off-grid living in arizona

Complete Guide to Living Off The Grid in Arizona

Arizona is one of the largest states in the United States. It is located in the southwestern region of the country making living off the grid in Arizona an interesting choice. Although Arizona is one of the largest states, the population density is rather high; the state currently has roughly 7.3 million citizens, and the population is slowly expanding each year. The main reason for the increase in population is because Arizona is seen as a suitable place to retire, despite the fact that population growth has slowed over time.

off-grid living in arizona
The beauty of natural Arizona (from a VW bus)

General Statistics for Arizona

Although living off the grid is permitted in Arizona, there are just too many factors that make it incredibly difficult to do so. Even while rainwater gathering is permitted in Arizona, the entire state relies on a few sources of water, such as the Colorado River, which has been in a severe drought for the past few years.

Although the population density around these cities is extremely high, the rest of the state has a relatively low population density. Arizona has ten cities with populations of over 100,000 people. Phoenix has a population of 1.6 million people, followed by Tucson with 540. Mesa has 490, Chandler with 250, Scottsdale with 246 people, and Glendale with 245 people. Every year, the population of some of the cities increases tremendously, especially when students go to ASU to study. Of course, the population density in these cities won’t bother you if you’re living off the grid. 

Arizona doesn’t appear to be ideal for off the grid living because the population density is rather large, which normally has more negatives than pros when it comes to off the grid living. While Arizona has a number of limitations when it comes to off the grid living, such as extreme temperatures and a shortage of water, you might argue that it is ideal for solar panel power generation.

This is true, but if you’ve ever tried to connect an air conditioner to solar panels, you know it’ll be difficult. The majority of individuals who reside here have air conditioning. Those who live off the grid either do not have air conditioning or use a fan. Check read my latest article on Off-Grid Living in Alabama if you want to compare Arizona to another state.

What is the Climate in Arizona?

The majority of the state has a semi-arid climate, with certain places in the north having a continental or alpine climate. The average July temperature is around 100°F. The average wintertime temperature is around 60°F. Temperatures can drop drastically in the northern portions of the state. Even if the daily temperatures are warm, the temperatures in some parts of the state can drop dramatically at night. 

To be fair, temperatures can vary – depending on what part of the state you live in. The mountain receives snow and colder weather, while the highlands have the opposite. 

What Types of Crops Are Grown in Arizona?

There are three things that will limit what you can plant in Arizona when it comes to cultivating crops. The first issue is high temperatures, which make most crops struggle to thrive in the local climate; the second issue is that most of the lands are not fertile enough to grow crops due to the semi-arid climate. The third and most serious issue is a lack of water; annual rainfall is very low, and only a few locations have access to groundwater.

Cabbage, dates, melons, oranges, apples, lemons, dates, potatoes, tomatoes, and nuts are some of the most common crops grown in Arizona. Because most of these crops, particularly nuts, melons, and dates, require a lot of water, they are only cultivated in certain places. You can check out my article on Off-Grid Living in Tennessee if you want to learn more about a state with a different environment. 

What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Arizona?

Arizona has a major water shortage as a result of its environment, and it appears that this situation is only becoming worse as time passes. Arizona relies on the Colorado River for its water, and due to the drought, Colorado’s reservoir is just 40% full. Furthermore, the Colorado River does not receive enough water to meet local demand, which may cause major problems in the coming years.

The average annual rainfall in Arizona is roughly 13 inches, and it is around 20 inches in the higher areas. The good news is that in Arizona, rainfall can be legally harvested and stored for later use. However, if you intend to raise your own crops, you will most likely be unable to collect enough rainwater. Living off the grid in Arizona may be difficult with the low shortage of water. 

What Type of Wildlife Does Arizona Have?

Desert animals and reptiles such as coyotes, jaguars, jackrabbits, rattlesnakes, Gila monsters, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, and roadrunners make up the majority of Arizona’s species. Bluegill, panfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, and redear sunfish are the most frequent fish found in nearby rivers and lakes. Both hunting and fishing licenses are required to ensure that you have those, or you’ll receive a hefty fine. 

How to Generate Off The Grid Power in Arizona?

