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The U.S. hopes to achieve 100% clean electricity by 2035. In line with this, there are many incentives - including a 30% federal tax credit on solar panels and batteries - for people who choose to take themselves off the grid. But which are the best states to live off the grid and which ones should you avoid? This Living off the Grid for Beginners guide has you covered. 

What is living off the grid?

Living off the grid refers to a self-sufficient lifestyle that doesn't rely on public utilities, particularly the national grid. Instead, individuals or families generate their own power, manage waste, source water, and often grow their own food. 

Live Off the Grid

Here's what living off the grid generally involves:

  • Generating your own power using renewable energy sources like solar, wind, or hydroelectric power.
  • Implementing waste management systems, like composting or recycling.
  • Sourcing water from natural sources or rainwater collection.
  • Growing and harvesting personal food through gardening or farming.
  • Building and maintaining a self-sustaining shelter, typically in rural or remote locations.
  • Emphasizing a lifestyle of minimalism and reducing consumerism.
  • Developing skills for self-reliance, such as repair, construction, and food preservation. 

Choosing to live off the grid is similar to embracing the lifestyle of a modern-day pioneer. You're not reliant on the usual societal infrastructures. Instead, you're harnessing nature's resources and your ingenuity to sustain your life. It's a unique and fulfilling way of living that fosters a deeper connection with nature and a greater appreciation for resources.

Is it legal to live off the Grid?

While living off the grid is generally not considered illegal across all states, some specific laws and regulations must be adhered to.

To start with, you may need permits to build your off-grid property or to live in a recreational vehicle (RV). Creating wells and septic tanks often requires professional oversight and permits to ensure that they are built to code and won't pose a risk to local water supplies. Further, the water obtained from these sources must meet cleanliness standards for human consumption. Failure to follow these regulations could result in fines or even demands to demolish the property.

In some places, disconnecting your property entirely from the grid might be considered illegal. However, this does not preclude the use of alternative energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines. 

Growing your own food is typically legal, but selling or distributing it might require permits, especially for processed foods. Storing excess grain can also be against local regulations. Additionally, animal husbandry, a key part of many off-the-grid lifestyles, is illegal in certain areas. This can create challenges for those relying on animals for meat, eggs, and milk production.

Lastly, even something as seemingly simple as collecting rainwater could be subject to local laws. Some places have restrictions on rainwater collection, often due to concerns about potential impacts on local water tables or because of water rights issues. Before embarking on an off-the-grid lifestyle, it's crucial to fully research and understand all relevant laws and regulations in your desired area.

The 10 Best States to Live off the Grid


Alabama tops our list of best states to live off the grid, and here's why. First, Alabama's mild weather that features 213 sunny days yearly makes it perfect for solar energy use. This reliable renewable power source is ideal for off-grid life. Next, Alabama is rich in water sources. It boasts over 77,000 miles of rivers and streams, plus 41 lakes and reservoirs. This abundance is great for creating a sustainable water system.

Unlike some other states, Alabama doesn't ban rainwater collection. This will allow you to water your crops and fulfill other water needs without depending on city water. Lastly, Alabama's cost of living index is 89.3, well below the national average. This lower cost means setting up an off-grid home, like buying land or building a house, is more affordable compared to other states.


Missouri is another excellent choice for off-the-grid living, given its affordable cost of living, which sits at 87.1. In terms of climate, Missouri offers a moderate four-season climate, perfect for both crop cultivation and animal husbandry. The state receives an average of 42 inches of rain per year, hence providing ample rainwater for collection and use. 

Missouri has no explicit laws prohibiting rainwater collection. As for solar power, Missouri experiences an average of 200 sunny days per year, indicating a decent potential for harnessing solar energy. Lastly, with over 110,000 miles of streams and rivers, access to fresh water is relatively easy.


Georgia is another top contender for off-the-grid living. The state has a moderate climate and an average of 217 sunny days per year, making it suitable for solar power. In addition to plentiful water sources, Georgia also offers abundant wildlife for hunting and farming purposes.

One unique benefit of living off the grid in Georgia is their Homestead Exemption program. This program offers a significant tax break to homeowners who use their land for agricultural purposes. This can greatly reduce the cost of living and property taxes for those choosing to live off the grid. In addition, the cost of living index in Georgia is 10% lower than the national average.


