I read an article recently about off grid vs. on grid power, and how to choose and scale systems.
Basically there are three choices:
1. off grid (produce all of your own power, no connection to the public utility grid)
2. on grid (power comes from public utilities)
3. on grid with backup (a natural gas or propane fired generator provides backup for critical functions – heating, refrigeration, pumping water)
4. off grid with backup (produce most of your own power but use the public utilities as backup or supplemental source)
There are pros and cons to each model, and, as with all things it seems, cost is a primary driving factor.
I think at a minimum we should have a backup power source for heat and refrigeration and water.