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Navigate laws before going online

Living off the grid is a dream for many people who prefer to use renewable energy sources, are dependent on their own water supply and stay completely cut off from city and county services. It is possible to make a living from the net if you handle your own rubbish, drains and tools … but that’s the easy part. The truth is that there is a lot of bureaucracy and many laws associated with living off the net. It is not as simple as setting up solar panels and setting up houses. Find out what you need to do to be legal before choosing to take this step.

City codes and county codes

Maybe you are ready to go far away from the grid and live without a little extra like running water and electricity. It is not so extreme when you consider the fact that humanity survived for thousands of years without these benefits. In the grand scheme of things, electricity is still a fairly new human invention. But do not be so quick to disconnect. Some city and county codes do not allow you to live in a home without things like running water and sanitary drains. Some cities or counties may even have codes for how large a habitable home must be. An article from Michigan Radio quoted an area couple as living in a home that was too small for their city codes. it was 200 square meters.

Building codes are a very common problem for those who want to try to live online. Before buying these solar panels or going to an old windmill, contact your local planning card. You may even need to talk to someone in the Neighborhood Homeowners Association if there is someone present in your community. It seems that you should be able to build whatever you want on your property, whether you own it or pay a mortgage, this is not the case. There are probably standards in place for structures you can build that can extend to size, function and even appearance.

ostrich eating grass on a farm

In some neighborhoods and cities, it may not be possible to live off-line due to specific zoning laws, planning maps, and building codes. Consider investing in a property where you can really go online. You do not have to buy a forest and clear the trees yourself. However, you can find empty plots out in the countryside where there are far fewer building codes and zoning laws that affect your plans off the grid.


As Ben Franklin pointed out, taxes are one of life’s two inaccessible evils. No one can ever get so out of the net that they do not pay taxes. So you have to make sure you pay yours or else you’ll have a lot of problems with the IRS – whether you use the city sewer or not to dispose of your waste. You still have to pay property taxes, income taxes and other taxes required by city, county, state and federal laws.


gardeners working with farm vegetables

It is perfectly fine to grow your own food and eat it and no one will try to stop you from doing this. However, slaughtering animals for food is a completely different matter. There are very strict standards for killing and slaughtering animals, whether you are hunting your meat or raising animals on your own property. Find out your local health codes and find out what you need to do to kill and process your own meat, if this is part of your plan.

Goes offline

solar panels on a closed house

Living online can help you become self-sufficient and self-sufficient in ways you never expected. It can greatly reduce your cost of living and it can greatly reduce your carbon footprint. But before you do, make sure you still follow all the laws, codes, and regulations that you must follow. No one is ever so out of the net that they are out of government reach!

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