(NaturalNews) A 55-year-old man from the UK town of Dundee recently learned the hard way that generating his own electricity inside his apartment flat is not exactly kosher in the eyes of the state. As reported by BBC News and Scotland's STV News, Charles McKenzie landed in the crosshairs of authorities after they discovered that he had rigged up his own homemade transformer, which he was using to produce his own energy independent from the energy grid.
McKenzie had apparently connected some kind of car battery to a transformer device that he rigged together himself, and the entire contraption was reportedly found hanging from his ceiling on "thin ropes," according to a UK agency in charge of investigating such matters. There were also several cans of gasoline found inside McKenzie's apartment near the transformer, which were presumably being used to operate the device.
"The Crown's position is that [McKenzie] had this man-made assembly in his house suspended from the ceiling by thin ropes," said fiscal deputy Laura Bruce to reporters. "There was a car battery and cans of petrol nearby," she added.
Because the setup was deemed dangerous, McKenzie is being charged with "culpably and recklessly" producing household electricity "with a total disregard for the safety of [himself] and others." However, local sheriff George Way reportedly questioned the validity of the charges, expressing confusion over how a person can recklessly produce electricity. Others have expressed similar sentiments, questioning whether the charges really have to do with reckless conduct or an intolerance for energy independence.
Even so, McKenzie's contraption, whatever it was actually made of, was being housed in a high-rise tower where hundreds of other people lived, which could have potentially put them at serious risk of injury or death. But few details have emerged explaining how the device actually worked, and whether or not it truly was a hazard, or just a threat to the status quo because it allowed McKenzie to go off the grid.
Attempting to live off the grid is also apparently unacceptable in some rural areas as well, as last year we reported that "nuisance abatement teams" were being dispatched throughout California's "Inland Empire" to evict all the lone rangers living on properties disconnected from the central energy grid. Since living off the grid out in the country cannot convincingly be dubbed "reckless," authorities in California simply categorized the phenomenon as a "nuisance" in order to effectively stamp it out.