Winter Storm Uri revealed many uncomfortable truths about the infrastructure of Central Texas. For one thing, we discovered that we all live on microgrids when it comes to our electricity. If you were fortunate enough to live on the same electrical circuit as a critical service such as a hospital or police station, then your zone (i.e. microgrids) had electricity. Otherwise, you were just out of luck and out of power for up to 6 days.
Will this knowledge impact your next real estate transaction? Will potential buyers ask, “How did your house fare during Uri? Did you lose electricity or water?” Will properties that enjoyed uninterrupted electric connectivity increase in value? Will those that didn’t have electricity face less demand when selling their homes? Will these things matter in the red-hot Austin real estate market?
The suffering during Winter Storm Uri was immense. Dozens of people died of hypothermia, while others died of carbon monoxide poisoning from using heaters in unventilated spaces. Thousands lost running water as their pipes exploded in the freeze (often incurring huge plumbing expenses this week – if they can even find someone to come), and thousands more lost water as the city shut down major parts of the system. The rest of us just suffered the gnawing, biting cold, as we shivered in the dark, trying to think through all of the new problems that need to be solved to avoid experiencing this again in the future.
Maybe this is as simple as having a generator in the garage. But that assumes you have a garage and the cash to purchase necessary supplies, and it all adds more work, maintenance, fuel costs, and other challenges for the homeowner. Is there a better way?
Microgrids are small area networks of producers and consumers. In the best case, microgrids can be self-sufficient. This concept has been growing within the electricity industry as people look to become more independent from the big grid. With solar panel costs and battery storage costs decreasing as fast as they have, and smaller size wind turbines being developed, it is becoming economically feasible. Big energy engineering companies such as Siemens love providing the software and control systems for these projects.
Nature Towns designs to ensure family security, which means providing for a community’s food, energy, water and climate security. We design these necessities into your community and real estate so that you buy them with your home. That is a value-added approach to residential real estate development and if designed properly, it doesn’t cost you more than you are paying now.
Would you like to ensure that you have food, energy, water and climate security? Would you like to live in a microgrid? Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more.