living with zero power in the city...

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by exiledsaint, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. exiledsaint

    exiledsaint ceritfied beer taster

    I own my own home in Raleigh,NC and i recently pulled the plug on BIG power and refused to pay a bill just to get the power turned off..cuz we all know u cant just say..turn off my power. it isnt allowed.

    So all happy living "walden" style in my home, nice fires in the late evenings. Living the simple life right here in town...until I got home from work and my home had been UBER locked on me...seems the city came by and put a lock on the door since I had no power, I couldnt be living there, right? dumba** anyway, I go and pay the stupid fine...yes fine. 150 for living in a domicile without power. so I pay the damn fine, they take off the lock and the power is turned back on by law.

    So I fought back and simply pulled the fuses and cut all my power off and threw the main breaker to make sure no power whatsoever was coming in the house. 2 weeks goes by and I come an UBERlock on my door.

    BIG sticker put on my door says home condemned. call this number....

    so I call the number and fight with the city AGAIN over whehter I am doing illegal improvements to my home and have the power off to my home...

    I told the guy the truth, I dont use the power at all...literally none at all and while I will be forcerd to pay some stupid fees for having power delvered to my home..I wont use it and I am getting a lawyer because this is harassment and I have every right to live without electricity if I want to....

    SOOOOOOOOOOOO I got an attorney and he sent to me to another guy who sent to another guy and I finally had to give up, and went back to the first guy and said " Look, I m sick of stupid laws the tell me I cant live in my home with no electricity, when poor people all over the city areforced to do it all the time..but when I WANT to do it...I cant get any peace.
    I dont have any idea whatr the hell to do. and if you say..turn the power on..I'll smack

    right now I am forced to have the power on. I had to have the city inspector come and inspect the house since they didnt beleive I wasnt doing any improvements. The frickn idiot just looked everything over and asked me why I didnt have the sh*t turned on. "I dont like electricity" I said. Idiot just givers me a look and says "sorry about that, fred flintstone" and puts a city lock on the power box and leaves.

    Im so mad it isnt funny. my house is for sale...Im gonna find someplace in the sticks....anyone got any ideas? I love my house, like the neghborhood Im in...
  2. MrSfstk8d

    MrSfstk8d Well-Known Member

    Wow, sounds like the City of Raleigh are really being d*cks about this. Sorry to hear that. We had a pretty rough time financially this last summer and spent over a month without power. Not exactly the end of the world, but doable, even with kids who still wanted gameboy, etc. We never got an eviction notice or anything though. Let me guess, your power utility is a quasi-governmental body, right? Hate to say it, but it may be time to pack up and move, as you've said you listed already. As much as you love the house, if they're going to make it unlivable, that's that. On the flip side of the coin, you could get ACLU to take on the case, make it a big Federal stink, f*ck up the city's money taking them to court, etc. But then, I'm kind of a d*ck like that myself, lol. It's funny that something that wasn't even available to most households until early/mid last century is now a pre-requisite to be suitable for habitation. That's how money talks, I guess.

  3. azurevirus

    azurevirus Member

    I know a guy down the next street who is a boozer..he cant pay his electric bill because he lost his job and electric co turned it off when he couldnt pay..he jury rigged something up so that he has electric..but he doesnt turn it on to after 5..hes got through the winter so far without being caught..hes got the windows so you couldnt tell if he has a light on ..I dont know how he hasnt gotten caught..surely the electric company knows about this or maybe they dont...maybe they are ignorant of it all or just dont care ..or are waiting for him to rack up a couple thousand in services and then drop the hammer...this burg I live in allows burning wood for heat and I could take you down streets the chickens have taken over in spots..but if I raised chickens and burned wood ..I bet I would hear about it
  4. SaskDame

    SaskDame Well-Known Member

    When we left the city we were busy getting city notices about the saw horses supporting the current project out in the back yard. We had lived there for over a decade and done endless DIY renovations. The yard generally had some project or other on the go. Then a few houses sold to people who wanted to "improve" the neighborhood and they started complaining about everyones "DIY" projects. The city started writing up people for unsightly, or fire regulation violations.

