Types of Energy Sources on a Homestead

Have Energy on Hand

You’re going to need energy to run your homestead, but that can come from a number of different sources. Though alternative energy sources are big with homesteaders (especially the more remote ones), this article is going to cover the more conventional types of energy sources. Most of these are used as heating fuel, which may or may not even be a concern given your immediate climate.

Electricity

power lineThis is one of the most versatile and accessible types of energy sources for your homestead, and unless you are buying undeveloped land, it will likely be available. Electricity is what will power all the lights, appliances and other devices in your home and the barn. It can be used for heat, but compared to the other power sources listed below, that will be very costly. You don’t have to have electricity but it will be a real culture shock if you try to live without it (unless you’ve already done so before).

Electricity is supplied by your municipality and you will likely have a meter that records how much you use. You pay based on usage and there may be reductions in cost for using power during “non-peak” times.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is a popular fuel in town but may not be available in more rural areas because it is usually piped in, and supply networks may not exist out in the country. If you have access to it, it makes a good heating fuel and you can also install natural gas stoves for cooking. Generally speaking, this is the cheapest option for conventional heating fuel.

Propanepropane tank

One of the great things about propane is that you can use it for more purposes than just heating. Not only can you run a stove or oven with propane, other appliances can use it as a fuel as well. Believe it or not, you can get lighting fixtures, refrigerators and freezers that run on propane, which makes it a very handy fuel if electricity is not easily available. The appliances will be more expensive than conventional ones so plan on some added expense at the onset if you are going to rely on propane.

Unlike the last two, propane is one of the types of energy sources usually purchased by the tank-load, which adds another level of security in using it. Once you have a tank’s worth, it’s there and available. You don’t get sudden or unexpected outages like you can with electricity or even natural gas.

Heating Oil

This is a fine energy source but it is really only used for home heating. Compared to the other types of energy sources previously mentioned, this is often the most expensive fuel option.

Oil is delivered by the tanker load, and you just pay for the volume you’ve used. Depending on your source, it will be delivered automatically based on a calculation that includes your historic usage as well as the current temperatures outside. That means your oil company will deliver more oil after a stretch of colder-than-usual weather which can make your fuel management a little easier.

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Homesteading 101

Table of Contents Who Are the Homesteaders?  Perception vs Truth of Homesteading Why Homestead? Forming an Action Plan  Choosing Your Homestead Land  Sources of Water on the Homestead  Types of Energy Sources Types of Alternative Energy Food on the Homestead  How to Preserve Food Communications on a Homestead What is
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Who Are the Homesteaders?

So you might be wondering what kind of person decides to get back to the land and shoulder their own food responsibilities. In a historical sense, the term was originally used for those tough pioneers who first came to settle the western United States. They were taking advantage of the
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Perception vs.Truth of Homesteading

Because many people today live a "city" life before starting to homestead, they really don't have too much personal experience with it before they begin. That means they are making choices based on a lot of preconceived notions that may not be too accurate in reality. Hearing stories from older
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Why Homestead? Considerations for Homesteading

Making the Decision This should be your first consideration. Why are you even thinking about getting into homesteading to begin with? Be honest with yourself when figuring this out. Are you looking for a slower-paced lifestyle, a way to be more environmentally-friendly, or perhaps a way to take more control
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How to Form an Action Plan

How to Form an Action Plan So you've been doing your research and have been looking into all the areas that you think you need to know about before getting out onto your own homestead. But have you forgotten anything? Here is a summarized list of all the areas you
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Choosing Your Homestead Land

Choosing Your Land There is nothing as important to a homestead as its land. If you are shopping for that perfect homestead parcel, make sure you take the time to do your research and think about all the variables before you buy. Other than pulling up stakes and moving, you
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Sources of Water on the Homestead

Water on the Homestead Land is very important for a new homestead, but so is water. You are going to need sources of water for your own family (drinking, bathing, etc.) and also to keep your garden growing and for any livestock animals. This is definitely not a minor detail
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Food on the Homestead

Food on the Homestead A huge part of homesteading is the production of your own food. There is a real primal sense of accomplishment to produce the food you eat, not to mention the fact that it is going to be healthier and tastier than anything you'll get at the
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How to Preserve Food

Preserving Your Harvest So once you've embarked on your homestead garden, you need to have some sort of plan to handle the bushels of produce you're going to have come harvest time. That's assuming your garden is large enough to produce more than your family will use up right away.
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Types of Energy Sources on a Homestead

Have Energy on Hand You're going to need energy to run your homestead, but that can come from a number of different sources. Though alternative energy sources are big with homesteaders (especially the more remote ones), this article is going to cover the more conventional types of energy sources. Most
Read More

Types of Alternative Energy on a Homestead

Alternative Energy Sources One of the great things about launching a homestead is that you can strike out in new directions. Turning to various types of alternative energy is one area that has greatly increased in popularity. A big reason for the appeal is that these renewable energy sources fit
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Communications on a Homestead

Homestead Communications It's not talked about as often as gardening or water supplies, but managing your communications on a homestead can be a vital issue. Communications infrastructure can be poor in some rural areas so be prepared to down-grade your expectations a bit. Standard phone lines aren't usually a problem,
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