In this video from The Atlantic, Keya Chatterjee and her family describe their life in Washington, D.C., where they live off the grid and power their home through only one solar panel. Chatterjee and her husband got into a fight with the electric company in 2009 when they grew exhausted of the District's astronomical utility bills, and decided to completely stop their power for an entire winter (yes, that means no heat or electricity). They then installed one solar panel on their home, which now supplies excess energy back to the grid.
The couple lives in a housing cooperative and the solar system sits in their backyard. Chatterjee says the couple has to use a lot less electricity to be able to actually live off one solar panel of electricity, but their costs have decreased by 80%. They also have an efficient dishwasher, washing machine, and ceiling fans, and keep the house cool in the summer by blocking out light with insulated blinds.
"Innovations spread when they become normalized," she says. "People need to see that, and that's when they'll want that."