States With Laws (and What They Are) About Living Off The Grid

Living off the grid sparks legislative action from several states

Living off the grid has its benefits but it also has its drawbacks.

Many individuals who are seeking to go completely off the grid are being met with extreme opposition by the government.

I find this interesting as the government has signed legislation concerning the “green” practices of industry.

It appears that yet again, the government wants to regulate how we can and to what extent we can exercise our freedoms.

Here are a few states which have laws concerning living off the grid.


If you are planning on going on the grid in Florida, you may want to reconsider.

The courts have ruled that living off the grid is a violation of the International Property Maintenance code.

Although all the stipulations in the code do not specifically address off the grid living, this has not stopped the courts from fining residences or from jailing certain individuals (such as Speronis) who have gone off the grid.

The governing factor in their “legitimacy” of the legislation is that the residences have to have sustainable water and electricity.

Where the residences have solar power and collect rainwater, the government has not deemed this as an adequate form of either.

North Carolina (and almost every other state)

Those which are trying to create off grid homes from materials which are not commercially based may find that the local authorities will not be too happy about it.

In fact, you are very likely to get a citation and criminal charges for building a structure that “endangers the lives of others”, “building a structure without a license”, or “constructing a building without obtaining the proper permits and meeting the regulated codes”.

In one such instance, a man who dedicated his life to showing and preserving the way of native Americans was faced with criminal charges because (after having the buildings inspected and shown to be “above code”) he did not follow the modern building codes.


Those which are living off the grid in PA will have to abide by governing fees and licensing when installing alternative energy.

Those living off the grid must:

  • Contact local government agencies to verify the ordinances of the area
  • Have a feasibility and engineering cost analysis
  • Have the renewable provider (be it wind power or solar panel) approved by the local government

Such fees have specifically been driven to regulate the wind turbines which have become popular in that area.

By making the local government the authority on which residences can use such alternative sources to energy, the greater public will be denied the licensing for such turbines, or in the best case scenario, the utility company will be given exclusive rights to provide the turbines to the public for an annual fee.


Arizona is trying to impose a tax which will allow an additional $152 per year residential tax on any resident who has solar power.

The state has over 20,000 residences with solar power and more individuals are expected to go off the grid. The state is greatly reducing the number of middle class citizens who will be able to purchase the solar arrays by imposing the tax.

ACC (Arizona Corporation Commission) has been the leader in the fight to keep the residences from having solar power. 

They have worked closely with the ALEC to dismantle any green energy.

Thankfully, most of their efforts have not shown much success.

Other Blanketed Law violations

These are just a few of the states which have implemented direct strategies against those which are living off the grid.

As more and more states will see a decline in the industrial sectors (because they cannot comply with the new “green” legislation) those which are living off the grid will be held responsible and taxed.

Fines, legislation, and hostilities to those living off the grid are apt to include:

  • Child Endangerment
  • Condemning of the property as being unsafe
  • Fines for having untreated waste on the property
  • Building and Zoning fines
  • Building without a permit
  • Stealing water
  • Stealing electricity and other resources
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Operating a business without a license (if you sell any of your goods).
  • Unlawful disposal of hazardous materials
  • If you use fertilizer then you may have the FEDs say you are a threat to Homeland Security

If you store seed and grain then the FDA may try to seize any excess seed that you may have by stating that you are operating as a farm and therefore under the same regulations that the FDA imposes upon commercial farming properties

As you can see, the government does not want you to live off of the grid.

They want to provide you with an option to purchase a semi-off the grid plan which they can tax and regulate.

Those which go completely off the grid are met with a high level of opposition from the government, resulting in finds and imprisonment.

If the government cannot target you directly for your off grid living, then the next step is that they will try to find a loophole in your family life or in your finances.

Any tax which was not paid will be seen as evasion, any illness of your children may be seen as neglect.

It is imperative that if you want to live off the grid that you take legal precautions in order to safeguard yourself from government involvement.

If the local government has zoning regulations and legislation which hinders your off grid home, then there may be federal laws which can help to bypass such laws.

You are encouraged to seek out the best options for you and your family.

Living off the grid does have its benefits and I would encourage anyone who can do so to go off the grid, but those which chose to live as such must be aware that they are doing so under the scrupulous eye of the local and sometimes federal government.


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