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He admitted that she had the right to live without utility power, but said that her alternative power sources must always first be approved by the city. Speronis explains that she has won on two of three counts already, but there is still a big fight ahead of her. He argues, however, that he has an obligation to enforce the code. Still, he acknowledges that some of the charges against her are unfounded. The International Property Maintenance Code is still being used by cities throughout the United States and Canada. Dancing Rabbit is a community composed of 45 individuals dedicated to sustainable living and creating cultural change. It is from this unique perspective of living in an ecovillage that I hope to share with you dear readers the experience of living sustainably.
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Hey all, I am really interested in being a part of an off the grid eco village community here in SoFlo if anyone knows of one anywhere in Florida I would greatly appreciate the info. Usually going off-grid requires not using most of the modern appliances you are referring to. I would like to know if there are any off the grid communities in North Carolina and Illinois. Back in 1989 I paid $800 for two 50 watt panels and a charge controller that…well lets just say they don’t make them anymore! If anyone knows of an “off-the grid” community in Florida could you post info here or email it ? While Brian spends his day building his house out of mud and straw, at night he’s blogging about it all on his lap top via solar power. I just met Liat at Burning Man and learned all about DR – hope to visit you all sometime. Robin Speronis lives off the grid in Florida, completely independent of the city's water and electric system.
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.
One potential issue with off the grid living is that corporations will lose their ability to control others with their utility. Once on the fringe, about 750,000 off the grid American households pioneer green living by tapping sustainable energy from the wind, sun, and earth. Green living: Bill and Paula Cirone have sacrificed no modern comfort in their new wind- and solar-powered home, which is completely off the grid and powered with sustainable energy from wind turbines and solar panels. All variations of off-grid solar power depend on solar electric panels and store electricity in a bank of batteries.
Sizing Your Offgrid Solar System - Based on your existing use of electricity, figure out how many panels your off grid system will need to produce. Load Evaluation Worksheet - If you are building an off-grid home, this will help you estimate how much electricity you will need. While AC off-grid solar power systems are more expensive because of the cost of the inverter, the appliances you are able to use are less expensive and there are more kinds of appliances to choose from. Small off-grid DC solar power systems can power tele- communications electronics in locations which are far away from power lines. But unplugging from municipal services has been ruled illegal by a court in Cape Coral, Florida.
Eskin ruled that Robin Speronis is not allowed to live on her own private property without being hooked up to the city’s water system. The IPMC also would make it a crime for her to use solar panels instead of being tied into the electric grid.
Renewable energy from solar panels and wind turbines powers the entire village, which is made up of natural buildings constructed using earthen (such as straw bale and cob) and reclaimed materials.
Having been here for nearly 18 months, I am fully settled into this off-the-grid lifestyle. Things you might find me doing here (other than blogging) are building with natural materials, gardening, beekeeping, making cheese, candlemaking, and above all else, living simply.

My wife an I have purchased a 10×16 barn and have insulated it and put paneling up, we need some form of electricity, but we are planning next paychecks to buy a woodstove with an oven its made by the amish and its not too expensive that will serve as our heat and for cooking. I want to spead my discoveries to mainstream american culture and get this thig jumpstarted in MAIN Stream Culture making students aware of this free energy that is available to us NOW so we can work on ways to improve the existing forms of free solsr energy at our finger tips I know BIG Business wants to STOP US but We NEED To FIGHT For The Righjt To PARTY FOR Free using the sun… Harness the massive solar energy that comes to earth every day from the sky and it can and is being don NOW IT IS TIME FOR ALL OF US TO Hold Hands and get this out into MAINSTREAM POPULAR CULTURE !!! Now we are up to 450 watts and about to do a huge revamp, adding three new buildings and a lot more solar panels, wind and maybe even geo thermal if we have enough cash left over!
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.