    We sold the place and moved to the farm. So far the only thing we are not allowed to do is have multiple residences on a property with the same land description or electric grid hook up. We could likely live in a tent beside a pond otherwise, that is excepting for our artic winters.
  5. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

    Holy cow, that stinks big time. (yeah, I know, mild words for what you've gone through - sorry.) I would be burning mad, too.

    But I had another thought - maybe the good Lord is kicking your tookus because he knows you need to be somewhere else in the near future... kwim? ;)
  6. Frugal_Farmers

    Frugal_Farmers Good ole country folk

    Land of the free and home of the brave?
  7. nj_m715


    Tell them you converted to being Amish. They will have a hard time fighting a religious case. At least point out that the Amish are "allowed" to not have power. Weren't people allowed to not have power 100 yrs ago. What changed? I'd be looking to get back my money. If there is a requirement to have power see if you can meet the requirements by using an inverter on your truck. Vehicles have different rules. I need permits and inspections by a dozen different agencies to put solar on my house, but nothing is required to add it to a camper, trailer, truck etc.
  8. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

    Turn off just the main breaker inside your house.
    Do nothing on the outside they can check on.
    If you mess with the city power box then they assume you have disconnected power so you can do some remodeling and they want their permit fee.
    It's all about money to them.
    If they again lock you out then you can talk to a lawyer.
    You will still have power you just won't be using any.
    What can they possibly do about that?
  9. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

    Run for political office and get the rules changed!
    That thought did cross my mind after the run in with my local township worker this morning. I would be his boss then! :D But then I would have to deal with other unhappy people that the worker ticked off! LOL! So that idea was nixed!

    My best advise would be to move somewhere that does not have all of those crazy rules and regulations.

    Is there electric competition in your area? Can you switch back and forth so many times that eventually they forget which company you should be with and will not notice if you just shut off? (I am not even sure if that would work...the thought just crossed my mind.)
  10. CulexPipiens

    CulexPipiens Still waiting for the zombies.

    If it's allowed, buy a solar panel and put it on your roof and grid tie it into your house. Since you're not using any power, all it produces should feed back into the grid and IF your area has net metering, then they'll have to pay you for the power. Anyone complains and you simply tell them you're generating more than your using. It would be true. :)

    Make enough off one panel and add another one. Over time you could probably get them to buy an entire array for you!
  11. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Here in Calgary we have a guy named Tony who works for one of the local TV-stations and he "un-covers" crap that the city or businesses or ________ try to cover up when big business tries to screw the locals. We also have another guy that works for one of the local newspapers that does the same thing.

    I did a quick peak through the Raleigh newspaper and didn't see something similar, but, I might not know how to find the right reporter that does it locally for you.

    RAISE A BIG STINK through the local newspaper and you will probably find that there are others who are also trying to de-grid themselves - work together to reverse the charges (fines) and get yourselves an appology from the city!
  12. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    Sorry to hear. You must have Duke Power in town. I have Wake Electric and it costs about $12.00 a month just to have power to the house, even if I do not use it. It does not seem right that they have to FORCE you to use electric if you choose not to. I would think you comply with the law by having power AVAILABLE to use.

    Perhaps tell them you are going to work overseas for an extended period and want the power turned off. If someone comes by to see you tell them you are back in the country for a few days and saw no reason to have it turned on. Might not work as you are already pegged as a problem. But it really is none of their business whether you are here or there or what you are doing. At least not to me.
  13. jungatheart

    jungatheart Beginner's Mind


    Amen brother, amen.
  14. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Well-Known Member

    While it may not be what anyone wants to hear bucking the system hardly ever works out well for the buckee ... There are, usually, several good ways to work within the system to accomplish what you want. Seems like the solar panels may be the best way for you to go if you are wanting to stay put.

    There is a guy here in town who has had no electricity for several years now. He uses wood to heat his house and cook with and sleeps outside on a covered patio when the heat gets too out of hand in the summers.

    I wish you all the luck in the world as, should we wind up staying in the city, we would also like to be off the grid. It probably would not be possible for us to completely disconnect, but it would be nice to be able to use alternative sources if we find them viable.

