Complete Guide to Off Grid Living in Alberta
Living off grid in Alberta is one of the best provinces because the climate is not too harsh, crops can be grown, and property and living costs are relatively inexpensive. Local governments frequently provide considerable incentives and refunds for solar and wind power systems. On the other side, Alberta has a significant unemployment problem; it is now higher than the national average and rising yearly.
Alberta is located in western Canada and has roughly 4.37 million people, which has been gradually expanding over the last several years. The population density in most of Alberta’s neighboring provinces is much lower than in Alberta. The main reason so many people relocate here is that the climate is milder, and many large corporations are based in this area.
Alberta has more sunshine than any other province throughout the year. Living off grid is much easier here than in the northern regions due to the milder environment, allowing you to cultivate your food. Because of the relatively high population density, the cost of living is around the same as the national average. Provinces with a larger population density are generally more expensive, but where there are more people, there is more demand.
When comparing Alberta to the Northern Territories, you will note a significant disparity in population density. The northern provinces have such terrible weather that daily life is difficult. The best place for off grid living in Alberta is in the south. Although the cost of living is slightly greater here, living off the grid in the north will cost you significantly more.
Should You Live Off Grid in Alberta?
What’s the Climate in Alberta?
Alberta’s climate is predominantly humid continental, with slightly less humidity towards the north. During the winter, arctic winds can pass through this province rather frequently, dramatically lowering local temperatures, and these winds can continue for days or even weeks. The average summer temperature is around 80°F (26°C), and the average winter temperature is between 23°F and 5°F ( -5C to -15C ).
When the arctic winds blow, temperatures can drop dramatically in a few hours, ranging from -22°F to -40°F ( -30C to -40C ). If you interested in reading about living off grid in extreme temperatures, I recommend reading my articles about Nunavut and the Northern Territories.
What Are the Best Types of Crops to Grow in Alberta?
Canola, wheat, and barley are the most frequent crops farmed in Alberta. You can also cultivate a variety of fruits and vegetables, though you will most likely need to build up a greenhouse, especially in the northern areas of the province. The best crop-growing plains are often found in the province’s southern regions. The southern areas of Alberta have been receiving less and less rainfall over the last few years, and the number of crops harvested has been falling by roughly 5-7 percent each year.
What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Alberta?
The majority of the province has sufficient fresh water, while the yearly average rainfall in some southern districts is low. The average yearly rainfall is between 13′′ and 19′′ (350mm and 500m). The northern areas of the province receiving the most. The average yearly snowfall is roughly 70′′ (1700mm), although, in certain regions, such as the Canadian Rockies, it can reach 30ft (9m).
What’s Wildlife Like in Alberta?
Alberta boasts rich wildlife, including wolves, coyotes, moose, grizzly bears, black bears, elk, bison, lynx, mountain goats, and big horned sheep. Burbot, bull trout, arctic grayling, cutthroat trout, walleye, and rainbow trout are the most common fish in Alberta.
You should stay up-to-date on any hunting and fishing regulations in your area.
How to Generate Off Grid Power in Alberta?
Solar power: Because Alberta has the most sunshine in the country, generating electricity with solar panels is quite simple. The southern regions of the province are often the best for generating power with solar panels, whereas the northern parts have much shorter days. The Alberta Municipal Solar Program is a refund that pays roughly $0.90/kW, although most rebates in the US pay just around $0.10/kW.
Wind power: If you wish to install a wind turbine, you can apply for the Renewable Electricity Program, which will greatly lower the expenses of the wind power system.
Are There Off Grid Laws in Alberta?
Due to the climate, off grid living in Alberta is permitted, albeit not all places are suitable for it. The finest places to live off the grid are in the province’s south. Homeschooling rules are also permissive, though you will need to either register online or tell the local authorities that you are homeschooling your children.
What’s Road Access Like in Alberta?
For the most part, Alberta has reasonably high-quality roads. During the winter, they use sand instead of salt. This means that the roads do not corrode and automobiles do not become damaged or rusty due to all the salt on the roads. However, you will need to replace your windshields every couple of years since the sand clumps together and freezes, making them as hard as rocks. There are few highways in the province’s northern regions.
What’s the Price of Land in Alberta?
Land in Alberta is far less expensive than in the eastern provinces. Due to higher population density, the price of land and property in the province’s southern regions is slightly more than the provincial average, but you will still pay less than in the country’s eastern regions.
Interested in other provinces for off grid living? Check out Manitoba for their low cost of land!
What’s the Job Market Like in Alberta?
The unemployment rate in Alberta is 8.7 percent, which is significantly higher than the national average of 6.9 percent. The primary issue with the unemployment rate is that it rises year after year; in 2018, the rate was only 6.2 percent. The minimum wage is $15 per hour, and the most common industries include agriculture, forestry, tourism, banking, manufacturing, and government.
Are There Natural Disasters in Alberta?
Natural disasters such as strong storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, landslides, and avalanches are common in Alberta. It is risky to go outside during the winter when the attic winds are blowing since temperatures drop dramatically.
Can You Live Off Grid in Alberta?
Overall, off grid living in Alberta is great because it does not have to import everything. Therefore the cost of living is much lower than in the northern provinces. If you enjoy nature, especially fishing, you will enjoy this province.