Tennessee is known for its beautiful scenery and abundant natural resources. The state receives an average of 50 inches of rain per year, making it a great location for rainwater collection. The climate in Tennessee is also moderate, with hot summers and mild winters.

One unique aspect of living off the grid in Tennessee is the availability of homesteading opportunities on public land. This means that individuals can apply to live and work on government-owned land for a low cost or even for free. This allows individuals to have access to large plots of land and live a self-sufficient lifestyle.

In addition, Tennessee offers various tax incentives for renewable energy production and has a self-sufficient living community known as The Farm, which has been in existence since the 1970s. This community serves as an example of successful off-grid living and offers resources for those looking to make the transition themselves.


Texas is the second largest state in the United States and offers a diverse landscape with varying climates. This allows for a wide range of off-grid living options - from desert regions to coastal areas.

One major benefit of living off the grid in Texas is the state's strong support for renewable energy. The Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit provides financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels or wind turbines on their property. 

Another advantage of off-grid living in Texas is the abundance of land available for purchase. The state also has relatively lenient building codes. You can build a tiny house or alternative structure without facing as many restrictions as in other states.


Louisiana is one of the best states to live off the grid for three main reasons. First, the state has a mild climate that allows for year-round outdoor living. Second, Louisiana has a rich history of self-sufficient communities such as the Acadian culture, which dates back to the 18th century. These communities value living off the land and can serve as resources for those looking to do the same.

Lastly, Louisiana has a relatively low cost of living. This includes lower property taxes and cheaper land compared to other states. The state also has programs in place to provide financial assistance for alternative energy systems.


Indiana may not be the first state that comes to mind when thinking about the best states to live off the grid, but it offers many benefits for those looking to do so. The state has a diverse landscape, with options ranging from farmland to forests and even hilly regions.

Indiana also has a strong community of off-grid enthusiasts who have established intentional communities and eco-villages. These communities offer a supportive network for individuals looking to live off the grid and share resources such as land, tools, and knowledge.

Additionally, Indiana has relatively lenient building codes and zoning laws when it comes to off-grid living. This allows for more flexibility in building alternative structures, such as straw bale homes or earthship dwellings.


If you're looking for a more tropical off-grid experience, Hawaii may be the state for you. With its warm climate and abundant natural resources, Hawaii offers an ideal environment for off-the-grid living. The state also has one of the highest percentages of renewable energy usage, with over 30% of its energy coming from solar and wind sources.

Hawaii has a strong focus on sustainability and self-sufficiency - there are many communities who practice permaculture and sustainable agriculture. Additionally, the state offers tax incentives for those using renewable energy sources.


Colorado is another state that has a lot to offer for those looking to live off the grid. With its stunning mountain views and abundance of natural resources, Colorado provides a beautiful backdrop for an alternative lifestyle.

One of the biggest draws for off-grid living in Colorado is its plentiful sunshine. The state receives an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, which makes it an ideal location for solar power. The state also has a strong focus on environmental sustainability as there are many initiatives and programs in place to promote renewable energy usage.

In addition to its natural resources, Colorado also has a growing community of off-grid enthusiasts who have established intentional communities and eco-villages.


For those looking for a more affordable off-grid lifestyle, Arkansas may be the state for you. Add this to the many natural resources - including fertile land and plentiful water sources - and you have a prime location for off-grid living.

Arkansas also has a mild climate, with all four seasons represented, making it an easy transition for those used to traditional living conditions. The state's government also supports renewable energy usage and offers tax incentives for those using solar power. Additionally, there are many regulations in place that protect the rights of small-scale farmers and homesteaders.

The 5 Worst States to Live off the Grid


Despite its warm climate and abundant sunshine, Florida ranks low for off-grid living. The average cost of installing solar panels in the state is around $20,000, which makes living here a significant financial investment. The state also has strict zoning laws that prohibit off-grid living in many areas. Additionally, Florida's high humidity levels and frequent hurricanes present further challenges for those wishing to live off the grid. Since 1851, Florida has been hit by at least 120 hurricanes.


Illinois ranks negatively for off-grid living largely due to its challenging weather conditions and high property taxes. The state experiences a wide range of temperature extremes, swinging from scorching summers, with temperatures often exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit, to icy winters that can plummet to below-freezing levels. Illinois also has some of the highest property taxes in the country. 


Many areas of Maryland have strict building codes and regulations. There are also many natural hazards to contend with, including potential hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Additionally, the state has a high cost of living. 