This could be the type of political and corporate agreements that give people like Speronis issues to begin with. Hall, an outdoor-skills instructor, and his wife, Alicia Bliss Hall, a natural healer, live in a kind of off-the-grid neighborhood with another young couple: Jason Brake, a professional muralist, and his wife, Diana Styffeler, a mountain bike excursion leader. The addition of an inverter allows this system to convert DC electrical current coming from the batteries into AC or alternating current.
For the past eighteen months, I have been living off-the-grid at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, a rural intentional community located in northeastern Missouri. All drinking and cleaning water is collected using rain catchment systems, and three biodiesel-fueled vehicles provide the entire group with transportation needs.
Also can anyone recommend the best way to wash clothes without a washer, we have to haul water in for now until we get a well dug or decide to go with county water dont know yet. One of my thoughts is I would like to live in a community, believing it takes a village to raise a child.
Officials cited the International Property Maintenance Code, which mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source.
If a municipality makes it illegal to disconnect from any given utility, they are in essence making off grid living illegal. In order to move forward, we must start cooperating with each other, and realize just how much potential we have to create something magical and amazing. Their two cabins, nestled in temperate rain forest, are powered with electricity that comes exclusively from solar panels mounted on a wagon that they wheel around the property to catch the best rays. Things you might find me talking about are natural building, sustainability in daily life, local foods, community, and a myriad of related topics. I have always wanted to do this but thought it would be too difficult independently with a child.
Bottom line, anybody who has the desire to live off-grid should not be hassled for it, it should be a free choice.
Using nature – the sun, wind, water, and the earth itself – they cheaply warm and cool their homes and power everything from a blender to a giant flat-screen TV to a raging hot tub. And with the constant concern about global warming and messy dependence on fossil fuels, it's natural that growing numbers of Americans – "the foot soldiers" of energy independence, as one expert calls them – would begin taking steps to untether themselves from the grid. They're installing a hydropower system in the stream that will add to the solar power.Their existence appears quite rustic – and the "sustainable" lifestyle depends a whole lot on them to sustain it with such work as wood chopping and wagon pulling.
Much Appreciated Justin & Candace WE WANT TO BE OFF The GRID Self Sufficfient but in a cost effective way !! But they say they have all the creature comforts they need, and – if February's record snowstorm is any gauge – some their neighbors need, too. Hall.• • •Off-the-grid living for Paula and William Cirone has a more suburban look and feel, as well as a different motive. Their hearts were set on buying and building on woodland near Farmington that he had hunted and fished two decades before.
But an issue over easements meant the utility company could not extend lines to connect to their new home. Cirone was initially nervous, not wanting to give up her comfortable lifestyle – being able to throw in a load of laundry, or flip on the TV or microwave, whenever she felt like it. Get back to nature, lose the tv, keep the computer(less energy)-build your own panels, composte toilet, on demand hot water heater, etc…that will cost enough. But the Cirones built a comfortable, spacious home powered entirely by wind and solar energy, with a geothermal system for heating and cooling."It was a little scary at first, wondering if this was all going to work," says Ms.
In an age of extreme economic insecurity plus concern about the effects of using fossil fuels – witness the BP oil spill and a host of recent coal-mining disasters – living off the grid gives people a feeling of structural, financial, and emotional independence. It liberates them from the grip of government regulators and utility companies – not to mention reducing their utility costs, after the initial investment is paid off.

And it hints at the potential of a different energy future, free of the environmental and social costs of using fossil fuels.Mr. Rosen estimates that the number of people living off the grid in the US is growing by about 10 percent per year.
For others, going off the grid is an intentional part of "downscaling to a simpler existence," as Rosen puts it.Most clean-energy experts don't see off-grid living as the solution to the nation's energy crisis. Hall figures that once the hydropower system is finished on his property, he will have invested about $15,000 on energy systems. Most North Carolinians spend several hundred dollars a month for electricity, water, and heat.
