Is It Legal To Live Off Grid In Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, rainwater harvesting is both allowed and encouraged. Composting toilets are also permitted, provided that health department regulations are fulfilled.

In terms of renewable energy, Massachusetts is a rather forward-thinking state. In fact, households who instal battery storage to lower grid demand are eligible for cash incentives.

Many places in Massachusetts are ideal for off-grid energy production, especially wind power. Based on local incentives, some places are more suited for household solar panels. Residents in Shrewsbury can get a zero percent solar loan up to $10,000. Micro-hydropower could work if you have the correct water rights and access to a creek.

However, legal advice may be required for household renewable energy systems. In 2009, a woman in Bourne, Massachusetts, who wanted to instal a 10-kilowatt wind turbine to power her home was met with opposition from the local planning board, which viewed the proposed 132-foot windmill as a safety threat that would have “an undesirable influence on the neighborhood’s character.” Bourne’s appeal to the planning board was denied, and she was ultimately denied permission to construct her wind turbine.

What state is the most convenient for living off the grid?

Off Grid Permaculture’s Daniel Mark Schwartz ranks Alabama as the best state for off-grid life. Alabama has a cheap cost of living, with comparatively modest land expenses and some of the lowest property taxes in the country. It also has a handful of counties that do not have building codes. Alabama is an ideal site for rainwater collection because it receives a lot of rain (56 inches per year) and state statutes allow for unrestricted water harvesting.

In the United States, where is it lawful to live off the grid?

Off-grid living rules differ not just by state, but also by municipalities and counties. Off-grid living is generally restricted in urban regions, as well as rich suburban neighbourhoods, particularly those with homeowners associations. Small towns have also imposed limitations on common off-grid activities, which typically centre on disconnecting from the electrical grid and sewer systems, albeit usually not as rigors as in urban regions. Rural locations are the finest places to take advantage of off-grid living because they usually have the fewest restrictions and, aside from health department septic installation laws, even lack zoning constraints.

Rainwater collection laws, composting toilet requirements, solar energy restrictions, and completely unplugging from the electrical grid are all legislation to consider in each state. Many states also have laws and restrictions on selling raw milk from your off-grid homestead; building a permanent dwelling (using a tent or mobile home for an extended period of time could result in fines or eviction); the size of your home (your house may be too small in many states); and making sure any mobile home or manufactured home you buy meets minimum age requirements. Read your property deed carefully, since some may have livestock restrictions; how waste from a composting toilet is used or disposed of could also be a concern. Individual state-level regulations for each state can be found here.

While it is possible to live off the grid in every state, some states are better than others. The ten best states for off-grid living are Alabama, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Hawaii, Colorado, and Arkansas, based on six main categories of factors (cost of living, freedom of lifestyle, water availability, how easy it is to grow food, energy availability, and the area’s community). These states feature the lowest total living costs and property taxes, the most freedom for off-grid living, the least restrictive building codes, the finest off-grid water access, high off-grid solar or wind power potential, and favourable growing conditions for agricultural gardens.

Which states are the most suitable for living off-grid?

Today, I was debating which state is the greatest for living off the grid. So I went out and researched 12 critical elements that make a state suitable for off-grid life. It’s possible that you’ll be astonished to learn which states came out on top.

What states are the greatest for living off the grid? In a detailed 12-factor analysis of off-grid states, these ten states came out on top:

You might be wondering how I came up with this list. What makes these states ideal for living off the grid? Below I detail exactly how I made this list, and all the details of my research on all 50 states, so you can see why your state of choice did or didn’t make the list!

Can you live off-grid in any location?

Where in the United States is the finest spot to live off the grid? While you may technically live off the grid anywhere, there are some areas that are better suited for it than others. There are numerous causes for this, but the majority are related to land pricing and local county building laws and ordinances.

I’ll begin by listing the states alphabetically, then offer my recommendations for the best states to live off the grid based on benefits and availability. You should know how I choose the states and what I’m looking for in off-grid land before I list them. Because that’s the crux of the matter. Land. You must have a place to go before you can go off grid, and while this may sound self-evident, it isn’t always so when it comes to selecting the ideal off-grid land and property location.

