off-grid living in florida

Start Living Off Grid in Florida (5 Tips You Need to Know)

Florida is located on the southern end of the east coast in the United States. It is one of the states with the largest population density, but living off-grid in Florida is still possible. Despite its location in the southern half of the country, Florida is distinct from its neighbors. Florida is a popular retirement destination and a tourist hub, so you won’t be able to escape the crowds in some regions. The majority of the state is slightly above sea level, meaning that if global warming continues, substantial portions of the state will be submerged.

In general, a state with such a large population density as Florida is not conducive to off-grid life. There are simply too many factors that make Florida a not great state for off-grid living. Residents of Florida claim that the state has two climates: hot and hotter, which is mostly accurate. The humidity in the southern portions of the state can be rather severe, making life off the grid incredibly difficult, especially without an air conditioner.

Miami beach is cool, but NOT an off-grid location.

General Statistics for Living Off-Grid in Florida

Although living off the grid is permitted in Florida, it is a difficult task because of the large population density and the millions of visitors who visit the state each year. The local climate, on the other hand, is ideal for growing crops, the cost of living is slightly higher than the national average, and the local wildlife is diverse. Because of the high population density, it will be difficult to find adequate acreage for off-grid living.

Florida has such a high population density that it has approximately 25 cities with a population of over 100,000 people; other states in the United States have around 3-5 cities with a population of over 100,000 people. Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, with a population of 880 thousand people. That’s followed by Miami (451 thousand), Tampa (380 thousand), and Orlando (275 thousand). Due to the fact that over 130 million people visit this state each year, the population of the larger cities might change a lot

A considerable portion of Florida is deemed marshland, and many towns and cities are built directly on top of or adjacent to the marsh. During the summer, these places are frequently overrun by bugs. In some cases, they can get so terrible that they cause property damage by climbing into gaps and small holes in the dwellings. Furthermore, the hotter the weather gets, the more aggressive bugs get. Check out my latest article, Off-Grid Living in Alabama, if you want to learn more about one of Florida’s neighbors. 

What is Florida’s Climate?

Although the climate in the southern regions of the state is tropical, the majority of Florida has a humid subtropical climate. The average temperature in the summer is around 90°F, while the average temperature in the winter is around 60°F, though it can drop to around 40°F in the northern areas of the state. High humidity is something that both the subtropical and tropical climates have in common. 

Summers will be difficult if you’re living off-grid in Florida. It’s not not-doable, but it will be difficult – not to mention sweaty. 

What Types of Crops Are Grown in Florida?

Florida is suitable for growing crops because of its largely subtropical environment. In some locations, the growing season can last all year. Cotton, citrus, sugarcane, watermelons, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, and beans are the most frequent crops in Florida. The majority of people who live off the grid in Florida plant fruits and vegetables to sell at farmer’s markets. However, many also grow food for personal consumption.

What is Freshwater Availability Like in Florida

Although Florida is a humid state with plenty of water, the problem is that much of the groundwater is contaminated by either marsh water or saltwater. This is due to the fact that the state’s southern regions are only above sea level. The good news is that rainwater collection is allowed in Florida, and authorities in some places offer considerable incentives and even reimbursements for rainwater harvesting.

The yearly rainfall in Florida is roughly 55 inches, with most of it falling along the shore. You will not have trouble with water collection if living off-grid in Florida. 

What Kind of Wildlife Does Florida Have?

Florida boasts a diverse range of species, with alligators, white-tailed deer, and raccoons. You may also see manatees, otters, and key deer. Yellow bullhead, white bullhead, swamp darter, warmouth, and taillight shiner are the most frequent freshwater fish. Barracuda, bluefish, bonefish, bonito, catfish, red drum, black drum, and groupers are the most frequent saltwater fish. Both freshwater and saltwater fishing requires a fishing license which you can obtain from the state’s website. 

