How to Live Off the Grid in Utah (What you Need to Know)
Utah, located in the western region of the country, has a population of 3.2 million people and is steadily rising. Most people believe that Utah is only a desert with an arid environment. The truth is that four seasons happen when living off the grid in Utah. The Great Salt Lake is one of the country’s largest lakes, and you’d assume that there would be plenty of fish with such a large lake.
Although there are no laws forbidding you from living off the grid in Utah, there may be some limitations and restrictions for rainwater gathering. The cost of living is slightly greater than the national average, while the property tax and crime rate are significantly lower than the national average. Furthermore, summers can be exceedingly hot in some locations, with little to no rainfall.
General Statistics for Living Off the Grid in Utah
The problem is that Salt Lake is salty. There aren’t many fish in it because it’s saltier than the oceans in certain places, and it’s also polluted. During the winter, dense fog will be visible over the lake owing to inversion. This traps all of the filthy air on top of the lake. This pollution can be pushed into cities by winds under certain situations, and believe me, it doesn’t smell nice.
Utah isn’t too bad; you simply have to find the perfect area to reside, which can be challenging but not impossible given the state’s many deserts. Even though some areas are classified as deserts, there are still plenty of ideal places to live off the grid because various rivers and mountains cool the area. Wearing sunscreen is recommended, as Utah has one of the highest rates of melanoma, a kind of skin cancer. Although Utah is not the finest state for living off the grid, it is superior to Rhode Island.
What’s the Climate in Utah?
Even though some portions of the state experience all four seasons, Utah’s climate is classified as dry and semi-arid. Summers are hot, dry, and lengthy, while winters are frigid and short. Don’t be deceived by summer’s warm weather; temperatures can drop below freezing at night. The average temperature in the summer is around 85°F, and in the winter, it is around 40°F, though it can be as cold as 0°F in some sections of the state.
The environment in Utah is not conducive to off-grid life, as evidenced by the fact that most homes have air conditioning units that cool and humidify the air. The climate is generally dryer in the southern half of the state and slightly more humid in the northern part, albeit not significantly. If you don’t like the semi-arid climate, you might be interested in what Kentucky offers. See my recent article about Off the Grid Living in Kentucky for more information.
What are the Best Crops to Grow in Utah?
Barley, wheat, and maize, which are basically corn, are the most prevalent crops grown in Utah. However, corn is cultivated for livestock feed rather than for human use. You can also cultivate fruits such as apples, cherries, and peaches, among others, and you will most likely have good results due to the long summers, assuming you have enough water for your crops. As you can see, the state of Utah isn’t ideal for agricultural production, but you could always farm livestock.
Check out my article on Texas if you’re interested in a similar state.
What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Utah?
Many individuals believe that harvesting rainwater is unlawful, owing to the fact that most jurisdictions with arid climates have tight restrictions regarding rainwater harvesting. The good news is that rainwater harvesting is permitted in Utah and has been since 2010. Even though it is allowed to harvest rainwater, due to the minimal rainfall in some places, you will likely not be able to harvest enough rainwater.
Finding groundwater is a hit-or-miss experience; in certain regions, you won’t have any problems, while in others, you won’t be able to discover any. Human consumption has already stretched the local rivers and streams beyond their limits. The salt lake is rapidly diminishing, with some blaming climate change and others blaming the state’s growing population for using a large amount of freshwater from streams and rivers that should flow into the lake.
What Type of Wildlife can be found in Utah?
Wood bison, elk, moose, badger, and even wolves are among the larger species that can be found in Utah. Black bullhead, bear lake whitefish, Bonneville cisco, and arctic grayling are among the fish that can be found. Hunting and fishing permits are relatively inexpensive. Instructions on how to obtain them can be found here.
How to Generate Off the Grid Power in Utah?
Solar power: Utah is an excellent location for solar power because the sun is usually constantly shining, clouds are uncommon, and you will have no trouble generating electricity even in the winter. The solar energy tax credit in Utah is slightly lower than in other states, at roughly 25%, albeit it is limited to a maximum cost of $2000.
Wind Power: Although generating power with solar panels is highly suggested in Utah, you can also create power with wind if you like. The state offers a variety of incentives, which vary from county to county, but on average, the incentives can save you 50-60% on your purchase.
Hydroelectric power: You’ll have a hard time generating electricity from streams and rivers, which sometimes diminish dramatically during the summer. Instead, rely on solar or wind power.
Are There Living Off the Grid Laws in Utah?
There are no laws forbidding you from gathering rainwater and living off the grid in Utah. You should still consult your local authorities, however. Although you can legally live off the grid in some regions, the neighbors may make life tough for you. So, before you acquire a piece of property, see whether there are any other new residents in the area. I recommend inquiring about their neighbors.
What’s Road Access Like in Utah?
The majority of the state is relatively flat, so you’ll have no trouble getting around both in the summer and in the winter. Even if your chosen area is not connected to a road, an offroad vehicle or an ATV will get you there. Just be careful because Utah drivers are not very good, to put it gently.
What’s the Price of Off the Grid Land in Utah?
One of the key reasons for the state’s growing population is that the cost of land is low, even when compared to neighboring states. The land is dirt cheap in some locations that are closer to deserts. I wouldn’t advocate buying land in that area because it will make your daily living quite difficult. The ideal places to live off the grid in Utah are near mountains and rivers. They will cost a little more, but they will still be less expensive than in other states.
What’s the Property Tax in Utah?
Although Utah’s property tax is not the lowest in the country, it is significantly cheaper than the national average. Low property taxes and inexpensive land attract many people to this state. If you want to start a homestead in this state, you can do so for a fraction of the cost of adjacent states.
What’s the Cost of Living Off the Grid in Utah?
The cost of living is roughly 10% higher than the national median rate. This difference is primarily due to the housing sector, which is really 40% more expensive than the national average. You may be perplexed because I previously stated that land in this state is inexpensive. So, to explain, the high cost of housing in urban regions is due to a scarcity of houses and apartments, not because the property is so desirable.
This will not affect you if you choose to settle in Utah and live off the grid, as you will see.
What’s the Crime Rate in Utah?
Utah’s crime rate is relatively low; in fact, it is less than half of the national average. Violent crimes occur at a rate of 2.3 per 1000 people on average, compared to a national average of 4. Although the crime rate is low, you should be aware that Utah has had and continues to have various cults. You should research this before purchasing a home.
Do Natural Disasters Affect Off the Grid Living in Utah?
Floods, earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, heat waves, and even avalanches are all-natural disasters that might strike this state. Heatwaves occur practically every summer. However, most of these natural disasters do not occur frequently. This state is not suggested for anyone who has heart problems or does not have a high level of heat resistance.
Is Living Off the Grid in Utah Doable?
Living off the grid in Utah is completely suitable. In fact, there are several off the grid communities in Utah. The greatest issues you’ll have to deal with are the heat, especially during the summer, and the lack of rain. If you can deal with these two, you’ll probably be fine living off the grid. On the other side, if you’re from the north, the dry air and relentless heat could be too much.