Dissatisfied with blackouts, wildfires, and rising electricity bills, a small but growing number of Californians in rural areas and the San Francisco suburbs are going off the grid. A stunning drop in the cost of solar panels and batteries in the last decade is contributing to this trend. Some homeowners who built new, off-grid homes say they are saving money because their systems are cheaper than securing a new utility connection. Already, there are dozens of off-grid homes in Nevada County, a picturesque part of the Sierra Nevada range between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. Some energy experts say millions more could eventually go off the grid as costs drop.

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