Electricity has been an issue of much discussion as we move ahead with our building plans. At first, we decided that electricity was a need: it is required for running the kiln, the wheel, and various household items. We had planned to contact the electric company soon after erecting the yurt to learn the cost of connecting to the grid. The more we studied, though, and talked, the more we realized that connecting to the grid was expensive, and really, unnecessary.
For years we had been hoping to someday live off the grid - meaning we would not be connected to any electrical system. Our hope is to someday have enough solar power to run the few electric appliances we use - transfering from an electric kiln to a wood-kiln, and from an electric wheel to a kick-wheel will reduce our electric use by more than half. When we discovered small, fuel-efficient, gas-powered refridgerators on the market, as well as small, quiet, and powerful generators - able to run, charge, and power our electrical necessities, like power tools, my amazing kitchen-aid, the electric wheel, and the computer - we realized that being off the grid was not at all out of our reach.
This decision will cause a few difficulties as we adjust to less electricity. We will have to plan our electric use, we will have to use batteries more often, and work a little harder sometimes for what we need, but the benefits of being off the grid, and having the opportunity to slowly add solar power as we can, and keeping our lives as uncluttered as possible, far outweigh the difficulties. I'm actually really excited about the whole experience - lack of electricity does have a certain romance about it: the romance of soft lighting, quiet evenings, and a slow moving life.