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Can You Go Off The Grid In Florida: An In-Depth Guide

“Live off the grid” is something most people, with busy lives and bills to pay, often dream of.  While some assume living “off grid” is difficult, Florida statues are strongly enforced to make this lifestyle both easier and protected. Like other states, living off the grid in Florida does haves rules, regulations, and certain restrictions of its own. However, this shouldn’t deter anyone from wanting to live the off grid lifestyle. Having these rules, regulations and restrictions are in the best interests of the environment and the home owner.

Is it illegal to live off the grid in Florida?

Contrary to perception, off the grid living in Florida is not illegal, especially in areas that are not in the jurisdiction of any utility company. State laws for living off the grid in Florida, are explained in the Statutes. For example; Florida Statute, Chapter 553, details the specifics for building codes and developments. It also sites rules, regulations, and restrictions regarding plumbing, electricity, water, other utilities and building designs. 

Legally, if there are any utility companies offering water, sewage and building codes, you must avail to that utility. In areas where no such company operates or provides services, one can go completely off the grid. In those situations, local authorities must ensure there is proper water and waste disposal systems 

However, Florida off-grid living laws clearly mention that you can install your own renewable energy-based power source to run electrical appliances at your home. 

Florida electricity laws: what you need to know

In Florida Statute Chapter 163; subsection 163.04, the use of renewable energy based electrical power systems for houses is addressed. It clearly mentions that this legislation is made to encourage the use of renewable energy based electrical sources.

Subsection 163.04 of the statute also explains that any solar energy collector can be placed in the southern direction of the sun to achieve the maximum output, or, can be installed within 45 degrees due south from east or west.  Additionally, if someone wants to install a solar energy collector on their property or building, the request should not be denied. 

For additional clarification, this statute can be read in its entirety on the “Online Sunshine” website at www.leg.state.fl.us, under the 2021 Florida Statues page.

Contact a certified solar contractor in Florida to get advice on installing a renewable energy based electrical system on your property to enjoy green, clean, and free energy.

Is it illegal to power your home with solar panels in Florida?

Totally off the grid living in Florida is possible only at places where building codes for drinking water, sewage and municipality do not apply or exist. It is also legal to power your home using solar panels in Florida. The use of solar panels falls into the category of “renewable sources of energy”. Installing solar energy collectors on your property or roof of your building can be done legally and is encouraged by the state. Florida law advises the local government to ensure there are no hurdles in processing the application of installing solar panels on the property. 

Installing solar panels to live totally off the grid can be done with peace of mind in Florida. Learn more about solar energy for homes in Florida to live off-grid.

By installing commercial solar power systems in Florida you will be assisting society in terms of clean, green and environmentally friendly sources of electricity. 

Top 5 Florida places to live off the grid

There are off-the-grid communities in Florida that live without connections to any urban modern utility companies. Laws are enforced more strictly in some counties than in others. 

Here are our top 5 places to live off the grid in Florida: 

LIBERTY COUNTY

Considering the main purpose of going off the grid is to live independently and isolated, Liberty County is the best place to achieve this lifestyle. Major portions of the county are national forests, however, prices for available land are the lowest in the state. Homes can be built with solar panels for electricity needs. The environment in Liberty County is also best suited for farming, as the summer season here is not very hot, making living off grid here highly favorable, 

COLLIER COUNTY

This area is located in south Florida, is not very populated and places to live off the grid legally are easy to find. However, keep in mind that building and using a composite waste disposal system is mandatory. Otherwise, Collier County should be considered in your quest to find favorable conditions to live off the grid.

LEE COUNTY

Off grid living in this county is best for those who don’t want to totally isolate themselves from the modern world, but want some peace from the daily hustle and bustle. Land in rural areas can be purchased that are close to metropolitan areas, but where life is simpler and more peaceful. Due to accessibility to modern cities, land acquisition can be a bit more expensive. 

MONROE COUNTY

Monroe County, also in south Florida, is near Miami County. Building here is suitable for living off the grid due to low population. Overall living prices are very low, even if you don’t go totally off the grid.  

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

This is a popular area for off grid living due to the variety of land it offers. This county features Lake Okeechobee, flat ground, swamplands, hilly areas and forest-like terrains. Despite being a popular area, land prices are surprisingly low. 

5 tips to start living off the grid in Florida

Following the basic tips listed below will help you answer the question, ‘can you live off the grid in Florida?’. 

  1. Check all building and energy codes of the county and area where you are looking to purchase land and build. Florida authorities strictly follow and implement building, fire and life safety codes for residents. Some areas are declared fire or wind areas and strict guidelines must be followed as they could cause difficulties for living off grid. Review Florida Statute chapter 553 for more detailed information. 
  2. A building permit is required to construct on any land you acquire. Permitting includes plumbing, sewage, ventilation etc. There are restrictions, such as, completing the basic structure within a few months of the permit. Be sure you have the knowledge of such permits before going off grid. 
  3. The sun shines more than 5 hours on average, per day, for the whole year in Florida. Installing solar energy based electrical generation systems is best for off grid living. Batteries can be installed for backup to use solar energy at night for your off-grid homes in Florida. Contact the  Tesla Powerwall installer in Florida for energy backup information.
  4. Not every area in the state allows farming or livestock in a building or on land. Only areas that are far from cities or fall within these specific agricultural zoning areas allow farming/livestock. If your goal is to grow your own vegetation and keep livestock, be sure to verify what is allowed in your area.
  5. In most counties, subscribing to the garbage disposal service and waste management is mandatory. Garbage cannot be simply discarded or buried anywhere. Only a licensed waste management company/person is allowed to transport such waste to recycling or dumping sites. 
Off-grid ground-mounted solar system

Want to power your home with solar? We’ve got your back!

Against the common perception that Florida makes off-grid living illegal, this article helps explain how to live off the grid in Florida. Choosing suitable land that is fit for this lifestyle and following building codes is essential. Legally, you can live totally off the grid in Florida with electrical energy.

Florida laws encourage the installation of solar panels to obtain clean energy and advises authorities to aid such steps by the public. Solar panels mounted on the ground can run your house without being connected to the grid and will complete all your needs during the day. PPM Solar gives you the best services and advice on installing solar systems on your homes.  Florida gives around 26 percent of a Tesla Powerwall tax credit to encourage residents to install renewable based energy sources and batteries to run homes at night. Install solar panels from a certified solar contractor in Florida and enjoy clean, green and free energy for at least 25 years. 

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