A lot of people have been considering moving off the grid with the frustrating political climate in our heavily populated urban centers. The high costs of utility bills and the appeal of modern renewable resources based tech are also great incentive.
Before we happily jaunt off into the wilderness with our solar panels to begin a new lifestyle, it’s important that we consider the legal and practical issues to follow.
Corrupt Politicians and Huge Profiting Companies Don’t Like Off the grid Living
Sadly, there are very powerful financial interests such as major fuel and utility companies who do not want to see a decline in revenue. Strict zoning and building design laws can make it hard in some states to live without being plugged into the utility system.
Many states including New York, North Carolina, and Florida make it virtually impossible. Anywhere near an urban center, you can expect that it will be harder to live naturally without having industry lobbyists manipulating politicians to force you to buy their services.
Once again, it’s important not to anger the energy and material fabrication cartels. They have a lot of political power with county and state governments. An anything renewable resource based technology is a menace for them. One way you can remove some pressure is by having your structure be built with modern commercial materials in compliance with local building codes.
This will give you some credibility with your local government, who does not look happily at people living in environmentally friendly shacks on their own property. If you have modern commercial building materials and a local inspector checking stuff, it’s more likely they will not bother if you are not getting power from the central utility. Sad, but true.
Have Proper Supplies
Invest in technology that’s based on available and inexhaustible resources, the kind that would be used in a very harsh environment. Get your contractors in order. Make sure you consider what type of septic system you should be using. Have people in the local government helping you. The more hands you have, the lighter work will be.
If someone in your group is good with constructions, that can help a lot. There are two major ways to power your property. One is by using solar panels. The downside with them is they are expensive and inefficient unless there’s plenty sunlight. The other method is to use wind turbines. The downside of wind turbines is that they might need more maintenance.
Choose a Great Location
Great locations are spots in the developing world where national governments are much looser about building codes. In general, big cities are bad for living simply on your own power. Rural locations are much better.
It mostly comes down to the size of the lobbying and political network in a region. You want to find a place where a big business doesn’t want to go. Countries like Mexico, India, Brazil, Tunisia, Egypt, Argentina, Colombia, Philippines, Afghanistan, and Jordan are all looser in how they view what constitutes a valid home.
Africa is a heaven for informal living because the central governments are often quite weak outside the biggest city. If you are unwilling to move outside of the U.S., pick a state in the South like Tennessee. More northern U.S. states that make it easy for off the grid living are Idaho and Wyoming.
Prepare for More Hard Work
Wherever you live, there is going to be more work in designing a homestead that does not have as much connection with the outside world.
Most people have gotten used to getting exactly what they want when they want it by living in the city. If you live out in the country on a homestead, you have to sacrifice more regularly to pay bills. Having experience with vehicle maintenance, power systems, farming, and construction is very helpful for someone who wants to live simply. If you do not know how to do these things very well, then this lifestyle may not be for you.
Learning them by using tools like YouTube and wikiHow, which can help you expand your knowledge base on this subject.
There are many good things that can be said about going back to nature. Sadly, the current political climate on both sides of the aisle is aiming for more government oversight at the expense of the Average Joe. If you are an someone who wants to be more independent, expect some resistance from the authorities. However, going off the grid it is well worth the effort. Going to international locations can be a good strategy if the U.S. government is making it too hard for you.
Author bio: Amanda Wilks is a writer and contributing author for www.workbootcritic.com. She’s a firm believer in Jacque Fresco’s vision for technology’s implementation and a resource based living. See Amanda’s Twitter for more of her work: @AmandaWilks01