    A big part of our problem is there are times in the winter when it is really, really bad (-31 degrees F) and times in the summer when it is really, really bad (105+ degree F). Nothing like living where extremes are normal .... :surrender:
  15. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    Let me put my city commissioner hat on for this response.:scratch:scratch Citys have services that are offered collectively to the group with in the boundries of the city. You are expected to use them, keeps costs down for all and insures security to the group. This includes the quality of life basics, water, sewer, gas, electric. The city governmet has a code enforcemet division that is expected to enforce these requirement codes. These people are only enforcing the laws that the commissioners have passed as a blanket to ensure a quality of life to all. The judicial arm enforces these codes.

    I rented my house out to a family who evetually quit paying the gas bill because he lost his job. They didn't need it because it was summer, so they had left it off. They also quit paying the rent. An eviction would have taken months, but when the judge heard there was gas available, but not turned on the house was condemmed. The law worked in my favor this time.

    If you don't want to participate in the collective groups basics, you should relocate to an area where you aren't part of the group. This is what I am looking for in a BOL., distance from the group. Look for an area to build in that has no zoning or permit requirements, then you can do what you want, the way you see fit without having to conform to the collective group.
  16. nj_m715


    That's all good, but the Amish are allowed to not have power or gas. Why is ok to force me to have it? I am allowed to through hike the AT without power or gas and I can live a clean healthy life on the trail. Why can't I do the same in my own home or on my own land?
    I think that's the point. If my kid goes to school and looks like he lives in a pid pen I'd expect someone to check up on it, but when everyone is clean and healthy big brother has no right to bug me about anything.
  17. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Well-Known Member

    This is true but the Amish tend to live together in communities. And while I agree with all you guys wanting to reduce your dependence on city utilities I can also see the cities' side too.

    Unfortunately, society as a whole has to take into account the "lowest common denominator" ... for every person here who could and would live off the grid healthy and happy there are a dozen idiots out there who would let trash pile up, burn anything and everything to stay warm and not take care of anything. THOSE are the folks you should be mad at ... not the cities trying to control that kind of nonsense.

    It has been my experience you can accomplish a lot more by at least the appearance of propriety ... by that I mean not make enemies of people who are just doing their 8 to 5 jobs. There is always more than one way to skin a cat ... If you can accomplish some of what you want isn't that better than making a target of yourself and not being able to accomplish any of what you want?

    For example, chickens are not allowed in city limits where I live except under very strict guidelines, many of which preclude everybody in my neighborhood from being able to own chickens legally. However, there are several people who have chickens in their backyards. The code compliance officer is a regular visitor to our little addition. No one has ever been cited. Why? Because everyone who has chickens is facetious about cleanliness and doesn't try to run an entire chicken farm from their backyards. In fact, I am pretty sure that the lady on the block just over from me gives the mailman eggs regularly.

    It may not always be that way ... but I am willing to bet you a dollar nothing will change UNLESS we get a neighbor who doesn't take care of things or lets their chickens roam or somebody gets a rooster ... I guess everyone will just have to butcher then but I hope not. I would rather the idiots who take advantage or are lazy and don't take care just choose to live somewhere else far, far from me and my neighbors.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  18. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

    So the city can force you to pay for something you don't need or want just to keep the cost down for everyone else?
    Sounds like Obamacare.
  19. SaskDame

    SaskDame Well-Known Member

    Population density has a good deal to do with how many freedoms of choice people can reasonably have. When I lived in the city, noise bylaws were kept and now on the farm it matters less. There continues to be a community consensus (do not know if there is a by-law or not) that spray planes not start spraying at sun up (about 3:30 am around here in June). Point being that the population is small enough that social rather than legal controls are effective.

    There is also an issue of sanitation. At some level of people/animal density there is a sanitation problem. Long term sustainability generally requires that the land base used to maintain animals be enough to make the place food self-sufficient for the animals as well.
  20. nj_m715


    Let the city use the codes or laws and enforce them as they apply to individuals, not as a blanket to cover everyone. If one man lets dog crap pile all over the yard the city should look into that man, not take away every man's dog.

    If their issue is health and welfare, then check on the condition of the man and leave him the hell alone if he's ok.