19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!)

Off-grid living is one’s personal choice to make. It means to survive on your own, totally independent of others. It means having a life with self-arranged resources, availing no public utilities or facilities. Several states seem like dream places to live, but they can turn out so bad for off-grid living.

Furthermore, various states provide the worst situation and safety issues but seem legal to stay there. So, what are the worst states for off grid living? Read on to find out the worst states for off grid living.

What Makes a State Worst For Off the Grid Living?

Less expensive states are often more acceptable and easy to live in. It lessens the challenging atmosphere of states and brings peace of mind too.

19 Worst States for Off-Grid Living

Here is the worst for an off the grid lifestyle.

1- Arizona

Even though Arizona is known as one of the best places to live off-grid since it offers plenty of cheap land and sunlight for off-grid solar, living off the grid in Arizona can be challenging.

There is a shortage of fresh water, an inhospitable climate leading to high water demand. The state gets its water from the Colorado River.

In addition, there are numerous regulations and rules, which may make it difficult or illegal to go live off-grid.

See also: Where Can You Actually Live Off-Grid in Colorado? The 5 Best Places.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

2– Colorado

Colorado is one of the strictest and most demanding states regarding water rights. Under the law of prior appropriation, known as the Colorado Doctrine, all state’s surface water and tributary groundwater are public resources. 

See this guide issued by the Colorado State Government to learn more about water rights. 

It can be costly and complicated to obtain water use; permits can be expensive and might even be impossible depending on your property’s location and size.

Another reason for adding Colorado to the list of the worst states for off-grid living is that a landowner must have water before building on the land. 

If you consider Colorado for your off-the-grid living options, ensure you thoroughly investigate your water choices before buying any land.

See also: How Can You Get Water for an Off-Grid Bathroom?

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

3- Florida

Contrary to the popular myth, it is not illegal to live off-grid in Florida. But, you need to ensure you comply with building and waste removal codes. Also, laws and regulations vary by county in Florida, and some are stricter than others.

So, why is Florida among the worst states for an off-grid living? Florida might not be a good choice for living off the grid because of the traffic caused by the millions of tourists coming to visit the Sunshine State each year.

The year-round tourism reduces the places in Florida where one can comfortably live off the grid.

If you still are considering Florida for your off-the-grid living, here are 13 great locations where you can live off-grid in Florida.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

4- Georgia

Georgia is among the most favored states for off-grid living because of its good climate, affordable land, and abundance of water.

What makes Georgia one of the worst states for off-grid living is its waste disposal systems since you must connect to the public sewer line in many areas.

In addition, the minimum wage is only $5.15 for those planning to work while living off the grid. 

Even though Georgia has laws that favor off-grid living, don’t be surprised if you come across legal restrictions that make the process of living off the grid difficult or impossible in some areas.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

5- Hawaii

Appearances are often deceptive. This paradise kind of place is not acceptable for off-grid living. Several factors lessen its demand in terms of off-grid living. The cost of survival is significantly high in Hawaii. Becoming self-sufficient in a state like Hawaii is not easy.

The location of Hawaii also has active issues to resolve. Volcanoes may reduce the likelihood of survival and increase security issues. Transportation cost is also a quest and a native problem here. In Hawaii, private electricity connections run which boosts the cost of living.

Limited transportation and the cost of owning a house in this state are also high. Rent is also high in comparison to other states. All these factors lower the chances of staying here.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

6- Illinois

You can legally live off the grid in Illinois. However, this state isn’t the best for living off the grid because of its local climate; it is simply not suited to grow crops reliably.

Additionally, the cost of living, the property tax, and the crime rates in Illinois are high.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

7- Montana

Because of its low population density, Montana can be an excellent destination for off-grid living. But, Montana is arid, and numerous parts of the state are under constant drought conditions, making water rights highly controlled.

Because of the drought, the state and many local governments adopted regulations about using water. For instance, you can’t water your lawn without a permit in some cities. You are still able to live off the grid in Montana, but it won’t be easy.

See monthly maps of moisture status of Montana issued by the Montana State Library in coordination with the Montana Governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

8- Maryland

Even though living off the grid in Maryland is legal, this state is among the worst states for off-grid living.

Maryland ranks almost at the top in tax rates and living costs. Also, the population density is pretty high, and property and housing costs are higher than the national average.

Like Illinois, Maryland ranks high in crime rate, making living off-grid stressful. Not forget that Maryland experiences a fair number of natural disasters, which can affect your chances of finding a suitable location to live off-grid away from the potential natural disasters. 

See also: Do You Actually Need a Permit for Off-Grid Solar Power?

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

9- Oregon

Oregon is primarily regarded as one of the best states for off-grid living. In research ranking the best states in the United States to live off the grid, Oregon ranked among the top 20 places.

Additionally, Oregon does not impose state sales taxes, according to the Oregon Department of Revenue.

What makes Oregon one of the worst states for off-grid living is that Oregon is also one of the strictest states regarding how to use your land. Therefore, setting up an off-grid home might be challenging in Oregon. 

See also: Best Places For off Grid Living in Oregon.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

10- New Hampshire

New Hampshire is not a good state for off-grid living because the state has high property prices (around 18% higher) and a high cost of living, which is about 5% higher than the national average. 

New Hampshire has a harsh climate condition and a relatively short growing period, limiting what you can grow in this state.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

11- Nevada

The second worst state to stay in is Nevada. Although this place is famous for promoting tourism, it is still not good enough for an off-grid living. The climate over there is not suitable for off-grid living. Extremely high temperatures and sunshine are limiting factors.

