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5 Best States to Live Off Grid in US

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Living "off the grid" refers to a self-sufficient lifestyle not connected to public utilities like electricity, gas, water, and sewer. Off-grid homes generate their own power, harvest rainwater, utilize septic systems, and grow or raise much of their own food.

Live Off Grid in US

When choosing a location for off-grid living, some key factors to consider include:

  • Climate and rainfall - Is the climate suitable for year-round agriculture and raising livestock? Does the area get adequate rainfall?

  • Natural resources - Is there abundant sunshine for solar power? Access to fresh water sources? Ample land for farming and homesteading?

  • Laws and regulations - What are the building codes, zoning laws, and regulations regarding water rights and living off-grid? Less regulation allows more flexibility.

  • Cost of living - Areas with a low cost of living make homesteading more affordable. Property taxes should also be low.

  • Community - Can you find or form an off-grid community for mutual support?

Based on such factors, some of the top states for off-grid living include Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Colorado and Oregon.

1. Tennessee

Tennessee is one of the top states for off-grid living due to its relaxed regulations, abundant resources, and low cost of living. The climate in Tennessee allows for growing a variety of crops and raising livestock year-round, making it an ideal location for off-the-grid homesteading.

Tennessee has some of the most relaxed building codes in the country. There are no statewide building codes, and many rural counties have no building codes at all. This makes it easy to construct an off-grid home or outbuildings without inspections or permits. You have the freedom to build the home you want.

Water resources are plentiful in Tennessee, thanks to an average annual rainfall of 52 inches per year. Tennessee law also allows for generous water rights for private use from wells, springs, and streams on your own property. With ample water for gardening, livestock, and personal use, Tennessee makes off-grid living sustainable.

The cost of living in Tennessee is among the lowest in the nation, with affordable prices for land, housing, utilities, goods and services. Property taxes are low, income taxes don't exist, and there's no state tax on food. Financial savings mean you need less income to live comfortably off the grid.

Overall, Tennessee checks off all the boxes for a top location for off-grid living. The climate, regulations, natural resources and low cost of living make it ideal for a self-sufficient lifestyle.

2. Texas

Texas has long been considered a top destination for off-grid living due to its abundant open land, sunshine, lenient building codes and low taxes.

With over 268,000 square miles of land, Texas has plenty of wide open spaces for those looking to set up an off-grid homestead. Much of Texas is rural countryside with low population density, making it feasible to find a secluded plot of land to call your own. Land prices also tend to be affordable compared to other parts of the country. For someone wanting the freedom to live off the grid, Texas has no shortage of land options.

Texas' climate provides more than enough sunshine to make solar power an ideal energy source. The state averages over 230 days of sunshine per year. This makes solar a reliable option for generating electricity. With solar power, those living off-grid in Texas can effectively disconnect from the electrical grid and avoid monthly energy bills.

Building codes in Texas are among the most lenient in the U.S. The state allows owner-builders to construct a home without needing a contractor license. This lack of red tape makes Texas appealing for building your own off-grid home. You can build a self-sustaining home using your own designs without excessive regulation or oversight.

Texas also has zero state income tax. Property taxes are not high compared to the rest of the country. The low tax burden makes Texas attractive for off-grid living where your expenses need to be kept to a minimum.

Between the abundant land, ample sunshine, minimal building codes and low taxes, Texas offers an ideal environment for establishing an off-the-grid existence. For those seeking a self-sufficient lifestyle free from the public energy grid, Texas provides outstanding conditions to make off-grid living achievable.

3. Louisiana

Louisiana is another top choice for off-grid living due to its low cost of living, ample rainfall, and climate that supports year-round agriculture. The state has a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. This allows for growing fruits, vegetables, and other crops nearly year-round with the right techniques.

The cost of living in Louisiana is about 15% lower than the national average, especially when it comes to housing costs. Land prices are very reasonable in rural parts of the state. This makes it more affordable to buy or rent a property with enough acreage for homesteading and off-grid living. Taxes are also relatively low compared to other states.

