"Once on the fringe, about 750,000 off the grid American households pioneer green living by tapping sustainable energy from the wind, sun, and earth." The Christian Science Monitor reports: "Improving technology means that—while still not cheap—living off the grid is more realistic and comfortable than ever before. In an age of extreme economic insecurity plus concern about the effects of using fossil fuels—witness the BP oil spill and a host of recent coal-mining disasters—living off the grid gives people a feeling of structural, financial, and emotional independence. It lets them plan and control their energy use, with no fear of sudden blackouts."