So the Halls will have paid off their investment in a decade.Cirone says he doesn't expect to see a financial payoff anytime soon on his $100,000 investment in higher-end, higher-capacity systems, but the nonmonetary benefits are many. Their two sons, an electrical engineer and a doctoral student with an energy focus, are so enthused about the potential of off-the-grid living that they are launching a renewable-energy consulting company."There's a lot more return on investment than just money," Cirone says. We hope this proves to anyone who even considers [going off the grid] that if you don't want to give up anything in your lifestyle, you can use alternative energy and still have all the amenities you want."• • •Solar energy is the most popular and fastest-growing way to generate your own power. Improving technology, a glut of solar panels on the world market caused, in part, by the end of European subsidies that had driven production, and American government incentives mean solar power is an increasingly affordable option.
San Diego, like some other cities, has started a program to lend money to home-owners for the purchase of solar panels, with loan payments added to the property tax over 20 years.Though the Southwest and South are solar hot spots, studies show it is a viable option in seemingly gloomy locales like the upper Midwest and the Northeast. Homes typically use "small wind" power – with turbines that generate less than 10 kilowatts. But "small wind" is not a new concept – wind power has been harnessed for hundreds, if not thousands of years, for such things as transportation, milling, and pumping water.
The "small wind" market grew 15 percent in 2009 despite the recession, says Ron Stimmel, small systems manager for the American Wind Energy Association. The five-kilowatt turbines needed to power an average home range from 30 to 140 feet tall and cost about $30,000.
Turbines that produce less than one kilowatt – to supplement solar panels or electricity from the grid – can cost less than $10,000.Wind turbines aren't as easily suited to a wide range of buildings and geographic locations as solar panels, because they usually require up to an acre of space, unobstructed by tall buildings, hillsides, or trees. Wind turbines can be mounted on roofs or parapets – as in the Bronx apartment complex featured on page 29 – but only if the structure is strong enough. Zoning restrictions can make it difficult to install wind turbines, so proponents are pushing for wind-friendly codes.And generating one's own electricity isn't the only way to bypass or reduce dependence on commercial utilities.
In many homes, a large amount of electricity is used to run air conditioners, and electricity, natural gas, or oil is used for heating. The simplest way is through architecture that naturally keeps the home at a stable temperature, as John Sagebiel's home near Reno, Nev., featured on page 30, demonstrates. Windows are placed to maximize sunshine exposure when desired, and thick concrete floors and walls hold heat. Recently developed "smart" windows and drywall even react to the temperature outside by keeping heat out or drawing heat in.Geothermal energy is a high-tech, relatively expensive way to heat and cool a home.
But for individual homes, geothermal cooling and heating systems pump water through underground pipes that heat or cool the water to the constant temperature of approximately 55 degrees F.
There are different models, but all essentially rely on fluid circulated through tubing that can be installed up to about 200 feet deep vertically, or horizontally about 10 feet deep and roughly as wide as the property. In winter, the fluid is warmed below the earth, then heats air using a compressor and standard technology known as the refrigeration cycle. In summer, the cycle is reversed so heat is essentially extracted from the home and sunk back into the earth.In relatively soft or sandy soil, pipes for a geothermal system can be run horizontally or in a variety of loops. On top of hard bedrock, one must drill down – a more expensive proposition – to create a "standing column" system where fluid is circulated through a vertical cylinder with a "riser pipe" in the middle. As it has become more economically practical, geothermal systems also have gained "cachet" as a status symbol, says Andrew Collins of the New York City firm P.A.
The firm has designed geothermal systems at the new Liberty Island Retail Pavilion and for upscale homes in Tribeca, the Upper East Side, and on Long Island.Meanwhile, on or off the grid, experts say the cleanest, cheapest energy is the energy not generated at all.
Weatherizing a home is the best thing for the environment and the wallet."It's great to have geothermal or photovoltaic [solar], but we like to stress you don't need those technologies to have a real energy-efficient home," says Nate Kredich of the US Green Building Council.

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