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Home » Blog » Don’t forget: living “off the grid” is against code!

Don’t forget: living “off the grid” is against code!

a cop approaches an off-the-grid cabinIf you like the idea of escaping the System and living self-sufficiently, that is, “off the grid”, don’t move to Cape Coral, Florida. Not relying on the government is illegal there.

Yes, this is apparently something that happens and is continuing to happen: people choosing to live without municipal services and getting their asses handed to them by cops and judges. For the record, municipal services in this context pretty much translates to electricity and water.

Cape Coral is just one example of a local body of government interfering in the lives of people who don’t need them — specifically Robin Speronis.

Speronis gets her water by collecting rain. She gets electricity through solar panels. Apparently, this is not okay and definitely grounds for government intervention.

Who says? The International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC).

What the fuck is that? According to the International Code Council’s website:

“The IPMC is a maintenance document intended to establish minimum maintenance standards for basic equipment, light, ventilation, heating, sanitation, and fire safety. Responsibility is fixed among owners, operators, and occupants for code compliance. The IPMC provides for the regulation and safe use of existing structures in the interest of the social and economic welfare of the community.”

That’s a mouthful, though. They probably could’ve condensed that to the simple sentence, “The IPMC provides for the regulation and safe use of existing structures.”

Okay, but wait… “International Code Council”? What?

Yeah, that’s evidently a thing. We (the United States of America) used to have three regional organizations that developed building regulations and they all merged together in the 1990’s to create a single supergroup that wouldn’t be limited by region: the International Code Council. Fifty states and the District of Columbia have adopted their standards.

As it turns out, the IPMC considers it criminal to live without using municipal water and electricity.

And ever since Cape Coral’s Robin Speronis agreed to talk about her way of life to a local journalist a few years back, the city has been trying to stop her from living that way. Because they didn’t even know about her before that.

It started with an eviction notice in 2013, which chastised Speronis for “living without utilities,” an unjustifiable crime, as luck would have it.

She’s been arm-wrestling with the court ever since. A judge ruled last summer that Speronis was at least required to use municipal water and seek city approval for her solar panels. Her attorney, Todd Allen, then explained that the city is trying to force Speronis to connect to “the grid” regardless of whether she uses “the grid”.

As of last summer, things weren’t going terrible for her. The situation sucks, of course, and it’s far from over, but Speronis was optimistic about her future:

“I think that we are continuing to be successful in doing just that and I am so pleased — there is hope! The next morning, as I took my two hour walk, there was a young man unknown to me, who drove by me, tooted his horn, and said, ‘Robin, congratulations on your victory yesterday, keep up the fight and God bless you.’ That is beautiful.”

Big Brother loves you!

All in all, this whole ordeal can be eloquently described in two words: very creepy.

There really doesn’t seem to be any reason for the government to force self-sufficient people and communities to connect to the grid. Isn’t that just more strain on the grid? Isn’t self-sufficiency good for the environment anyways?

Yeah and yeah, but from the government’s perspective, screw that stuff. Caring for the environment doesn’t bring in money, and even though the grid doesn’t have to expend resources on off-the-grid people, it also can’t collect money from them. Just ask any corporation — they’ll tell you what’s what.


Municipal utilities, while essential for most of us, are not free. Water comes with a water bill, electricity comes with an electric bill. Sometimes taxes pay for municipal services.

But nothing’s free. We get what we pay for, and apparently, paying is nonnegotiable.

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys has years of experience working with clients across a wide range of circumstances involving evictions and other property-related issues. When you smell trouble brewing, the first thing you should do is seek trustworthy legal representation. The sooner you start building your case, the better its resolution will be — so don’t wait! Call today, or go online to set up your free initial consultation, and meet with a skilled lawyer who’s ready and waiting to get you on track toward the justice you deserve.

(615) 259-2660

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