Every good plan has one important aspect- a backup plan for when thing go wrong and something changes. I feel the same way about my house. Living in a place that routinely gets 60 plus inches of snow across a winter and has January nights hitting minus 20f, having a backup heat source and power source is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
While I heat mostly with wood pellets because I like the idea of “carbon neutral” and sustainable heating plus it is much cheaper than oil or electric heat in this area, there are some things to remember about it. First, if the electric goes out because of an ice storm, we have no heat. Also, there are lots of augers and fans in a pellet stove and while they are reasonably reliable, they are not as reliable as electric heat or oil furnace. They can and do break down and most often you need to order parts so when they break down it is several days.
I have several larger electric infra-red heaters for the bedrooms and living room in case they are needed, plus I have 2 fireplaces that while are made for ambiance will keep areas of the house warmer in a pinch. The important part of the backup plan is the electric generator. We are in a rural area so when we lose power, though it is infrequent, 12 plus hours is the norm. A few years ago we lost power for 3 days in the dead of winter.
It was that winter that I figured out just having a generator in the garage was of little use. For a real backup power supply, it has to be hard wired into your electric box. The way we had ours installed after that, as soon as the power goes out I flip a switch and I have power back to the whole house again. While it is not enough to run every appliance, heater, and vacuum in the house full bore, it is more than enough to have lights, heat, telephone, and even basic comforts. It is so simple my wife or 15 year old daughter can do it. There is even an upgrade available where it does it automatically.
The trick to this system is adequate ventilation for the generator, and to remember to have a reasonable supply of gas or diesel as appropriate on hand to run it for a few days. It does no good to have a generator capable of running everything but only a gallon of fuel that will be gone in 3 hours. Between the generators, a supply of wood for the fireplaces, and keeping a good supply of food and stuff on hand, as we go into the winter months the backup plan is ready. Now if only I could convince myself I was ready for the colder weather.