Can You Live in a House Without Electricity Legally?

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You can legally live in a house without electricity. But you can not legally rent or sell a house without electricity.

Living with no electricity won’t be as easy as you will think and you may not realize how many items in your home household depend on it to function properly. Electrically managed technologies supply us with many things, like heat, energy, water, transport,  food, entertainment and communication.

Electricity allows us to power the technology we use every day. If you intend on trying to live without electricity, you will not be able to turn on the heating system in your home, use the bathroom, preserve food in your fridge/freezer or have clean running water.

Despite surviving thousands of years without it before, we’ve now come to depend fully on it to complete our everyday tasks and have built our lives around it. We are so reliant on electric power that it might be a big shock to many if you no longer had the regular supply.

Few people prefer not to be so reliant on electrical energy and choose for an off-the-grid lifestyle, utilizing other energy sources for their power. For several years, they were considered to be eco-warriors and frequently eccentric with a unique and extreme way of life, but it is becoming a popular choice for many.

Is it Illegal to Live in a House Without Electricity?

It is Not illegal for someone to live in a place without electricity. His landlord could be legally obligated to ensure that the electrical systems are functioning properly, but he can opt to not have electricity.

But if you’ve got kids or domestic animals, and someone finds out you’re living there without electricity, they’ll l call CPS on the children and you and your spouse will have to go in for putting the children in danger.

Your kids will have to go to a foster home until you can provide for them again. As for the animals, SPCA might take them away.

So the answer is no is it not illegal, as long as you have got running water you’re all good, but it’s probably illegal to provide housing without heating which is in a lot of cases powered by electricity. As long as no minor children are living at the residence.

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Like in some parts of the country like in England it is not illegal to live without electricity. You can use a solar panel and generate your electricity.

Can You Generate Your Electricity in the House?

Yes, you can very well generate your own electricity in your house, Generating your own electricity can reduce energy costs and ensure your supply is secure.

For rural properties, it should be the only practical and cost-effective option. For urban properties, ‘micro-generation’ can also be an impressive option under the proper circumstances.

There are several options, starting from solar, wind and hydro to the traditional diesel generators.

Why Generate Your Own Electricity?

  • Cost-effectiveness

Generating your electricity could be cheaper in the long run than continuing to use electricity from the local lines, particularly for sites that have access to good renewable resources (wind or solar).

For properties in remote areas, connections to the local lines can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Generating your electricity can turn out to be cheaper. It also can be an option in urban areas. At the time being the set-up costs are relatively high, but they seem to be coming down.

If you are connected to the grid and you generate your electricity, you will be able to sell any excess back to your power company.

  • Guaranteed connection

If you will generate and store your electricity, either individually or collectively with neighbors, you will have the security of supply even when there is a black-out, or if your local electricity network is closed down. This provides you with much greater independence from the grid and may be useful in times of civil emergency or bad weather conditions.

Is it Legal to Generate Your Own Electricity?

In countries like London and the United States, it’s commonly legal to generate electricity to power your own premises.

Many people and corporations do exactly this for standby power in the event of a grid or utility distribution outage. Other people do that when their properties are far away from existing utilities, and increasing those utilities is infeasible or cost-prohibitive. Still, other people do this for altruism or reasons of principle.

However, installing temporary standby power or permanent on-premises generation could also be subject to regulation.

  • Is the technology you would like to implement permissible where you are? Some municipalities may permit solar panels but not a diesel generator.
  • You may want to obtain a special permit for some technologies, like hydropower. A state water resources board might require a water right; some other agency may require wildlife studies.
  • The installation of power generation equipment could also be subject to construction codes, permits, and inspections. (Most jurisdictions require an electrical permit; some don’t.)
  • Storage of fuel could also be subject to regulations.
  • Neighborhood associations may be particularly burdensome to make sure installations suits the neighborhood codes and covenants. Neighborhood associations are quasi-governmental organizations that derive their power via the terms of your property deed.
  • You may be instructed to have the generator installed by a professional and well-licensed contractor. (Some jurisdictions allow a homeowner to perform wiring; others don’t.)
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So, while it’s legal, you would need to do due diligence before a home generator installation to make sure that it complies with all applicable codes, laws, and regulations.

