For Robin Speronis, living off the grid was a dream – until officials ruled her home illegal.
According to the International Property Maintenance Code, officials said, her home had to be connected to both an electricity grid and a running water source. In other words, it’s illegal in Florida now to live off the grid.
Speronis, though, had been living for more than a year and a half on solar energy, a propane camping stove, and rain water – she didn’t need to be on the grid, but for the new regulations.
In the end, she was found not guilty of not having a proper sewer or electrical system, but guilty of not being hooked up to an approved water supply.
Speronis is still being hassled by the municipality of Cape Coral for not having a connection to city water or proper sewage. This is in spite of the fact that the city capped her sewers themselves.
If a municipality makes it illegal to disconnect from any given utility, they are in essence making off-grid living illegal, and that’s exactly what happened here.
But we don’t have to live on the grid to survive, and in fact, our planet may well be better off if we live off the grid. Corporations, though, suffer if we don’t have to pay them, so that’s where these laws come from.
And Florida isn’t the first state to take such a stand – earlier this year, Texas brought SWAT teams to “The Garden of Eden Community,” which was wholly self-sustaining, and handcuffed the community members at gunpoint.
You can read more about that here.