviously more utility execs!(probably a better schooling system) Honestly, I think this has more to do with a century year old business model where they provide 100% of the power. They don't like homeowners having the ability to generate their own electricity for obvious reasons. Kodak was in a similar position with the digital camera. They shunned the new tech and doubled down on film...and we all know how that worked out : ) Thanks for the comment.

9/12/2015 9:27:36 AM

ack, first of all welcome to the GRIT blogging community. I'm really sorry to hear about your delima. The legalities of modern day living is seriously out of control. I didn't know that solar power generation on to the electrical grid was limited. I've always thought that every new home built should be required to have a certain number of solar panels connected to the power grid. It would eventually help the power companies from having to build new power plants or phase out the old coal plants without having to replace them but hey, what does an old Nebraska farmer know. I will be following your blog here on GRIT to see how things work out for you. Good luck with all your plans. ***** Have a great off the grid planning day.

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