Another state that may come as a surprise for its low ranking in off-grid living is California. While the state has a strong focus on environmental conservation and renewable energy usage, it also has some of the highest costs for solar panel installation in the country. Additionally, tight regulations make it difficult to obtain permits for alternative building methods or off-grid homes. The state's high population and demand for energy also make it challenging to live self-sufficiently off the grid.

New York

New York is known for its bustling city life and sky-high cost of living, both of which make it a challenging state for off-grid living. The densely populated areas often have strict zoning laws that prohibit off-grid living, and finding suitable land to purchase can be difficult and expensive. Additionally, the state's harsh winters and limited sunlight during certain times of the year can make it challenging to rely solely on solar power. However, there are some rural areas in upstate New York that offer more opportunities for off-grid living.

How To Live Off the Grid

The first step to living off the grid is to find a suitable location. The location should be one that is isolated and away from densely populated areas. This will not only provide more privacy but also reduce the risk of conflicts with local authorities over zoning laws and regulations.

Once a suitable location has been found, it is important to research and understand the local building codes and regulations. Each state, and sometimes even each county, may have different requirements for alternative building methods or off-grid homes. It is crucial to obtain all necessary permits and approvals before beginning any construction.

Another important factor in living off the grid is having a reliable source of renewable energy. Solar panels are a popular choice, but other options such as wind turbines or hydroelectric power may also be viable depending on the location. It is important to consider factors like weather patterns and sunlight availability when choosing a renewable energy source. Additionally, investing in a backup generator or battery storage system can ensure uninterrupted power supply during times of low sunlight or inclement weather.

In addition to sustainable energy sources, off-grid living also requires self-sufficiency in terms of food and water. Building a water catchment system and growing your own fruits and vegetables are just some ways to reduce reliance on outside resources. It is also important to have a backup plan in case of emergencies, such as storing enough food and water supplies for an extended period of time.

Best Solar Generator for Off-grid Living - Zendure SuperBase V

The Zendure SuperBase V stands out as the premier solar generator for off-grid living due to its exceptional features and robust performance. Think of it like a big, powerful battery that can store a lot of energy - 6,438Wh to be exact. It can endure over 3,000+ cycles (which means that it can be used over 3,000 times before it wears out).

The SuperBase V also boasts a starting capability of 25 - 32 A LRA³, which, although might fluctuate based on different loads, is still indicative of their powerful performance. LRA is an important metric to consider when choosing a solar generator because it determines the ability of the system to start high-powered electrical appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners.

The SuperBase V is equipped with multiple output ports including AC outlets, USB ports, and a 12V carport for versatile charging options. It also has a built-in MPPT charge controller.


There you have it - the worst and best states to live off the grid, each with its unique blend of challenges and opportunities. Your choice of location should depend on factors such as weather patterns, accessibility to water, land prices, and local regulations. 

However, irrespective of your location, ensuring a steady and reliable power supply is crucial. This is where the Zendure SuperBase V comes into play. Thanks to  its hefty charge capacity, diverse output ports, and long-lasting energy supply, you will have a much needed and essential component to spruce up your off-grid living. Make Zendure SuperBase V your preferred solar generator and you won’t regret it! 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Much Money do you need to live off the grid? 

Many people pay an average of $500 to $2000 per month for off the grid living, but this comes with initial investments in land, building materials, and renewable energy sources. The cost may also vary depending on the level of self-sufficiency desired and the location of the off-grid home. For those looking to live completely off the grid, it is important to factor in ongoing costs such as maintenance and replacement of renewable energy systems and water catchment systems.

Can you legally live off the grid in the US? 

Yes, it is legal to live off the grid in the United States as long as you comply with local building codes and zoning regulations. Be sure to research and understand these laws before beginning any off-grid living plans to avoid any potential legal issues.

Can you live off the grid for free? 

While it is possible to live off the grid for free by joining a community that practices communal living or through homesteading, it often involves significant initial investments in land and resources. However, with careful planning and budgeting, it is possible to live off the grid while minimizing expenses.

Is it worth living off the grid? 

The decision to live off the grid is a personal one and may vary for each individual or family. Some people find great satisfaction in being self-sufficient and reducing their impact on the environment, while others may struggle with the challenges and sacrifices that come with this lifestyle. It is important to carefully consider your own values, priorities, and capabilities before making the decision to live off the grid.  Ultimately, the worth of living off the grid will depend on your own personal goals and experiences.

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