Many people think that living off-grid in Hawaii is completely feasible. Although Hawaii is a paradise, it has several downsides when it comes to off-grid living. The primary issue with Hawaii is that it imports almost everything, from food to clothing, from the mainland. Eating healthy in this state is prohibitively costly, and canned SPAM is a staple meal (ew).
General Statistics for Living Off-Grid in Hawaii
Hawaii is not an excellent state for off-grid living; even though it is permitted to live off-grid and catch rainwater, it is still one of the worst off-grid states. The primary issue with Hawaii is that everything must be imported, which raises the expense of living substantially higher than on the mainland. Furthermore, the cost of housing and property is around 180 percent greater than the national average. Hawaii does, however, have a few off-grid communities that are worth checking out.
Hawaii is located in the North Pacific Ocean, between the United States and Australia. It has a present population of 1.4 million people; however, population density in particular regions may be rather high once visitors come. In general, around 7-8 million tourists visit this state each year, implying that the cost of living will be high. Although there are some regions with a low population density and few to no tourists, these areas are not suitable for off-grid life.
If you’re looking for another tropical paradise, check out my Guide to Off-Grid Living in Florida.
What is the Climate in Hawaii?
Despite being one of the smallest states in the US, Hawaii features a variety of climates. The typical climate is tropical, yet it can be desert, moderate, or even arctic in some locations. The average summer temperature is approximately 85°F, while the average winter temperature is around 75°F; in other words, it is summer all year. Because few veggies grow in this state, most people rely on canned vegetables.
What Types of Crops are Grown in Hawaii?
Because of the local environment, Hawaii can cultivate a variety of crops, the most prevalent of which are pineapples and sugar cane. Hawaii is well-known for its gorgeous flowers, and the state grows a wide variety of flowers that are exported. Hawaii also produces tomatoes, papayas, bananas, avocados, coffee, potatoes, maize, beans, and lettuce. There are certain sites that are ideal for agricultural cultivation, but they are sometimes prohibitively expensive.
What’s Freshwater Availability like in Hawaii?
The majority of Hawaii’s freshwater comes from aquifers, and the amount of water in the aquifers has decreased significantly over the last several decades. Although these aquifers should provide enough water for Hawaii’s population, the inflow of millions of tourists each year is causing the aquifers to dry faster than before. The good news is that you may legally capture rainwater in Hawaii if you wish to live off the grid because there are no limits.
The average monthly rainfall in Hawaii is roughly 32 inches, which is just insufficient to refill the aquifers, and the state will impose some freshwater limitations sooner or later.
What Kind of Wildlife is in Hawaii?
The majority of the wildlife of Hawaii lives in the water or around the shore, including monk seals, northern elephant seals, whales, dolphins, Indian mongoose, mule deer, and turtles. Feral animals, which have no natural competition and are steadily eliminating Hawaii’s distinctive fauna, are a major concern in Hawaii. Goats, pigs, cats, cattle, sheep, and even donkeys are the most prevalent feral animals.
Stenogobius hawaiiensis, Sicyopterus Stimpson, Lentipes councilor, Eleotris sandwicensis, and Awaous guamensia are the only freshwater fish found in Hawaii. As predicted, Hawaii features a plethora of saltwater fish, including goatfish, white-spotted damsel, damsel, bannerfish, surgeonfish, and others. I recommend checking out Hawaii’s regulations before hunting or fishing in the state.
How to Get Off-Grid Power in Hawaii?
Solar power: There are many solar panels in Hawaii, especially in isolated locations. The state provides an Energy Tax Credit of roughly 35%. However, this is capped at $5000, and the solar power system must be installed and fully operating before you receive the money. In addition, you may claim for the federal tax credit, which is around 26%.
Wind power: Hawaii also provides incentives to anyone who wishes to install a wind turbine, and you can also qualify for a federal tax credit.
If you’re interested in a state that has just as much natural beauty as Hawaii, I recommend reading my guide to Off-Grid Living in Colorado.
What are the Off-Grid Laws for Hawaii?
Living off the grid in Hawaii is legal; in fact, numerous communities exist in this state that does so. However, if you want to relocate to this state and live off the grid, you may discover that it will be too expensive, especially given the high cost of property and land. Homeschooling is quite popular in Hawaii because the local education system is not the finest; nevertheless, before you do anything, make sure you are aware of the homeschooling rules.
What’s the Road Access in Hawaii Like?
Hawaii is made up of various islands, and transporting your automobile from one to the other will cost you a lot of money. Furthermore, certain regions have much too much traffic, so plan to be stuck in traffic for most of the day. People who live off the grid use ATVs or small boats to go about since they are less expensive and allow them to access locations where there are no roads.
What is the Price of Land for Living Off-Grid in Hawaii?
When it comes to the cost of land and property, Hawaii is one of the most costly destinations on the planet, with the typical house costing roughly $660k. You will pay around 180 percent more than the national average for housing.
What is the Property Tax in Hawaii?
The state of Hawaii has the lowest property tax in the country, at 0.27 percent, whereas the national average is 1.08 percent. Even if you spend 180 percent more for hosing, you will still pay less than the national average. The issue is that Hawaii has a significant housing shortage; much of the property suitable for housing is purchased by large corporations to develop hotels and restaurants, leaving a large portion of the local people unable to find cheap homes.
What is the Cost of Living in Hawaii?
It should come as no surprise that Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living in the country. You will pay around 180 percent more for housing, 50% more for groceries, 85% more for utilities, and 22% more for transportation. On the other hand, you will spend around 5% less than the national average for healthcare services. The primary reason for the high cost of life is that everything is imported. Therefore, it’s no surprise that some individuals consume SPAM on a regular basis.
What is the Job Market Like in Hawaii?
Hawaii has a 4.3 percent unemployment rate, which is higher than the national average of 3.9 percent. The minimum wage is $10.10, which is low considering that you need to make over $100k per year to live comfortably. On the mainland, you only need roughly $60k. Tourism, commercial fishing, agriculture, manufacturing, and government are the most important industries of Hawaii.
What is the Crime Rate in Hawaii?
Despite the relatively high population density, the crime rate is lower than the national norm. Roughly 2.49 crimes occur per 1000 people compared to the national average of 4 crimes per 1000 people. Makaweli, Kalaupapa, Schofield Barracks, Hanalei, Kilauea, and Honokaa are the safest regions. The most dangerous locations are those around Hilo, Wailuku, Hoolehua, and Honolulu.
Do Natural Disasters Affect Living Off-Grid in Hawaii?
Floods, storms, tsunamis, earthquakes, lava flows, and even volcanic eruptions are all tremendously damaging natural catastrophes in Hawaii. There are three active volcanoes in Hawaii, although they are all “relatively” safe. However, it is just a matter of time before a huge volcanic eruption occurs.
Should I live Off-Grid in Hawaii?
I cannot suggest Hawaii for an off-grid living since the cost of property and living is very expensive. Remember you will be unable to live frugally in this state. Even groceries are around 50% more expensive than on the mainland.
That being said, if you have enough money to move and live in Hawaii, I recommend it. The state is a paradise and will be a wonderful place for a homestead to thrive.