ELMORE - Jeff Balcom is still powerless and still having fun with it.
A conflict that began in November 2012 with Alliant Energy about who is responsible for an unstable electrical pole resulted in Balcom's power being shut off Sept. 24 of last year.
Balcom said he has talked to an Alliant official, but there has been no resolution and he is still without power. That has raised concerns for his welfare during the recent cold snap that plunged temperatures way below zero with a fierce wind chill.
NO POWER — Jeff Balcom stands next to his gutted meter in Elmore last fall after having his electricity shut off by Alliant Energy. He is still without electricity and uses the nickname “Powerless Balc.”
"A lot of people ask me how I'm staying warm; it's easy," said Balcom, who has a propane heater that easily heats his cabin. "Some of these people have fish houses as big as my cabin."
Balcom wasn't even home during the deep freeze, but not because he was uncomfortable.
"I stayed at mom's house during the cold snap to make sure she was all right," he said.
A problem cropped up when he returned home: frozen water pipes.
"In the 13 years I've owned the property, I've never had a frozen pipe, but this was pretty extreme," he said.
Fortunately, a visit from a plumber fixed the stopped-up pipes, which never burst.
Balcom is taking it all in stride.
"I probably do better now than in the summertime," he said with a laugh. "They don't have propane air conditioners."
He has gotten a mixed bag of reactions to his months-long standoff with Alliant.
"People say, 'Why don't you just give in to them?' Then other people say, 'If you want to watch television, come over and watch,'" he said.
"If you're not watching TV [at home], you're going out and doing other things," said Balcom, listing karaoke and visiting people.
And then there's keeping folks updated on his powerless status.
"I'm having a lot of fun with it. I'm still making Powerless Balc episodes," he said.
For more on his fight with Alliant, read "Powerless Balc makes due without modern conveniences" in the Oct. 17 edition of the Sentinel online.
To keep up with Balcom's adventure or view his videos, visit balcomauction.com, and click on the Powerless Balc link, or visit the Powerless Balc Facebook page.