Louisiana gets ample rainfall, averaging 50-70 inches per year depending on the region. This provides a good natural water source for irrigating crops and livestock without needing extensive well drilling or water storage infrastructure. The rainfall patterns also support lush vegetation growth.

With the climate, rainfall, and low cost of living, Louisiana offers homesteaders and off-gridders great conditions for sustainable year-round agriculture. You can grow fruit trees, vegetables, grains, and raise animals without relying much on artificial climate control, irrigation, or expensive infrastructure. The environment provides what's needed to live self-sufficiently off the grid.

4. Colorado

Colorado is another top choice for off-grid living due to its beautiful mountain scenery, temperate climate in some areas, and lack of building codes in many counties.

The state's diverse topography includes the Rocky Mountains, high mesas and plateaus, and Eastern Plains. This allows for varied climates from alpine to semi-arid. The mountain areas like Grand County and Summit County enjoy cool summers and mild winters, making off-grid living comfortable.

5 Best States to Live Off Grid in US

Counties such as Dolores, Kiowa, and San Miguel have minimal or no building codes at all. This gives homesteaders the freedom to build an off-grid home to their preferences without permits or inspections. Log cabins and other unconventional structures are allowed.

The combination of stunning scenery, amenable climates, and lax building regulations make Colorado a prime location to establish an off-the-grid existence surrounded by nature's beauty. Abundant federal public lands provide acres of space to set up an off-grid homestead and live self-sufficiently. For those seeking independence, beauty and temperate weather, Colorado ranks high on the list.

5. Oregon

Oregon is one of the top states for off-grid living due to its long growing season, abundance of open land, and suitability for establishing off-grid communities.

The mild climate along the western side of Oregon allows for an exceptionally long growing season compared to much of the country. This enables homesteaders to grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and other crops to live self-sufficiently off the land. With proper planning and preparation, it's possible to grow crops year-round in Oregon.

In addition, Oregon has vast amounts of open and undeveloped land, especially east of the Cascades. Large swaths of affordable ranch land allow for raising livestock and growing crops at scale. The open spaces also provide solitude for those looking to get away from crowded cities and suburbs.

States to Live Off Grid in US

Finally, Oregon has historically been popular for off-grid and sustainable living communities. From small homesteads and communes to larger ecovillages, Oregon provides the space and environment for like-minded people to establish intentional communities focused on self-sufficiency, ecology, and independence. The state offers both isolation and the opportunity to create a network of support with those sharing similar values.

For these key reasons, Oregon remains one of the premier locations in the United States for off-grid, sustainable living for individuals, families, and communities seeking food and energy self-reliance. The natural gifts of the region allow homesteaders to truly live off the land.

Other Notable States

While the states mentioned above are some of the best options for off-grid living, there are a few other notable states that can also be quite appealing depending on your needs and preferences:

  • Alabama - Alabama has low property taxes, reasonable building codes, and a climate suitable for growing crops year-round. The northern part of the state offers more temperate weather.

  • Maine - Maine offers abundant water resources, forests for hunting/foraging, and a low population density. The climate is challenging but summertime allows for growing many crops.

The best state for off-grid living depends on your priorities and requirements. But beyond the top five states, Alabama and Maine are worth considering if you seek land ownership, agricultural self-sufficiency, and an independent lifestyle. Just be prepared for cold winters if moving to these states. Overall, focus on finding land with the right resources for your needs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a State for Off-Grid Living

When selecting a state for off-grid living, several key factors should be considered to determine if it's a good fit:


  • The climate and geographic location will impact your ability to live comfortably off-grid. You'll want to look at average temperatures, precipitation levels, and the length of the growing season. Mild climates with warmer winters may be preferred.

  • Also consider how prone an area is to extreme weather like storms, flooding, or droughts. This can affect water access and energy from solar.

  • Altitude and topography are also factors, as mountainous regions tend to be colder. Valleys may offer more warmth and protection.

Laws and Regulations

  • Research which states have codes, permits, or restrictions regarding off-grid structures like homes, sheds, greenhouses, etc. Some states are more strict than others.

  • Look into water rights laws as well. In some states you can freely collect rainwater and access wells or springs on your land. Others require permits for large water collection systems.

