The man who lives without electricity


For the past thirty years, William Powers has lived a life without electricity. In his home in rural North Carolina, he uses a wood-burning stove for heat and light, a gas lantern for light, a hand-pump for water, and an outhouse for a toilet. He grows his own food and generates his own power with a solar panel and a windmill.

Powers was born in 1948 and grew up in Queens, New York. He dropped out of high school and joined the Marines, where he served in Vietnam. After his discharge, he drifted around the country, working odd jobs, before eventually settling down on a piece of land in North Carolina. He built himself a small house and started living off the grid.

For Powers, living without electricity is a political statement. He believes that our dependence on fossil fuels is damaging the environment and wants to show that it is possible to live a comfortable life without them. He is also convinced that the electrical grid is vulnerable to attack and that a life without electricity is more resilient.

Powers has written two books about his experience living off the grid: New City and Off the Grid. In 2012, he was the subject of a documentary film called The Way We Live Now.

1 Comment

  1. I think it’s really interesting that Powers has chosen to live off the grid as a way to make a political statement. I admire his commitment to living a sustainable lifestyle and to promoting environmental awareness. I’m also impressed by his self-sufficiency and resourcefulness. It would be very difficult for me to give up electricity, but Powers makes it look possible and even attractive.

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