Arizona is famous for utility innovations for home use. People buy land in remote areas where the prices are reasonable. They don’t consider the lack of utilities. Bringing utilities in may be extremely high, and credits from providers don’t seem to ever happen.
My wife and I spent several months searching for property that we could retire on. We looked at several that didn’t have any utilities to them and, after researching the cost of bringing in utilities, we narrowed our search to properties with amenities. We found our retirement location and placed a total electric home in what was described as an improvement district. When questioning neighbors around the area, we found that we paid much less than those that lived outside the improvement district and had to have utilities brought in.
Because of the exorbitant price to bring electricity in from existing power lines, many people decide on solar power as an alternative choice. Solar power requires a large number of solar panels and a battery building to store the many batteries that are connected together. This set up is only as good as the weakest battery in the system, and it’s expensive.
Another system consists of wind turbines that only work when the wind is blowing. These wind turbines also require the battery storage. The same problem exists with the weakest battery. Those that use wind turbines have a gasoline generator to back up the system. At the price of gasoline, the use of generators can be costly. Because the turbines are mechanical, they sometimes need expensive repairs.
Much of rural Arizona uses propane gas for heat and for the hot water. A contract is required for the delivery of propane by a company that provides it. Propane is nearly as costly as gasoline. The tanks placed by your contracting company usually hold 300 gallons. Propane, at this writing, is going for $2.69 per gallon. To fill an empty tank can cost about $700. Some companies charge more, depending on how far out the delivery is.
Properties without piped water to them are called “water haul” properties. To haul water, you will need a trailer and truck with water tanks attached to them, and you will have to go to the water terminal to fill your tanks. You then, transfer the water to a holding tank on your property. The holding tank has a pump to pump water to your house on demand. The cost for the truck and trailer, the water tanks, the insurance and registration on the truck and the water received from the terminal is expensive.
Most areas have water delivery service, and it can save you the time and energy of getting it on your own. The cost of delivery is about twice the amount that piped water would run. Of course, there is still the expense of the holding tank and pump.
My wife and I are now retired and live in our well-planned home with all the amenities. I would suggest to anyone to search for properties and homes with reasonable utilities. After you retire, you’ll be glad you did. Our home is totally paid for and we live comfortably on a fixed income.
Resources: personal experience; Living and surviving as retirees in a remote area.