Trying To Live Off The Grid In DC

6:45 AM, Mar 6, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Inside a Northwest DC row house is a woman who's living almost entirely off the grid.

She agreed to talk to WUSA9, but she wants to remain anonymous.

"I've been able to work around this condition in my daily life and I don't want this condition to define who I am."

She believes she suffers from electromagnetic sensitivity or EMS. Think of it as an allergic reaction to wireless technology.

"I start getting blurry vision, I usually feel a slight headache. It's like having an allergic reaction. Some people are sensitive to things that others are not."

So she's unplugged almost all the electronics in her home.

"I don't use wireless, I don't use a computer, I don't listen to the radio. I can't watch TV."

She only has a land line , no cell phone. She gets her news from newspapers and yet, she's still able to hold down a high-powered, full-time job in downtown D.C.

"The hardest part is I always have to rely on someone and say, would you look this up? Can you print that out for me? Can you type that up for me?"

But there's one source of wireless radiation that she can't turn off, the smart meter that Pepco installed last year at her home.

"I was hoping it wouldn't have an affect. But I immediately started feeling the symptoms at night, but I don't want to move out of my home."

She's one of 30 people who wrote Pepco asking to opt out of the smart meter program.
But Pepco doesn't allow it and here's why.

If she gets to opt out, it would reduce the efficiency of the entire smart grid in this neighborhood. Not to mention, Pepco says these meters are safe and her condition, it's not even recognized in the U.S.

"If I could, I would be back on the grid in a heartbeat. I mean it is not an easy condition to have... So I would say that in as much as some people say this isn't real, I mean it very much is."

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