90 Miles From Tyranny : The Off-Grid Laws of Every State in America

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Off-Grid Laws of Every State in America

Want to start living off-grid? It’s not as simple as buying land and building a home or parking an RV. While off-grid living isn’t illegal in any of the 50 states in America, there are numerous laws which might restrict whether you can truly live off-grid.

I spent a lot of time researching the off-grid laws of every state in America. Please understand this is a work in process! If you have any information to share, please do so in the comments section below so we can keep the article updated.

Note: The laws about going off-grid are usually determined by local government and not the state, and they vary drastically. Thus it is impossible to create a comprehensive resource of all the off-grid laws in each state and area. I’ve done my best to list the state laws regarding off-grid electric, water, and waste.

Alabama Off Grid Laws

It appears that disconnecting from the power grid in Alabama is illegal. On top of this, Alabama power charges a high (over $5 per kilowatt) fee for using solar! They do offer net metering to sell back excess solar. However, there are no state-mandated policies so the price is negotiated with the power company. This makes Alabama one of the worst states in the USA for off-grid solar. (13)


It is legal to harvest rainwater in Alabama and is considered a property right. However, it is not clear whether you can build a permanent residence in the state without being connected to the municipal water.

Pit toilets and portable toilets may be allowed in certain rural areas. Permits are required and specific rules must be followed. Compost toilets aren’t specifically addressed. You can see the rules here.

In a nutshell, the law says that composting, incinerating toilets, and holding tanks can only be used if an approved graywater disposal method is also provided. With pit privies, you are required to have a contract with a certified pumper.

Alaska Off Grid Laws

Alaska has very progressive microgrid laws. These laws make it possible for an individual to qualify as a “utility provider” and completely disconnect from the main electric grid. However, off-grid solar may not be feasible in many areas of the state where there isn’t much daylight during winter. In fact, the majority of microgrids in Alaska run off of diesel. Alaska does have a state net metering policy for solar but does not offer any state incentives for installing solar. (14, 15)


Rainwater harvesting in Alaska is allowed. However, there are many rules regarding the use of groundwater such as from streams or lakes.

Alaska law specifically addresses outhouses but does not mention compost toilets. Outhouses are allowed in many areas, though strict rules apply. See the law here.

Arizona Off Grid Laws

Arizona is one of the worst states for off-grid solar. The laws are written in a way that makes it illegal for a home not to be connected to the electric grid. On top of that, Arizona charges a “solar tax” to people with grid-connected solar. (16,17)

Rainwater harvesting in Arizona is legal.

Composting toilets are legal in Arizona. A permit is required. You can see the law here.

Arkansas Off Grid Laws

Read More HERE

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