How to Get Off-Grid Power in Florida 

Solar power: Using solar panels to create electricity in Florida is quite simple. The sun shines all year, so you’ll be able to generate electricity even in the dead of winter. Florida boasts one of the most generous solar incentive schemes in the country. You can apply for three distinct programs, including a property tax exemption, a sales tax exemption, and a 26 percent federal tax credit.

Wind power: Because Florida is a peninsula, the weather can be fickle, and the winds can be particularly strong. Although certain communities provide incentives for wind generating systems, there are no statewide incentives, although the federal tax credit can still be used. I would like to mention that solar is a no-brainer for off-grid living in Florida. 

If you’re interested in reading about a state that has solar incentives, check out my article on Off-Grid Living in Delaware.

What are the Off-Grid Laws in Florida? 

In Florida, living off the grid is permitted. You can grow your own food, generate your own electricity, and collect rainwater. Although, because of the high population density in some places, getting off-grid with a property that already has utilities will be difficult. That being said, if you relocate to a distant location, make sure you adhere to the building regulations. Particularly check out the septic system configuration. When it comes to homeschooling, you must contact the local authorities. Make sure that you are aware of the homeschooling legislation in your area. 

What is Florida’s Road Access Like?

The quality of the roads is generally good. However, the difficulty arises in rural areas. The majority of the road access issues occur in the state’s southern regions. In these areas several sections are designated as wetlands and are off-limits to most cars. People who live near a marsh frequently go by airboat. Even in locations where roads are not a problem, you must keep an eye out for wildlife, particularly alligators, crossing the road. It may sound ridiculous, but you’ve never lived in Florida until you said one of these road gators! 

What is the Price of Land in Florida?

Many people believe that owning a home in Florida is too expensive; nevertheless, the average price of property and housing in Florida is only 3% higher than the national average. In general, tourist attractions and coastal areas will have higher pricing than the national average, up to 5-10 times more. Although I hope you don’t wish to go off-grid in a luxurious villa in Miami, do send me images if you do.

To be fair, in most areas suitable for living off-grid in Florida land prices are significantly less high. There is plenty of open land in the middle of the state. 

What is Florida’s Property Tax?

The property tax in Florida is lower than the national average; it is currently 0.98 percent, whereas the national average is 1.08 percent. With a property tax rate of 0.87 percent, Clay County has the lowest in the state.

What is the Cost of Living in Florida?

I bet you didn’t realize that Florida’s cost of living is slightly higher than the national average. In general, you can expect to pay roughly 3% more for housing, 3% more for groceries, 2% more for utilities, and 12% more for transportation. The only thing that is less expensive in Florida is healthcare, which is around 3% less expensive than the national average.

What is Florida’s Unemployment?

The unemployment rate in Florida is 3.5 percent, which is lower than the national average of 3.9 percent. The minimum payment is $10.00, which is higher than the minimum wage in surrounding states. Tourism, agriculture, aerospace and defense, international trade, commercial fishing, and financial services are the largest industries.

What is Florida’s Crime Rate?

Florida’s crime rate is rather high due to its high population density. When it comes to violent crime, there are roughly 3.85 crimes per 1000 people, compared to the national average of 4 crimes per 1000 people. Islandia, South Palm Beach, Jupiter Inlet Colony, Sewall’s Point, and Hosford are the safest neighborhoods. The areas near Florida City, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Ocala, and Cocoa have the highest crime rates.

What kind of Natural Disasters Affect Off-Grid Living in Florida?

Florida is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and heatwaves due to its geographic location. As global warming worsens, Florida will begin to set new high-temperature records every year; in fact, due to the high temperatures and heavy humidity, the summer is perhaps the worst time to visit the state.

Can You Live Off-Grid in Florida 

Overall, I cannot recommend Florida for off-grid living because of the excessive heat, high crime rate, and one of the largest population densities in the country. Florida is a popular retirement destination, but living off-grid in the state is an entirely different story.

I will say that this is only my personal opinion, and I know that there are a few off-grid communities that flourish in Florida. The climate is suited for year round crops but, personally I couldn’t take the heat (and lack of mountains).

The Everglades is unlike any other national park.

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