Many homesteaders have the eventual goal or dream of going off grid. For the uninitiated, that is living without being plugged into the electricity grid owned by power utilities-producing one’s own electricity. Some homesteads may live pioneer style, with no electricity at all while others prefer to keep some modern conveniences such as electric lights by relying on a generator.
If you dream of living off the grid you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about how you will go about things. What kind of generator is right for your homestead? How will you use it? How will you replace electricity intensive household routines with more energy efficient or electricity free options? Do you even need electricity at all? You’ve probably thought about a lot of this but you may not have thought about whether or not your city, state, or county will LET you live off the grid.
My husband’s uncle pointed us to this ongoing story of Tyler Truitt, a veteran who was living off the grid in Huntsville, Alabama. However, local ordinances endanger his homestead. His home was condemned by the city because he was not hooked up to any public utilities and they told him he must remove his mobile home because it was against city ordinances. This is his mobile home that he bought. This is his land that he owns! I’d like to think that his case is unusual but it’s not. After a little research, I found a family whose children were removed by child protective services because they unschooled and lived off grid. These intrusions into people’s way of life are done in the name public safety. But are they really helping anyone? And who are those of us who choose to live independently hurting by our personal choices?
What can be done to protect your rights and your lifestyle? Should the government be allowed to prevent you from living off grid on your own land for any reason? I don’t have a lot of answers for this at this point but it’s definitely something to think about. Any thoughts?