Solar power: Arizona is one of the greatest states for generating electricity with solar panels. The sun shines brightly enough to charge the solar panels and batteries even in the winter. Arizona offers a $1000 tax credit, and you can also apply for the federal tax credit, which is around 26%. However, the federal tax credit is decreasing each year by roughly 4-5%. Some places also provide rebates, albeit this is dependent on the utility company in your area.

Wind power: Arizona offers a $0.01/kWh incentive for wind power. They then sell for $0.12/kWh, so you’ll surely come out on the short end of the transaction. You can also apply for a federal tax credit on top of this “reward.

Are There Living Off The Grid Laws in Arizona?

Living off the grid in Arizona is legal, albeit it can be costly. The biggest issue in Arizona is a shortage of water, so if you want to grow your own food, you’ll need to figure out how to access adequate water on your property. Rainwater harvesting is permissible at the moment, but this might change if the Colorado River reservoir does not fill up, which is unlikely given how low it has been in recent decades.

Despite the fact that Arizona boasts a few well-known schools and universities, the state’s general education system remains one of the poorest in the country; it isn’t quite as terrible as Mississippi’s, but it’s close. Homeschooling your children is legal, and many parents prefer it to send their children to public schools. Although you will need to fill out some paperwork and notify the local authorities, homeschooling rules are not the most stringent. 

What is Arizona’s Road Access Like?

In general, Arizona has kept its infrastructure in good shape, which is aided by the absence of snow and cold weather (unless you’re in the mountains). Although, in some locations, the local roads can simply melt owing to the high temperatures, making you feel as if you are in an oven, you will understand this the first time you are stuck in a traffic jam in Arizona (or maybe not if you’re off the grid). 

What is the Price of Land in Arizona?

The cost of homes and land in Arizona is around 8% higher than the national average. You can easily discover regions that are less expensive than the national average (some are even suitable for living off the grid in Arizona). With any luck, you’ll be able to obtain dirt cheap land, but always consider how you’ll get your water, as rainwater gathering will not suffice.

What is Arizona’s Property Tax?

Arizona’s property tax is 0.72 percent, which is lower than the national average of 1.08 percent. Maricopa County has the lowest property tax rate in the state, at 0.64 percent. That’s a good thing to consider when purchasing off the grid land in Arizona. 

What is the Cost of Living in Arizona?

Arizona’s cost of living is slightly more than the national average. You’ll pay about 8% more for housing, 3% more for utilities, and 7% more for transportation. On the other side, you may expect to pay 4% less for groceries and 4% less for healthcare services. 

What Is the Job Market Like in Arizona?

Arizona has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, at 3.9 percent – compared to the national average of 3.8 percent. The minimum wage is greater than the national average at $12.80, however. Aerospace, manufacturing, tourism, banking, agriculture, and mining are the major industries in Arizona. Agriculture and mining have experienced significant declines in recent years.

Again jobs are relative when living off the grid. Some people may continue to work a normal career while others may focus their time completely on living sufficiently. 

What is the Crime Rate in Arizona? 

The crime rate in Arizona is greater than the national average. There are roughly 4.75 violent crimes per 1000 people, compared to 4 violent crimes per 1000 persons nationally. Dennehotso, Dateland, Teec Nos Pos, Sanders, and Chinle are the safest places to be. The areas near Tucson, Globe, Winslow, Page, Laveen, and Phoenix have the highest crime rates. By living off the grid in Arizona, you’ll probably avoid most of these areas. I still recommend using caution in any situation where you feel uncomfortable. 

Is Living Off The Grid in Arizona Affected by Natural Disasters? 

Floods, flash floods, earthquakes, earth cracks, landslides, and strong storms are all possible natural disasters in Arizona. Storms are the most prevalent natural disasters, as this state is frequently affected by strong storms and even thunderstorms.

Should You Live Off The Grid in Arizona? 

Overall, I don’t recommend living off the grid in Arizona. Don’t get me wrong, there are individuals living off grid in Arizona but, the desert makes it hard. If I have to choose one state to live off the grid in, I would avoid Arizona. The main issues in Arizona are the climate and a shortage of water, both of which are necessary for living off the grid. 

off-grid cactus

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