Going off-the-grid with Sharp Propane
BASTROP, TEXAS – In today's world, sustainability and green living are high priorities in many aspects of life. From locally-sourced, organic food, to sustainable pets products, to site and climate-specific architecture, the hallmarks of this lifestyle permeate the environmentally-conscious culture of Austin and Central Texas. Alternative power is sought after in Central Texas - from wind, to solar, to propane - all of which are considered to be green energies.
For those who live an alternative lifestyle, with minimal pollution and waste, propane can supply green power to one's home; and since it is not regulated by big-time energy corporations, propane offers homeowners the flexibility to live off-the-grid, removed or off-the-map. One of the most unique off-the-grid customers of Sharp Propane uses propane for heating and cooking. Located on 170 wooded acres outside of Austin, the intentional community (which we are deliberately vague about out of respect for the community) fosters a grassroots lifestyle, connected with nature, one's surroundings and neighbors. The group lives ruggedly, off the grid, off the map, and with a deep connection to each other and the natural world.
La Grange-based Sharp Propane service professional Walter Psencik has delivered fuel to the community for decades. "This group has about six to eight propane tanks. They use it for heating their homes and cooking. The have a community bath out there too so they use propane for hot water as well," Psencik said. "The people who live out there are educated, and they've deliberately chosen this lifestyle. Not only are they looking to be close to nature, but they also don't want anybody butting into their business. They seek isolation, and to connect with nature. And to that I say, more power to you!"
For the customer-centric Sharp Propane, propane service is all in a day's work. Deliveries to the community's remote location require careful planning. Past challenges include an unstable wooden bridge leading into the complex, brush-covered tanks, busted water lines and tree covered paths.
When Walter first started delivering propane to the community, there was only a small, rickety wooden bridge leading into the commune. He remembers, "Awhile back, whenever I'd have to make a delivery to [the group], I'd tell Frank, 'I'm going out. If you don't hear from me in the next hour and a half, come looking! I might get my truck stuck out there.' We'd have to make sure our truck was below 30% capacity when delivering to the group as well."
Over the years, Walter has developed a relationship with the group. "The people there are really cool, man," he says. "I think we're probably the only propane company that would figure out a safe way to deliver gas out there. Overall, I think we accommodate them fairly well. They work with us, we work with them, and everybody leaves happy."
Propane is classified by the United States as a green source of fuel by the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Approximately 97% of propane used in the United States' is sourced domestically. Home and business-owners who choose propane as their energy source are contributing to the national economy, and are accessing a green energy source that is available, convenient and independent from international trade. On a local level, propane use untethers homeowners from the national energy grid, which reduces their reliance on electricity that is generated by coal and other high-emission fuels.
Oftentimes, propane use is complemented by other self-sustaining forms of power, such as solar panels or wind energy. Solar technology is a renewable energy source that requires significant up-front investment, which many people can afford. Additionally, powering all appliances with solar may not be feasible given the energy requirements of large appliances. Propane, which is delievered via an above-ground or underground storage tank outside of a home, can efficiently and consistently power large appliances such as stovetops, ovens, clothes dryers and water heaters.
For more information about how Sharp Propane facilitates a green, sustainable, off-the-grid alternative lifestyle, please visit http://www.sharppropane.com or call 1-800-932-4315.
For more than 60 years, Sharp Propane has been supplying safe, energy-efficient propane and tanks to Central Texas. Sharp Propane is a leading service provider of residential and commercial propane systems providing customers an environmentally-friendly, safe, and reliable energy source for the way they live and work. The Propane ProfessionalsÒ at Sharp are focused on putting customers first and setting industry standards for safety and service. Founded in 1949 in Smithville, Texas, Sharp is one of the largest propane dealers in the United States and the largest independent retailer of propane in Texas. Sharp is headquartered in Bastrop, Texas with operations also in Austin, Bryan, Fort Worth and La Grange, Texas
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