Florida Makes Off-Grid Living Illegal – Mandates All Homes Must Be Connected To Electricity & Water Grid

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Robin Speronis lives off the grid in Florida, completely independent of the city’s water and electric system. A few weeks ago, officials ruled her off-grid home illegal. Officials cited the International Property Maintenance Code, which mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source.

That’s like saying our dependency on corporations isn’t even a choice. The choice to live without most utilities has been ongoing for Robin, the self-sufficient woman has lived for more than a year and a half using solar energy, a propane camping stove and rain water.

In the end, she was found not guilty of not having a proper sewer or electrical system; but was 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, nor proper sewage. That. regardless of the fact the city capped her sewers themselves.

Robin Speronis during a news interview.

Robin Speronis during a news interview.

Is Off-Grid Really Illegal?

In essence yes. To live off the grid means to not have to hook up to any corporate or municipal utilities. If a municipality makes it illegal to disconnect from any given utility, they are in essence making off grid living illegal.

“It means living independently, mainly living independently of the utility companies. Providing your own power. It does not mean living in the stone age, it’s not about bush craft. It’s about generating your own power, your own water, dealing with your own waste. Probably as part of a community, not living on your own like a hermit. It’s also about being more self-reliant and being less dependent on the system. Perhaps realizing that the system isn’t really protecting us anymore and we have to look after ourselves.” – George Noory

Exploring Our Potential Beyond The Grid

Our potential as a human race is quite extraordinary, we just don’t realize it. Sustainable living is not about giving up a certain lifestyle. We can still have all the modern amenities, design and beyond. We simply need to transition from one way of seeing housing to another.

One potential issue with off the grid living is that corporations will lose their ability to control others with their utility. This could be the type of political and corporate agreements that give people like Speronis issues to begin with.

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozled has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan

Moving Away From Dependence

The human race does not need to be dependent on these corporations for basic needs in the manner we have now. While we continue to feed this dependency, the planet continues to suffer. In order to move forward, we must start cooperating with each other, and realize just how much potential we have to create something  we can take into our own hands and do sustainably. We can’t wait for these coproations to come up with solutions as they will likely be very profit oriented.

Another Case of State Hassle

Earlier this year, Texas state brought several SWAT teams to a sustainable community and threatened to shut it down. Each one of the community members were initially handcuffed at gunpoint. It was called “The Garden of Eden Community,” and was totally self sustainable. You can read more about that here.




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More From 'Alternative News'

CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Pingback: Bestrijding van machtsconcentraties: energie | Piratenpartij

  2. sue

    Lets face it , this is the state that made it illegal to feed the poor! Pretty soon it will be illegal to have kids there.

  3. Pingback: Florida Makes Off-Grid Living Illegal – Mandates All Homes Must Be Connected To Electricity & Water Grid | rodpush - Iskcon

  4. E.C.Selke

    It’s all about greed. Heaven forbid, YOU reduce tTHEIR profits by NOT needing them!

    • AstroNerdBoy

      Yes, because Big Brother is just as greedy as anyone running a corporation. Thou shalt no deny Big Brother his rightful taxes, fees, and other monies. Any attempts to do so will be made illegal.

      Kinda like when a city dictates water conservation, then raises water rates because of lost revenue from people conserving. *_*

  5. Bill T.

    The code doesn’t specify the source of the electrical supply (The wording is simple and straight-forward in the code, it doesn’t take a lawyer: “604.2 SERVICE: Dwelling units shall be served by a three-wire, 120/240 volt, single-phase electrical service having a minimum rating of 60 amperes.”), if Florida says it must come from utilities, they can’t justify it using the code. A private system satisfies the equirement.

  6. The headline is very misleading. Once you start reading, you see that it is clearly NOT the state of Florida that is making her off-grid living illegal. It is municipality of Cape Coral.

  7. Yes they can force her, there next step is to condemn the property, and bulldoze it, She needs to move out of the city into the county, no problem there. When you live in a “CITY” you give many of your rights up for the “privilege” of living in the city.

  8. aeon

    “not having a proper sewer or electrical system” This is a crime? wtf?

    • AstroNerdBoy

      Funny how that works, yet we keep voting for these fools, the biggest ones claiming that “they care for the little people” while screwing them over royally.

  9. bimjim

    I do not want to take sides here – though I would be on the side of the home owner – but today’s greedy and totally self-centered human has clearly and irrevocably shown that he/she cannot be trusted to do the right thing – usually because it “costs money”, but many times because they just do not care about the possible consequences.

    Surely the argument FOR being hooked up is to be 100% sure that 1. you are not contaminating the groundwater with your fecal or toxic waste, and 2. you will not be a burden on the municipality by using contaminated water and getting sick. Same argument gfor garbage, especially is there is recycling involved.

    On the other hand, I also understand the argument for self-containment – NOT to have to keep paying whatever somebody else decides you MUST pay – and maybe even havinhg to pay for the major theft of electricity by others, such as to grow drugs or just steal unlimited electricity for their homes.

    I refuse to buy a condo for that very reason… even if you become part of the governing Board, it is still a whole bunch of other people (by majority vote) imposing their standards and NIMBY fears on everyone else, resulting in basically a dictatorship where you MUST pay whatever fees they decide and are you – even as a full owner – unable to enjoy your own lifestyle, whether that means simply not being able to have a pet to not being able to hang a herb bed out of your kitchen window.

    Of course – for me – another nay-nay about condos is paying (basically the same as) “rent” while owning the property. Why not just rent the place, keep your money, and stash it somewhere it can earn more money for you (and be instantly available if you need it)? Home rich and cash poor does not appeal to me.

