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Is off-grid living in france possible?

Is off-grid living in france possible?

Old Mar 11th 2015, 10:11 pm
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Default Is off-grid living in france possible?

Hi, I'm new here and looking for some info on off-grid living?

I am currently mulling over different european countries to accomodate my desired lifestyle.

I would like to start a smallholding/forest garden/permaculture project.

Off-grid preferably.

So, what are the current laws on living off-grid? Such as "homes" like caravans or yurts? Solar panels and composting toliets etc?

Any information would be greatly appreciated as I am totally in the dark at this stage.

Kind Regards,

Paul.
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Old Mar 11th 2015, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

Originally Posted by paulscotland View Post
Hi, I'm new here and looking for some info on off-grid living?

I am currently mulling over different european countries to accomodate my desired lifestyle.

I would like to start a smallholding/forest garden/permaculture project.

Off-grid preferably.

So, what are the current laws on living off-grid? Such as "homes" like caravans or yurts? Solar panels and composting toliets etc?

Any information would be greatly appreciated as I am totally in the dark at this stage.

Kind Regards,

Paul.
Caravans not so much but if you head off to Ariège you will find loads of like minded people, It borders Spain close to Andorra and the Saint Girons market on a saturday morning is probably one of the busiest in France it certainly attracts an eclectic mix of folk. Caravans are meant to be moved about by law I believe wheels have to be turned but I dodnt know the exact in's and outs of it. But trust me go spend a week or two in and around Saint Girons and pint of Guinness says you don't leave
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Old Mar 12th 2015, 12:46 am
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

IIRC if a mobile home or caravan is on-site for 3 months then it will be subject to taxe fonciere/taxe d'habitation. (house taxes paid to the mairie).

Solar panels to generate electricity are ok, your problem is getting batteries to store the electricity for when you want to use it and ensuring you have enough over the winter months when your need for electricity is higher. I know this is possible though since my cousin does this in UK and has a back-up generator for when he needs it.

Septic tank in the garden, no probs since this is very common in rural areas.

composting, yes. But what about non-compostable, non recyclable products such as meat?
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Old Mar 12th 2015, 1:18 am
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

I wouldn't have thought France is going to be the most accommodating EU state for this kind of venture.
Even if you can live off-grid you can't opt out of the state social security system, and the kind of thing you're talking about would mean hefty social security and solidarity contributions to the MSA, the agricultural workers' branch of the soc sec.
I think moving to a socialist state would be the worst possible choice for a project that essentially seems to be all about doing your own thing.
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Old Mar 12th 2015, 9:49 am
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

You might want to consider Hungary - the cost of living is lower than France and there are plenty of people living a rural life off grid. Rural land is very cheap and laws relating to buying by other Nationalities have been relaxed.

The climate is similar to France - hot in summer and cold in winter - only drawback is learning a complicated language but if settling near borders with other countries may get by with other languages (near Austria most people speak German).

Have a look at the Hungary section of this forum - they are a very friendly bunch or search on Google for Blogs from ex-pats living in Hungary.
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Old Mar 12th 2015, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

Part of my plan is to make money from the land through livestock, fruit and vegetables, tree's, willow, etc.
So from your answer, are you saying not many ex-pats do this?
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Old Mar 12th 2015, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

Originally Posted by paulscotland View Post
Part of my plan is to make money from the land through livestock, fruit and vegetables, tree's, willow, etc.
So from your answer, are you saying not many ex-pats do this?
Quite a few do in Ariege like I said it has a very healthy Bio orientated community that appears to be constantly growing your not aiming for the lifestyle that the average Expat indulges in.
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Old Mar 12th 2015, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

Paul - Have a look at this blog - it's by an American couple who live the sort of lifestyle you wish for on the plains of Hungary. I have been reading it for about 2 years and they are very inspirational:

handcraftedtravellers - simple living in a complex world
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Old Mar 12th 2015, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

Ok, well thanks for your info anyways. I've found a better suited forum to answer my questions. I may be back in the future to ask other questions concerning life in france.
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Old Mar 1st 2016, 11:54 am
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

I know this is an old thread but the subject interests me. May I ask which forum you found that answers your questions?
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Old Mar 1st 2016, 12:06 pm
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

Originally Posted by Mike313 View Post
I know this is an old thread but the subject interests me. May I ask which forum you found that answers your questions?
From his other posts, which stopped in May 2015, he was moving to Norway within 2 months, so he might not have any helpful info in any case.
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Old Mar 1st 2016, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: Is off-grid living in france possible?

Thanks for the update Mikelincs.
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