Land pricing, county building laws and municipal ordinances, property taxes, zoning restrictions, covenants, water availability, septic system requirements (which are typically overseen by state and federal agencies), and a variety of other issues should all be taken into account.

Where can I get a free place to live?

There is still undeveloped acreage available. Many out-of-the-way towns and villages are currently giving plots for free or nearly free if you are willing to live there. There are other options for farm caretakers or land contract arrangements in the country that aren’t posted online. You must be aware of where to look. Finally, there are many undeveloped parcels of property that could be yours for free if you take advantage of an obscure legislation known as “adverse possession,” which exists in some form in all 50 states!

Free Land in the US

While the original homesteading act is no longer in effect, several distant cities around the United States are giving free land in exchange for the construction of a home and a commitment to live in the city for a defined amount of time. Here is a list of all the communities in the United States that offer free land to residents:

  • Nebraska’s Beatrice
  • Buffalo is a city in New York State.
  • Nebraska’s Loup City
  • Kansas City, Marquette
  • New Richland is a town in Minnesota.
  • Plainnville is a town in Kansas.

Is it less expensive to live off the grid?

Overall, living off-grid is a less expensive way to live once you have everything set up. Renewable energy is less expensive, eating off the land is less expensive (but requires more maintenance), and living in a less opulent home can also save you money.

Is it necessary to obtain a permit in order to construct a cabin in the woods?

In most areas, you can construct a modest cottage on private property without obtaining a construction permit. If the cabin is small enough, you may not need to obtain a permit prior to construction. Each municipality, however, has its own set of building codes.

Building permits may be required in some counties for projects larger than 100 square feet, while others may allow structures up to 400 square feet. Smaller structures, such as sheds, barns, workshops, and cabins, are sometimes exempt from local building standards and may not require approval or inspection.


In the long term, generating your own electricity may be less expensive than continuing to utilise power from the local grid, especially if you have access to good renewable resources (wind or solar).

Connections to local lines might cost tens of thousands of dollars for residences in rural places. It may be less expensive to generate your own electricity. In metropolitan regions, it may also be an alternative. The setup costs are now somewhat substantial, however they are decreasing.

You may be able to sell any excess electricity back to your power provider if you are linked to the grid and generate your own electricity.

Guaranteed connection

You can have security of supply even if there is a blackout or if your local electrical network is shut down if you can create and store your own electricity, either individually or collectively with neighbours. This allows you to be considerably more self-sufficient from the grid, which might be essential in times of civil unrest or terrible weather.

Environmental impact

In 2016, renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind, bio-energy, and geothermal generated about 84 percent of New Zealand’s electricity. The remainder is derived from the combustion of fossil fuels such as gas or coal, a process that emits glasshouse gases and contributes to climate change.

Is it possible to live off the grid in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, there are no rules restricting off-grid living or self-power generation. While it is legally allowed to live off the grid, particular municipalities may have zoning restrictions, ordinances, or criteria that limit or ban the installation of alternative energy collectors such as solar panels or wind turbines. It is critical to verify with the town office before investing in an off-grid system or other kinds of alternative energy to see what is and is not permitted.

Municipalities in New Hampshire can regulate the building of small-scale wind turbines under state law. The regulations allow a municipality to enact bylaws that govern private wind turbines, such as how tall they can be, where they can be located in respect to neighbouring properties, and what kinds of lighting (if any) are permitted.

New Hampshire receives a lot of sunlight, making it an ideal location for individual home solar systems. Solar Estimate is a website that lists companies that offer solar systems, as well as state and federal incentives, financing alternatives, and an online calculator to help assess the cost effectiveness and savings of installing a solar power system in a certain area.

To live off the grid, how much acreage do you need?

While looking for my own off-grid property, I questioned how big of a piece of land I would need to be self-sufficient. As a result, I set out to discover accurate information on how much land a family actually requires. And you might be surprised by his response.

To live off the grid, how many acres do you need? A quarter acre is enough land for a modest family to cultivate most of their own food and live self-sufficiently. If you wish to survive off the grid by harvesting your own wood for heat, 510 acres will suffice.

The figures above assume that you have adequate lighting, irrigation water, and a favourable growth conditions. In truth, the amount of acres you require is determined on your lifestyle and the climate in which you live. Continue reading to learn more about the factors to consider when determining the size of your off-grid property.