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Living off the grid. Legal or illegal?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Twilight Hue, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    Its an attractive alternative no doubt. Provide your own electricity and water. But there seems to be a catch. You can't do it.

    Off Grid Living is Illegal! Sort of... - Off Grid World

    Woman Jailed For Living Off The Grid - Robin's Story Continues

    It seems living off the grid on a permanent basis is in general illegal and the government will likely come after you for it at some point citing regulatory requirements or whatever laws dictate that you cannot be allowed to live severed from the grid yet you can camp off the grid on a temporary basis.

    I think people ought to have the right to live a life of self sufficiency without penalty or interference and some who do are already at risk of being fined or jailed.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    The joys of being highly regulated.
     
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  3. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    As usual, this is not as daft as it first sounds when you read it.

    The issue is to do with water and sanitation mainly - plus a load of things to do with the living quarters themselves - rather than whether or not you are connected to the power utilities.
     
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  4. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    If that was the case then she could have installed filtration systems and septic systems with an agreement on maintaining compliance.

    It seems the onus is the demand for her to hook back up to municipal systems or else.
     
  5. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    Doesn't seem at all like it was in the movies.



    But no one today can do what Jeremiah Johnson did. All the land is pretty well spoken for. In the West, most of it is under Federal jurisdiction in one form or another.

    Maybe there are parts of Alaska where it's still possible.

    Another option is that some countries have uninhabited islands for sale.
     
  6. Salty Booger

    Salty Booger Royal Crown Cola (RC)

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    According to the videos on YouTube, many are doing just that, living off the grid. If it were me, I would keep the utilities as a standby yet function on self-sufficient alternatives.
     
  7. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm not going to defend obscure local planning laws in another country, but I can see that from the viewpoint of public health and avoidance of unsightly eyesores, local government will need to impose some standards on what kind of dwellings are allowed and what services they can use. If this person wanted to set up their own water and sanitation, someone suitably qualified would need to audit it and sign it off as safe. They may not have the capacity in local government to cater for the whim of every eccentric - after all it is the other taxpayers that would have to fund it.

    But I can see that if this were to become a widespread demand from people, then they would have to resource up to allow it.
     
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  8. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    I think the issue is primarily over people who are sick of paying numerous exorbitant fees, taxes, and costs of utilities and want to be free of that.
     
  9. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure that's right. However a large number of these people have a very selective understanding of what they actually rely on, from the society they imagine they are opting out of.
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    But much regulation isn't so justifiable, eg, banning wind turbines
    as unsightly. My town hits owners who install photovoltaics with
    huge property tax increases. (Fortunately for me, I'm outside their
    jurisdiction.) Zoning laws, housing codes, building codes do
    similar things which unnecessarily boost energy usage.
     
  11. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    And free of over-regulation, eg, what kind of front door is allowed,
    color of paint allowed, which side of a bedroom can have a bed, etc.
    Those are all things I've run into as a homeowner & landlord.
     
  12. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    Sure, I can understand that. America also has a certain heritage of pioneers, frontiersmen, etc., which some people might be trying to recapture to some extent.
     
  13. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    We got our education from our country as well as being supported by the government, so it makes sense that we participate in the society.

    Personally I like the idea to be totally free, and there will be people living in Siberia or other far off places living such a life

    But remembering Covid-19 I think from this year onward they will search every inch of the earth to vaccinate them
     
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  14. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Yes and no. Local authorities have to balance a huge series of competing demands and expectations from residents. The one on unsightliness is a classic. It is pretty ghastly if, bang in front of the house you have lived in for 20 years and hope to see out your days in, the outlook is ruined by the erection of some monstrosity opposite. What can you do? You can't just be expected to move house if this happens to you.

    But I'm sure it must the the case that a lot of these rules were designed 30-40 years ago and have not kept pace with the energy revolution. This is the sort of detail that maybe a Biden executive could productively turn its attention to, to help bring about the shift from fossil fuel they are talking about. Getting rid of accidental and artificial barriers to change must be a big part of it.
     
  15. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    Its a shame you would have to seek to live in the wilderness for that.
     
  16. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    They really have regulations like that? It sounds like the kind of thing that homeowners associations would impose, but not governments. But I could be wrong about that.

    They might as well regulate whether the toilet paper roll should be over or under.
     
  17. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Right: people don't want to pay their share of the costs they impose on society.

    ... but just as your right to swing your arms ends at the tip of my nose, your right to dump your excrement in a septic tank ends when it leaches into my drinking water.
     
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  18. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    There are always reasons for over-regulation.
    People behind them don't consider it "over".
    This should change (IMO).
     
  19. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Yeah its always "over" until you find yourself the poor schmuck who has a concrete office building put up to block your view of the mountains.
     
  20. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    Personally, I don't mind all that much living on the grid. I've been a city boy all my life, so I'm not about to go out into the wilderness - even if there was truly a wilderness still out there (there isn't). There's no area left which can be called a pristine wilderness.
     
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