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How to look like you're on-grid!

 
Posts: 186
Location: Swanton, MD
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With ridiculous stories about Florida forcing people to be on-grid for both electric and water, it occurs to me that the easiest way to be left alone is not to call attention to yourself.   I am sure that the only reason my state hasn't forced people to be on-grid is because it never occurred to the legislature that anyone would want to live without electric.   As I am very close to going off-grid (saving up for a windmill), I am think that going off-grid should be done quietly.   So no one knows your off-grid.   Then when they pass the idiot on-grid act in my state, I will fly under the radar.

Friends of mine not far from me were forced to connect to city water and plumbing when the water lines were run past them.  So far I am rural enough to escape water/sewer being run on my road.  However, I can see it happening and dread the day it does.  

Some untested ideas of mine:

1.  In our state we indicate on property taxes whether or not we are a resident.   Tick the form "Non-Resident" instead of resident.   It means I have to pay taxes all at once, but I do that anyway.   I am thinking that it will be the property tax records that they look at when they try to find addresses not connected to the electric/water.
2.  Register as a farm?   I am thinking that farm use would escape notice.
3.  Hunters Cabin?   Call your home a hunter's cabin instead of a residence might work.  
4.  Hide your presence?   Make your home look like it is part of the landscape.   Or not a home but a barn, storage shed, etc.   Don't park your vehicles where they are visible.   Someone driving by should not think anyone lives there.
5.  Have a on-grid compliant home up front next to the street.   Rent it for income.   Be off-grid in the rear?

I would prefer to be a non-conformist in peace than have to fight to be off-grid later.   Would love to know other permie's thoughts on this.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11359
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
739
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I think the easiest thing is to just have redundant systems.  If water, power, and septic are required, go ahead and have them installed and then don't use them.  Stupid waste of money and resources but there you are.  Greywater wasn't allowed here when we had our house built but we installed some later on.  Nobody ever inspected anything.
 
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Since you already have electric lines running to your home that might put you under the radar.  Next, #4 is a good strategy.  

#6 Put you solar panels where they can't be seen from the road.
#7 When you call the electric company to cancel - don't cancel as they will remove the meter.  Instead tell them you will be out of town for 3 more [or something]... maybe they will leave the meter [maybe not].  Or don't call and just pay the minimum.





 
Nancy Troutman
Posts: 186
Location: Swanton, MD
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Anne Miller wrote:
#7 When you call the electric company to cancel - don't cancel as they will remove the meter.  Instead tell them you will be out of town for 3 more [or something]... maybe they will leave the meter [maybe not].  Or don't call and just pay the minimum.



I hate lying, but maybe say to them property is vacant if they ask?   Unfortunately our wiring is underground in our area, at least from the poles to the houses.

But I am thinking I could photograph the meter.   Then tape photo behind glass and put it over the meter?  It won't fool people close up, but it might from a distance.
 
Posts: 108
Location: The Ocala National Forest. Florida, USA
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Rural Florida isn't quite as strict. Back in the 80's my dad built a home he designed, from lumber cut from his land and the inspections were ridiculous. But once it passed he changed everything to the way he wanted it... I do remember it taking awhile to 'get permission' to build a new home without central heat\air. Where I am now I could go off grid and no-one the wiser... The talking heads of the state are now talking of forcing all rural folks to upgrade their septic systems 'to save the springs'....  And I know they are using drones and satellite images to see what new building your doing.... Hmmmm....
 
Anne Miller
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Nancy Troutman wrote:

Anne Miller wrote:
#7 When you call the electric company to cancel - don't cancel as they will remove the meter.  Instead tell them you will be out of town for 3 more [or something]... maybe they will leave the meter [maybe not].  Or don't call and just pay the minimum.



I hate lying, but maybe say to them property is vacant if they ask?   Unfortunately our wiring is underground in our area, at least from the poles to the houses.

But I am thinking I could photograph the meter.   Then tape photo behind glass and put it over the meter?  It won't fool people close up, but it might from a distance.



I am so sorry, please forgive me.  When I suggested that, I in no way meant to imply that you lie to them.  I guess it could be taken that way.

We used to travel a lot and I was in that situation several times so it just didn't seem like I was asking you to lie. Sorry.
 
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