Transient

A Documentary By Michael Love

When Michael came home from work on May 3, 2012, he discovered that his power had been cut off. He was angry with his electrical provider BC Hydro for the lack of understanding and assistance when he had complained about over-billing. He was angry with himself for not just paying the bill, and letting it get to this point.

But then, something happened.

When Michael awoke to go to work, he realized he’d had his best sleep in over 15 years. Why had he had such a perfect night’s rest? Maybe it was the lack of electrical noise from his computer, the hum of his refrigerator… something was different.

This experience triggered something – an idea to document himself living with no power in his home for the next 60 days, or one BC Hydro billing period.

This experiment would prove to be a challenge in more ways than one. Michael’s insulin had spoiled in the powerless refrigerator, creating challenges for him as a diabetic. He took cold showers and washed his clothes in the tub, and figured out ways to still enjoy creature comforts like movies and music.

Michael interviewed people about how important electricity was in their homes and how many days they could live without it. He discovered that he was not alone in his over-billing issues with BC Hydro. There were hundreds of people that had the same issues, and the only common factor was the installation of the new “Smart Meter”.

While using free internet at local coffee shops, Michael dug deeper into the issue of the new “Smart Meter”. He uncovered some surprising information, and is planning to continue his experiment of living without power in his home, even though he could pay his bill at any time. He will follow different stories concerning the ”Smart Meters”, and the grid that will be created in 2013 to read and control the new electrical monitoring system.

What began as one man’s struggle over a bill increase and the challenges of living without power has escalated with stories and concerns about privacy issues, health and safety issues, and a large corporation that is unreasonable when dealing with its consumers.