  • Building codes may dictate electrical, septic, or other systemic requirements. See which states offer the most freedom and flexibility.

Cost of Living

  • Land, property taxes, and basic necessities can vary widely between states and regions. Make sure you understand the full costs of establishing and maintaining an off-grid lifestyle.

  • Some states do not collect income tax which can provide savings. However, property tax rates may offset those benefits. Do thorough research.

Access to Resources

  • Consider the availability of affordable, undeveloped land with space to grow crops and raise livestock. This access to natural resources is key.

  • Understand water access laws related to lakes, rivers, springs, rainwater collection. Reliable water sources are critical.

  • Review zoning restrictions, easements, etc. that may limit land use. Also research any benefits for off-grid living from state or local governments.

Off-Grid Living Challenges

Living off the grid can seem idyllic but it does come with real challenges that need to be considered. Here are some of the main difficulties to prepare for:

  • Lack of utilities - No electricity, running water, sewage, or gas requires self-sufficiency. You'll need a water source, solar/generator for electricity, and alternative cooking fuel.

  • Isolation - Being far from towns and neighbors can take an emotional toll. Make sure you plan for medical emergencies.

  • Weather extremes - Off-gridders face increased exposure to extreme heat, cold, storms and other weather. Homes must be reinforced.

  • Building challenges - Constructing your own off-grid home takes skill and meticulous planning. Research and follow local building codes.

  • Financial burden - Setup costs for land, home building, and systems can be high. Have ample savings and income sources.

  • Growing your own food - While rewarding, farming and homesteading require experience. Start small and build your skills over time.

  • Limited healthcare - Remote locations make quick access to medical care difficult. Stock up on supplies and consider communications.

With adequate research, preparation, training, and emotional resilience, determined individuals and families can transition to a rewarding off-grid lifestyle. But heading into it blindly can lead to costly setbacks, discomfort, and failure. By planning for the challenges ahead of time, you'll be on track for off-grid success.

Building an Off-Grid Home

When building an off-grid home, there are several key considerations including permits, materials, power sources, and water access.


Depending on the state and county, permits may or may not be required for off-grid home construction. It's important to research local building codes and regulations to determine if permits will be necessary. Some rural areas have no building codes at all.


Off-grid homes are often built using sustainable materials like straw bale, cob (clay, sand and straw mixture), adobe (clay and sand), rammed earth, cordwood, or salvaged materials. Wood, stone, and metal can also be used. Focus on durable, energy efficient materials.

Power Sources

Solar panels are a popular way to harness renewable energy for off-grid living. Wind turbines and microhydropower systems are other options depending on the location. Propane generators can provide backup power.

Growatt solar generator

Water Access

Rainwater collection systems, wells, and nearby springs or streams can provide water access for an off-grid home. Plan for water storage and filtration. Composting toilets are an eco-friendly alternative to septic systems.

Careful planning and research on these key elements will ensure a successfully built off-grid home. Expert assistance may be needed for solar, water, or waste systems.

Growing Your Own Food

One of the keys to sustainable off-grid living is being able to grow your own food supply. There are several effective methods for producing fruits, vegetables, and raising livestock no matter where you live.

Growing your own food

Gardening Tips

  • Choose crops suited for your climate - Cool weather crops like spinach, carrots and broccoli for northern states or heat-loving options like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant for southern states.

  • Extend the growing season by using cold frames, hoop houses and greenhouses to grow food year-round.

  • Use succession planting and staggered harvests to get multiple yields from one area.

  • Go vertical with vining crops on trellises and taller plants to maximize limited space.

  • Compost food scraps and manure to enrich garden soil for better production.


  • Chickens provide a steady supply of eggs and meat while being low maintenance. Protect them from predators with secure coops and fencing.

  • Goats are excellent milk producers and can forage on all kinds of vegetation. Make sure to contain them with electric fencing.

  • Rabbits are another good meat source requiring little space. Keep pens clean and protected from the elements.

  • Bees provide honey and pollination while needing only a hive box and plenty of flowering plants nearby.

Year-Round Options

  • Grow sprouts and microgreens inside no matter the weather.