You may be ready to return excess generated power to the grid and receive credit from your electric utility. This will require special metering and isolation equipment and an agreement with your utility.

When installing home generation for standby power, safely must connect the generator to your home wiring via a transfer switch or breaker interlocks. These devices prevent cross-connection of utility and generator power (a dangerous condition) and avoid the possibility of exposed, live conductors, such could be found with a “double male” cord. Don’t use double male cords under any circumstances.

How Can You Make Your Own Electricity?

Options for generating your own electricity include:

  • photovoltaic (PV) systems
  • wind turbines
  • micro-hydro systems
  • biomass and biogas engines
  • diesel or bio-diesel generators

Wind, PV, hydro, biogas and bio-diesel all work from renewable energy sources, it produces no harmful emissions and – depending on your circumstances – can offer cost-effective electricity generation options.

If you’re already connected to the grid, changing to this kind of system may be a relatively expensive option. However, all are worth considering, particularly for properties in remote locations – and therefore the price is coming down year after year.

Biomass is an organic material that can be used to produce electricity, heat and may be transformed into fuels for transport. Some examples of biomass are wood chips, timber offcuts, paper products, crop residues, animal manure and sewage. If factories or farms produce a high amount of biomass waste, it may be economic to use this waste to generate your electricity.

Around the home, it’s more efficient to burn dry biomass in a wood burner for heating and water heating or within the case of leaves and garden waste to compost it.

When this organic waste decomposes in the absence of oxygen, it produces a combination of methane and carbon dioxide. This biogas is often used instead of natural gas for heating, cooling, cooking and generating electricity. Methane and carbon dioxide are both greenhouse gases, but it’s s better to burn the methane than let it enter the atmosphere.

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Biogas is valuable for farmers who have to dispose of a large amount of animal waste. However, a biogas plant does require much maintenance and operational attention so may only be suitable for larger farms.

Diesel generators have been used for several decades for generating electricity in remote locations.

They can also be used for emergency electricity generation just in case of power cuts or blackout. Hospitals, computer sites and other essential buildings all have them.

With a renewable energy system (especially wind or solar) you will still need a generator as a back-up. It should start automatically if the battery charge gets too low, for instance on a windless or cloudy day.

They are very easy to use and can be maintained by any garage mechanic. But they have got some. drawbacks: noise, fuel costs, inconvenience of refuelling, exhaust gases (including greenhouse gases and other hazardous air pollutants), wear and maintenance costs.

Is it Possible to Survive Without Electricity?

For most people, it’s nearly impossible to imagine living without electricity.

How are you going to cook your food?

How do you even entertain yourself without TV?

And what about those basic needs which we constantly overlook – like lighting and our washing machines?

The thought of living without electricity is so scary that most people won’t even consider going a day or two without it.

But there’s also a revolution happening.

An off-grid revolution.

Thousands of individuals are saying goodbye to modern conveniences and disconnecting themselves from the power supply companies.  Here are some of the major lessons that people who’ve lived without electricity will know.

  • No TV means you have no time to relax

Most of us use TV as a way of relaxing and also to while away time, by watching a movie, listening to the news, or also playing videos games on it. As it might be impossible for some people to do without it.

  • When summer hits, you’ll wish you were nomadic

No electricity means no fans or air conditioning.  This surprisingly is one of the difficult things for most people during summer who decide to live without electricity.  I also have trouble sleeping during really hot summer nights.

But l later figured out that when you take a cold shower before going to bed it usually helps. During the day also I would recommend you to soak your feet in a bucket of water to help cool them down if aren’t doing chores.

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things in her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.