Despite Trying to Procure Electricity for a Year, There’s No Power Shortage for this Texas Couple.
William Acosta and his wife, Kathy, live in the middle of nowhere.
Actually, it is somewhere — on about 14 acres between the Texas towns
of Bastrop and Elgin — but there’s not much there. There’s the
4,600-acre Steiner Ranch as a neighbor, and the closest easement for
electricity is a mile and a half away.
The Acostas see more there than what others do, however. They see their
future dream home. They can picture a beautiful house and a large
garage. They imagine spending the rest of their lives on their private,
quiet, open Texas land with plenty of room for their pets to roam. They
can see some permanency in their lives.
“We’d like to build our final house,” William says. “I’ve moved around
all my life and wanted to have a final home and stop moving the family
Dreams sometimes come with sacrifices. To avoid paying two mortgages,
the Acostas sold their home in Oakhill, Texas, and moved to their land
near Bastrop. Possessing a pioneering spirit, the couple decided to
live on the land as they saved money to build their new home.
Since they moved to the site more than a year ago, they have been
without what many of us take for granted — a firm foundation and
electricity. While they knew they might be living in the RV for a
while, they didn’t anticipate such a prolonged wait for electricity.
The Acostas’ land has a few other neighbors in the distance. They’re
close enough that the 1.5-mile easement could be shortened if a
neighbor allowed the electric company to have an easement right of way
through their property. William estimates the cost to do so would be
about $11,000 for 1,300 feet. Although the cost varies based on the
amount of brush and trees that need to be cleared, a mile and a half
would likely cost about $67,000.
Besides the huge cost savings, the plan also would prevent a
significant inconvenience: The Acostas’ easement land also is their
road. According to the electric company, power line poles must be
centered on the easement. Going to and from their home would be
something like a driving skills’ test, as they weave back and forth
around the power poles.
Unfortunately, getting an easement right of way wasn’t as easy as they expected. In short, “it was a big mess,” William says.
After numerous roadblocks, with agreements falling through and property
rights’ issues popping up, the Acostas think they may finally be close
to a solution. They’re waiting anxiously for the confirmation from the
In the meantime, a year has passed, but the Acostas aren’t faring too
badly. Despite no electric easement, Kathy uses a hairdryer, they cook
meals, charge cell phones, vacuum, run the air conditioning and do
pretty much everything else one would do in a wired home. After all,
they knew they would need a power source for “maybe six months,” so
they checked into generators early on.
They had searched the Internet with a brand in mind.
something quiet since it would be running at their home every day, but
they also needed a generator big enough to handle their 15,000-Btu air
conditioning — which is larger than the standard 12,000 Btu in most
RVs. It’s a necessity for Texas summers.
The Acostas connected with a Subaru dealer in Oklahoma with a good idea
of what they wanted. The salesman had other things in mind. The
generator the Acostas were looking at simply couldn’t handle an air
conditioner that large, they were told. It’s one thing to have
electricity-using products, but items such as air conditioners surge as
they turn on, requiring a greater amount of power — sometimes as much
as 50 percent more.
“He said our 15,000 Btu load would be more than (the other brand) could
handle, yet the Subaru and (other brand) were the same size. But Subaru
put in an extra boost for that power surge once the AC kicks on,”
Subaru’s RG3200iS inverter generator
cranks out a maximum of 3,200
watts of clean power at just 58 decibels. It’s powered by a
7-horsepower, four-cycle overhead cam EX21 engine
, which also is built
for quiet power and designed with durability in mind. The engine’s timing is precise due to a case-hardened steel timing chain, dual ball bearings support the crankshaft, and heavy-duty piston rings coupled with a cast-iron cylinder liner
resist wear and contribute to the
engine’s long service life.
While William trusted the professional advice regarding all of these
features, he took it one step further to ensure he was making a good
investment: He called the vice president of sales and marketing at
Subaru. He asked about not only Subaru generators, but the company from
which he was considering purchasing one.
“He said this guy in Oklahoma tests all of his stuff before he sells it
or uses it, and that was good to know,” William says. “You know the guy
went out of his way to actually do that instead of just ordering a
bunch of stuff and selling it. So he was pushing Subaru, and we went
along with what he said, trusted him, and it looks like we made a good
Good choice, indeed. When asked about what problems he’s had with the
RG3200iS Subaru inverter generator after a year of nearly nonstop use,
he responds, “None at all.” Plus, Subaru’s Auto-Power System adjusts
the engine speed according to power requirements, allowing the Acostas
to save money through greater fuel efficiency.
The Acostas aren’t “normal” generator users, either. Most generator
owners use it for periodic applications at home or on the jobsite.
Besides day-to-day needs, the Acostas also were looking out for Jeter.
Their 13-and-a-half-year-old Vizsla dog was sick with liver problems,
and it was important to the Acostas to make him as comfortable as they
could during his final months of life, including keeping the air
conditioning on constantly. It was the least they could do to ease the
suffering of a longtime companion. (Jeter has passed away in May of
“The air conditioner in the RV runs 24 hours a day from mid-May through late September,” William says, or 168 hours a week.
William recently decided to contact Subaru again, wondering how many
hours of use the motor is expected to get. He was approaching 5,000
hours and figured he must be hitting the end of the motor’s expected
“I told (the Subaru technician) that I was approaching 5,000 and
someone told me I should check it out. That way we could go ahead and
secure another machine because we hadn’t secured the power from the
electric company,” William says.
The technician was “dumbfounded,” he says. Subaru’s inverter generators
are built for a wide range of end-users, from professional construction
and building contractors to general consumers who perhaps take along
power when camping or want an emergency standby at their homes. While
high quality, powerful machines are Subaru’s trademark, they simply
weren’t designed with the intention of powering a home for thousands of
hours, especially without a break. On average, they’re predicted to get
about 2,000 hours of use.
“They were very surprised that the machine had that many hours on it. I guess people don’t normally do this,” William says.
One year after purchasing the generator, the Acostas logged their
5,342nd hour of use. After more than 5,900 hours of use, William
thought they might finally be hitting a problem.
“The other night it was shutting off, so I went out there and changed the spark plug and that seemed to do it,” William says.
Despite his praise for the dependable longevity the Subaru generator
provided he and his wife and their beloved dog, Jeter, throughout the
past year, William won’t be sad to see it go. They hope the easement
goes through soon, and that they’ll have electricity to their lot
within five to six weeks.
“Once we get power, that’ll be the start of things,” William says.
The start of great things, for sure. Their new home will be more than
10 times larger than their current, temporary home. They’ll have a game
room, computer room, library, three-stall garage … and a permanent
“It’ll be great,” William says. “Can’t wait!”