Nevada has deserted land and a kind of arid atmosphere. As the climate has prominent effects on everything, it affects the land of cultivation. This kind of atmosphere reduces the area to be cultivated. In this way, it decreases the food outcome and its continuous supply.

See also: Where Can You Really Live Off-Grid in Texas? 5 Great Locations

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

12- Alaska

Another state to avoid for off-grid living in Alaska. In this state, the harsh climate and the unsafe environment are what make this state the worst for off-grid living.

Alaska carries escalated costs of living. Besides the mounted and elevated cost of living, Alaska has many legislations and requirements to fulfill.

A harsh climate situation and long-term consistency in weather make it hard to live off the grid in Alaska. Although it is fun to live there it’s legally not allowed to live off the grid in Alaska. 

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

13- California

You may think California is your desired place you will be surprised to know that it is not good for off-grid living. It is usually enlisted in the worst states to live off the grid. The demoralizing factor is soaring taxation out there. Many strict regulations and laws are active there. In terms of climate, California has dry weather conditions.

Due to this reason, there is a prominent water supply restriction there. The unavailability of basic utilities is another discouraging factor. One can avail these personal utilities available but it’s very costly there. To carry personal necessities seems like a burden.

See also: Can Really You Live Off the Grid in California?

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

14- New York

New York is one of the high population areas. It is occupied by high mesh densities. The climatic situation does not allow the growth of crops there. Lack of food growth lessens its supply. Because of the high population density, the rates of living there are automatically high.

The standard of living and high pay rates for properties is also another factor. Taxes are too high there. One deciding factor is the lack of power supply there. It will be more than difficult for one to arrange solar or other sources of energy there.

See also: Is Off-Grid Living Actually Worth It? (Yes, Find out why!)

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

15- New Mexico

New Mexico is on the list of the worst States for off-grid living because of a massive freshwater shortage.

In addition, New Mexico has stringent water-use laws. The Office of the State Engineer generally regulates water rights, and the public owns all water.

In New Mexico, getting water rights is complicated, and obtaining water rights can be expensive, complex, and doesn’t even fully guarantee that you will be able to use the water in times of drought.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

16- Utah

Generally, living off the grid is legal in remote parts of Utah. But in some areas of Utah, you will be required to connect to the municipal sewer system, virtually making it illegal to live entirely off-grid.

Additionally, it is impossible to get water rights in some parts of Utah, limiting your ability to live off-grid.

Also, keep in mind that the law allows the government to take away water rights. 

Visit the Utah drought monitor map and the special water permitting areas to learn more. 

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

17- Rhode Island

Living off the grid is legal in Rhode Island. Still, it is not a good state for an off-the-grid lifestyle because of high property and housing prices, high tax rates, and living expenses, generally higher than the national average.

Additionally, Rhode Island is not a fun place to move to as they aren’t enough people moving to this state for off-grid living.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

18- South Dakota

Because of its high taxes rate and harsh climate, South Dakota is not the best place for off-grid living. Temperatures could drop to extremes, particularly at night, even during the summer.

Additionally, you will be restricted to the types of crops you can grow in this state because of harsh climate conditions unless you set up a greenhouse.

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

19- Washington 

Washington is an excellent state for off-grid living with its abundance of natural resources, including forests and biodiversity.

The state also has some established off-grid communities enjoying an off-the-grid lifestyle in Washington. But, legally living off-grid in Washington can be expensive and complex.

Additionally, property and housing prices are high, about 64% higher than the national average.

See also: How Do You Heat and Ventilate an Off-Grid Greenhouse?

19 Worst States for Off Grid Living (And Why!) – offthegridplanet.com

What State Can You Legally Live Off The Grid?

There are several states which allow the easy procedure to own and protect your property. Many states have fewer requirements to allow off-grid living. The documentation and other clearance take your energy and give you nothing but a headache.

The registrations and allowance method is also hectic somewhere. Many states do not allow an individual to stay. Well, every state has different requirements according to the situation of places. There are some states which allow individuals to live off-grid.

  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Alabama
  • Arizona

What Are Actually The Worst States To Homestead In?

Homesteading is the process of living on one’s own. A person has to live in a self-sustained way to compete with the basic requirements of life. It is an independent methodology of living, even growing your food if you have little supply.

The worst place for living off the grid is the one that is deprived of basic needs and wants of daily life. To live off the grid, food and water supply is the most vital factor to cover. Power and energy source accomplishment is major parameters to cope with.

See also: Solar Vs. Propane: Which is Better for Living Off-Grid?

Fighting environmental factors is also crucial for survival. Climatic changes and other weather factors account for the worseness of the area. Many states are notorious for high taxation and registration fees to accomplish the procedure.

Various basic fundamental equipment and tools for survival also vary from place to place. Many states are too dry to allow continuous water supply and lessen the ease of survival. Given are some states which are worst for off the grid living:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • Florida

See also: Homestead Vs. Off-Grid: What Are The Differences?

Can You Get In Trouble For Living Off The Grid?

Extra efforts are to be invested in terms of living off the grid. If you run out of power supply because of any issue, it’s going to be too worse for you. If food and water supply break out because of some reason, survival there would be very harsh.

One must be an all-rounder to survive well in living off the grid. If a person’s budget got out or some other issue occurs, there will be no one to help you there.


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the person behind Off The Grid Planet. Off The Grid Planet is about off-grid living, homesteading, and self-sufficiency: learning self-reliance, sustainable homes, gardening, survival, preparedness, and renewable energy and inspire you to live a simple life. I do my best to bring you the most correct, up-to-date, and comprehensive information on these topics.

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