The generator is run on very limited occasions and some weeks it is not even considered. That said, the generator is still run too often for my liking. It is a gasoline powered monster that roars, despite it being the penultimate loudest on the market. I inevitably spill some fuel on my hand and then I smell like a mix of gas and me. I would rather only smell of the latter. These issues push to a head the need for an alternative power.
In terms of alternative power we have discussed several options.
Solar, classic. This option harnesses the energy of the sun and converts it to usable power. An excellent option but for our limited roof space maybe it should be more of a backup option.
Wind, the up and coming alternative. Wind power has been around for all of time. It has powered boats, pumped water, ground gain, amidst other uses. We have considered wind due to the constant breeze that the mountain offers. It is quiet and comparable in price to solar. The big drawback is raising that tower.
The current option in mind is hydro. Hydro power is often used by municipalities as an axillary power. They use power to pump water into elevated holding reservoirs only to release it and produce power when there is a high demand. We would not be pumping water into a reservoir but collecting water from runoff or seeps. The water we plan to utilize would be rain water off the roof held in a tank and released by a valve. The water would turn a turbine down the hill from our home and produce power when we need it. The valve could be turned on/off much easier than starting the generator. The power is clean, quiet and more affordable than solar or wind. Rain permitting and assuming a hill for added head pressure, hydro seems to be the optimal option for our needs.