    • mws46

      If you think you own your home, try not paying the government their yearly rent AKA property taxes. You will find that you are only a leaseholder and will be dispossessed. Same with your automobile.

    • Dragonet2

      I live in a major metro area. Lots of folks around the edges have wells and septic systems. And are not destroying the ground water.

      • AstroNerdBoy

        Yeah, but Big Brother has to approve them, and you have to get a permit to even dig them.

  10. JJ Gun

    And if it doesn’t work for your lawyer, I will return $1,250.00.

  11. JJ Gun

    Get out of cape hell. Do your homework, I have supreme Court case that i will provide for $ 1,500.00 that will settle any of your problems regarding ordinances, or permits. gunjj@ymail.com

  12. Pingback: 25 STEP POINTS | Eco Community

  13. Pingback: Florida Makes Off-Grid Living Illegal – M...

  14. Don’t pay the bills and get unhooked..The sue the city and company for “UNHOOKING” you. You can not mandate someone to pay and yet remain hooked up…

    • Windy

      Only problem with your suggestion is that it will damage your credit rating if that is important to anyone. But a clever idea none-the-less!

      • Jennifer G.

        If your self reliant… credit isn’t an issue.

      • signalfire

        LOL – credit rating…. bwhahahahahahaahahahahaha!

    • She doesn’t have to use the water.. the problem is SHE doesn’t want the waterline to her property… all she has to do is run pipes to it… but refuses

      • Elise

        It’s not that simple. Most water companies charge a minimum amount monthly even if you don’t use a drop. I know from experience after living through the water crisis in WV where a chemical company poisoned the water of half the state.

  15. Marcus Brown

    Sounds unenforceable, they can’t restrict an idea, off-grid means different things to different people, adaptability, innovation and finding ways to cut costs and reduce ones own environmental impact and reliance on others cannot be controlled or contained only encouraged.

    • It is if fact enforceable if the municipality requires it. In fact, you can have your property seized and sold. Mobile County AL sold my residential zoned property over a $750 assessment they imposed because they were forcing homes to switch from septic to sewer. The only reason I was able to get my property back is they never properly notified me. (It was empty and had no mailbox). I had to go to court and reimburse three different buyers. Plus pay legal fees, then pay the assessment. All in all about $8,000. The justification for the seizure was I was not “properly” connected.

      The only way to live off-rid is to live outside a municipality, HOA, and county that doesn’t require it. BTW, the “International Property Maintenance Code is not enforceable. Any good attorney would know that.

  16. Frankie

    I want to let everyone in on some information – this is most likely only to be enforced in Cape Coral, where the story takes place. I live next to this area, and this place is known for it’s ridiculous mandates on its people. There was one time they wanted to ban work trucks with toppers from being parked in driveways. That didn’t go too well for them though and it didn’t happen. You can’t even park a trailer in your driveway unless you want to get fined $1000 a day. A supervisor of mine lives there, and he keeps his trailer at his work place in Fort Myers because of this. I have a feeling this wouldn’t have been an issue in any other town in Florida, but I don’t know.

    • kayjay

      They did it in No Name Key (just off of Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys) this year after many years of hearings and debate.

  17. doorgunner

    Good grief, the Obamanazi administration pissed away a HALF A BILLION TAX DOLLARS on the Solyndra scandal to pump up alternate energy and now the asshats in Florida are trying to make solar illegal? WTF? Who and where are the victims of the lady’s life style.

    • doorgunner

      NO VICTIM; NO CRIME. Whom is she bothering? And who are you softailriderfl to eject her from her home when she is not impacting on your life? Sounds pretty hypocritical from someone inflicting Harly noise on the public.

    • This has nothing to do with Obama and everything to do with “Right-wingers. Both Florida and Texas are run by the GOP. Jeb Bush and Rick Perry might lose a couple tax dollars or funds from their need of everyone to be oil dependent for energy….Her lifestyle is totally liberal(Green energy)…I live in Arizona where the bureaucratic bullshit of this GOP run state took us 6 months to get our solar approved, up and running….This whole damn state should be solar by now with the amount of sunshine we get!!! It’s a damn shame this lady can’t be left alone and save a few dollars while doing what she feels is right for the environment….but, please, Obama is not the blame for everything>>>>LOL

      • Mark Kovacic

        Ummmm, no. Sorry but Cape Coral is a leftist haven. And this is definitely a cape coral, not a Florida thing. I live in florida and it’s nothing to do with where I live. Note they are not citing STATE code.

        • Mark sorry you are mistaken. I live in Cape Coral. The city council has almost always been GOP the Mayor is a Conservative Democrat but the last was GOP. Cape Coral is certainly not a leftward leaning community. Most people that live here are Republicans.

      • If in a area like Binghamton New York can have homes having a solar power set-up and sell the extra power back to NYSEG a state like Arizona should be able to power the entire country by now. (here in Upstate NY we have very few clear days and a lot of over-cast days.)

      • An ObamaNazi is not the same as Obama. ObamaNazis are people who are open to everyone’s thoughts as long as they keep those thoughts to themselves. :)

    • james

      Sold nara is making money if you care to look it up.

    • Actually Solyndra and the other alternative energy companies are on track to make 5-6 billion dollars. But I have no idea what that has to do with this issue. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-11-12/u-dot-s-dot-expects-5-billion-from-program-that-funded-solyndra

  18. softailriderfl

    If she wants to live off the gird get out of the city. City living isn’t really a good place to attempt this. You have neighbors right by your side. I wouldn’t want that by my house. We live in the ocala forest in fl and that is the kind of place for living off the grid. City’s have too many regulations and water and electric are two of them.

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