Life: Off the Grid

Bill and Rosa Alford’s house cost less than $8,500. They pay absolutely no utilities. The tax on their 9.51-acre land is less than $20 a year. Powered by solar and wind, the home uses rainwater to provide water for the shower and sink. The Alfords’ proud Rhode Island Red and Easter Egg chickens churn out fresh eggs daily. They are utterly and completely self-reliant, free from depending on public utilities or government assistance and, as Bill says, “meddling.”

The Alfords are part of a growing movement of American citizens who choose to live “off the grid,” so to speak.

Bill & Rosa Alford“We should all know how to grow our own food and take care of ourselves,” he said. “Technically, we live no differently than you do. We have electric plug-ins, breaker boxes and running water. Our house is like anyone else’s—it’s just powered by the sun.”

The Alfords are long-haul truckers by trade, though Bill retired from the military which was where he learned most of his skills to engineer a self-reliant lifestyle. The couple lived out of their truck for years befor