How to Live Off Grid in Pennsylvania (What You Should Know)

Pennsylvania is steeped in history and boasts a plethora of tourist attractions. Despite the fact that Pennsylvania is a state, many of its citizens consider it to be a part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which is essentially a state with minor variations. Pennsylvania has a population of roughly 12.81 million people. Living off grid in Pennsylvania in quite popular, with the Amish being a the most notable community.

living off grid in pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is called known as the quaker state.

General Statistics for Living Off Grid in Pennsylvania

Although living off grid in Pennsylvania is legal, it is not one of the greatest off grid states. However, with some effort, you should be able to make it work. Property prices, living costs, and crime rates are all substantially below the national average. The property tax, on the other hand, is greater than the national average, and there are no statewide solar or wind energy incentives, but you may still qualify for the federal tax credit.

If you’ve never been to Pennsylvania, the first thing you’ll notice is how many Amish people live there, and how carriages frequently cause traffic bottlenecks. You will rarely find Amish people near major cities, but once you get out into the countryside, you will see a lot of them. The Amish are disliked by some; yet from an off grid living standpoint, they can teach you a lot about living off grid in Pennsylvania.

The climate in Pennsylvania is good for cultivating a wide variety of crops; nevertheless, the growing season might be short in certain years, and the winters can be harsh. When it snows in Pennsylvania, it snows hard, and while local governments do a fantastic job of cleaning up the roads in the larger cities, this is not the case in the smaller communities.

Interested in living off grid in other states? I recommend checking out My Complete Guide to Off Grid Living in Oregon.

What’s the Climate in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has a humid continental climate with scorching summers, cold winters, and significant humidity throughout the year. Although there is a lot of humidity, it isn’t quite as awful as it is in the southern states. The average summer temperature is around 85°F, while the average winter temperature is around 25°F. The hottest temperature ever recorded in this state was 111 degrees Fahrenheit in 1936, and the lowest was -42 degrees Fahrenheit in 1904.

What’s the Best Crops to Grow in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is a fantastic place to cultivate wheat, oats, and tobacco, and vegetables and fruits are one of the state’s principal exports. Potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, and beans are commonly grown by those living off grid in Pennsylvania. Many greenhouses may be found in some places, allowing people to cultivate fruits and vegetables virtually all year. Because the growing season in this state is so short, you’ll need to know what you’re doing if you want to feed yourself and your family from your crops. My personal advise is to look at the states on the east coast to see how they differ from this state. For more details, check out New York.

What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has abundance of freshwater, both below and above ground, and you can legally extract it due to its high humidity and geographical location. The state’s average annual rainfall is roughly 42 inches, which is around the same as the bordering states. The closer you approach to Lake Erie, the heavier the rainfall becomes, and it is rather usual for the average annual rainfall in these areas to be near 100 inches.

What Kind of Wildlife Does Pennsylvania Have?

Pennsylvania’s hunting season is well-known, and the state boasts one of the greatest numbers of hunters in the country. Hunting is such a huge deal in Pennsylvania that many communities host activities to commemorate the start of the hunting season. The biggest issue with all of this hunting is that certain species, like as bison, wolves, and moose, are no longer found in this state. Although elk, white-tailed deer, opossum, bunnies, and river otters will still be present.

Bluegill, trout, brown bullhead, channel catfish, perch, and black crappie may all be found in the area lakes and rivers. Both hunting and fishing require a permit which can be found here.

How to Generate Off Grid Power in Pennsylvania

Solar power: Solar panels may easily create electricity in this state, but only during the summer because the days are very short during the winter. Although the state does not offer any statewide solar incentives, you can still take advantage of the federal 30% tax credit. Keep in mind that the percentage decreases each year, and the federal tax credit will only be around 22% in 2021 if you start now.

Wind energy: As far as I’m aware, there are no statewide incentives for wind energy, so you’ll have to file for a federal tax credit to save money.

Does Pennsylvania Have Living Off Grid Laws?

In Pennsylvania, it is allowed to live off the grid; in fact, the state encourages it because it has one of the largest concentrations of Amish, who generally live off the grid. Many people who do not live in the larger cities homeschool their children, and the state’s homeschooling policies are rather permissive in comparison to its eastern neighbors.

What’s Road Access Like in Pennsylvania?

The quality of the roads in Pennsylvania is not horrible, but traffic jams are something you will despise. The closer you get to the cities, the more likely you are to become trapped in traffic. Even in rural places, this problem exists; if you are stopped behind a carriage, you will have to proceed at a snail’s pace.

What’s the Price of Land in Pennsylvania?

When it comes to the price of housing and land, Pennsylvania is one of the cheapest on the east coast. Land prices are roughly 25% lower than the national average. When you compare Pennsylvania to its eastern neighbors, you’ll see that some of these states’ prices are significantly higher. In general, the cheapest land and houses can be found in the state’s northwestern corner. Other land is cheap in the center, between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

What’s the Property Tax in Pennsylvania?

The cost of living in Pennsylvania is about 10% lower than the national average. Housing is about 25% less expensive, health care services are around 3% less expensive, and utilities are around 2% less expensive than the national average. Transportation, on the other hand, will cost you roughly 4% more, and groceries will cost you around 1% more.

What’s the Cost of Living Off Grid in Pennsylvania

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 4.2 percent, somewhat higher than the national average of 4 percent; however, unlike other states, the trend is upward rather than downward. In the year 2019, the unemployment rate was approximately 3.8 percent. The minimum pay is $7.25, which is as low as it gets; the minimum wage in adjacent states is roughly $8, if not higher. Agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and tourism are the major industries in which the majority of people work.

Looking for a cheaper state? I recommend checking out Oklahoma.

What’s the Job Market in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s crime rate is lower than the national average; it now stands at 3.07 crimes per 1000 people, compared to a national average of 4 crimes per 1000 people. Smicksburg, Smithton, Enon Valley, Elderton, and Shade Gap are the safest places to be. The areas near Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Castle, Wilkes Barre, and Johnstown have the highest crime rates.

What’s the Crime Rate in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s crime rate is lower than the national average; it now stands at 3.07 crimes per 1000 people, compared to a national average of 4 crimes per 1000 people. Smicksburg, Smithton, Enon Valley, Elderton, and Shade Gap are the safest places to be. The areas near Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Castle, Wilkes Barre, and Johnstown have the highest crime rates.

Is Living Off Grid in Pennsylvania Affected by Natural Disasters?

Floods, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, and storms are all common in Pennsylvania. The northwestern region of the state has the largest risk of natural disasters. Common disasters are floods, as annual rainfall here can be more than twice that of the rest of the country.

Is Living Off Grid in Pennsylvania Possible?

Overall, living off grid in Pennsylvania is a good place. However, the states closer to the south of Pennsylvania provide more options. With that stated, there are many people living off the grid in Pennsylvania. The most notable are the Amish, who live off the grid, demonstrating that homesteading can be very successful.

living off grid in pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania.

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