  • Starting transplants indoors gives a head start on the growing season.

  • Extend the fall harvest with cold hardy crops like kale, cabbage and root vegetables.

  • Fruit trees and berry bushes provide summer produce then storage crops like squash and apples last through winter.

  • Store excess produce by canning, dehydrating, freezing or root cellaring.

Being prepared to produce your own food supply takes knowledge, planning and hard work. But the payoff is enjoying fresh, homegrown food year-round.

Creating an Off-Grid Community

Living entirely off the grid can be isolating and challenging to do alone. Forming or joining an off-grid community can provide many benefits that make the lifestyle easier to adopt and sustain.

Benefits of an Off-Grid Community

  • Skill sharing - Each person brings their own expertise in areas like construction, gardening, animal husbandry, mechanics, medicine, etc. This pool of knowledge helps the community thrive.

  • Labor pooling - With more people, larger projects like building homes and infrastructure are feasible. Many hands make light work.

  • Social interaction - Humans are social creatures. An off-grid community provides a built-in social network for friendship, learning, and support. This improves mental health.

  • Security - There is safety in numbers. Communities can more easily provide security and protection for members.

  • Cost sharing - Equipment, tools, and supplies can be collectively owned and shared rather than purchased individually.

How to Find or Establish a Community

Those hoping to join an established off-grid community can search online directories like which lists hundreds of intentional communities worldwide. Most have an application process for prospective members.

If you want to create a new community, identify a few like-minded individuals to join together. Seek out those with complementary skills and resources. Find suitable land where you can legally reside off-grid. Develop a plan for housing, food, water, energy, governance, etc.

Start small and allow the community to grow organically over time. An initial core group can plant the seeds for a thriving off-grid village.


Off-grid living is an appealing lifestyle for many people who want to live sustainably and self-sufficiently. However, it also comes with many challenges and questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about living off the grid:

What are the main challenges of off-grid living?
Some key challenges include having limited access to public utilities, difficulty obtaining building permits, lack of community and social services, and the hard work required for self-sufficiency. Maintaining adequate food, water and power can be labor-intensive.

Is off-grid living legal everywhere?
Rules vary widely by location. Some places prohibit off-grid residences due to zoning laws or building codes. Do thorough research before purchasing land. Some states like Texas and Tennessee are more off-grid friendly.

How expensive is it to set up an off-grid home?
Costs vary but expect to spend at least $10,000-$30,000. Solar panels, batteries, water filtration and septic systems add up. Ongoing costs include maintenance and replacing consumables. Get expert help designing the most cost-effective setup.

What options work well for off-grid power and water?
Solar panels + batteries is a common power solution. Also, you can get a Growatt solar generator as your power. Well water or rainwater collection systems provide water. Composting toilets eliminate blackwater waste. There are many innovative and eco-friendly options to explore!

Can I live entirely "off the land" if I move off-grid?
It takes substantial skill and land resources to truly live off the land. Most off-grid homesteads rely on some purchased goods and supplies from town. The level of self-sufficiency depends on your abilities. Start small and learn over time.

Is off-grid living lonely without a community?
It can be isolating. Seek or form an off-grid community to share knowledge and resources. Some groups buy large parcels of land together. Close proximity to a town can provide social interaction.


Overall, there are several key factors to consider when choosing the best state for off-grid living. As we've seen, top choices like Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Colorado and Oregon offer a combination of affordable land, lenient laws, ample water and sunlight, and climates suitable for homesteading and agriculture.

When evaluating locations, keep in mind essentials like access to water, ability to grow food, building codes, tax rates, and opportunities for community. Think about your personal priorities and needs. Areas with mild winters may enable year-round farming, while more remote regions offer solitude.

While establishing an off-grid homestead takes research and preparation, millions find the self-sufficient lifestyle rewarding. With careful planning, it's possible to live off the grid while still enjoying modern conveniences powered by renewable energy. The states profiled here provide excellent environments to pursue this path. Just be sure to thoroughly assess all factors before committing to a location.

With an adventurous spirit and commitment to sustainability, you can thrive off the grid. Choose wisely and enjoy the freedom and fulfillment of living light on the land.

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