Off Grid Living in Maine (Everything You Should Know)

Overall, off grid living in Maine is completely possible. Maine is in the northeastern United States. Some of the country’s most magnificent wild woodlands exist in the state. Maine has a low population density, with roughly 1.33 million people, and no cities with populations over 100,000 people. In general, states with no cities with populations over 100,000 people have some of the lowest crime rates.

Maine is a wonderful off grid living state since it is legal to live off grid. You may legally catch rainwater and the state provides large incentives and refunds for solar and wind energy. Maine is right in line with the national average regarding the cost of living and property, while the property tax is slightly higher than the national average. The primary issue with this state is the local temperature; if you aren’t used to cold, long winters, you will be in for a rude awakening.

Off grid living in Maine is a beautiful choice.

General Statistics for Off Grid Living in Maine

Portland, Maine’s largest city, with a population of 66,500 inhabitants, followed by Lewiston, 36,500, Bangor, 32,500, South Portland, 25,500, Auburn, 23,500, and Biddeford, 21,500. Many people believe Maine to be one of those ideal states for retiring, despite its high expense. Because of the low human density, there are many unspoiled wilderness regions and abundant animals. Maine is known for its seafood, and practically everyone in the state enjoys it.

Off grid living in Maine does have its drawbacks. Due to its particular geographical location, you will be limited in the kind of crops you may cultivate. Most people that are off grid living in Maine spend the summer preparing for the winter. When I say that they are preparing for winter, they are gathering as much firewood as possible, performing any necessary maintenance during the summer, and even stockpiling food for the winter.

If you want to try off grid living in Maine, you’ll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle and, in some situations, a snowmobile. The roads are in good condition, but in the winter, black ice can form on the roadways, and because this state has a lot of animals, you’ll have to be extra cautious when driving, especially in the winter. If you want to see how this state compares to one of its neighbors, I recommend reading my recent post Off Grid Living in Vermont.

What’s the Climate in Maine?

Maine has a typical east coast climate, humid continental, with pleasant summers and lengthy, bitter winters. The average summer temperature is roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average winter temperature is 12 degrees Fahrenheit. Because Maine is a northern state, the winters are expected to belong, and practically everything you do during the summer will be to prepare for the winter.

Interested in a state closer to the west coast? I recommend checking out Wyoming.

What Type of Crops are Grown in Maine?

Maine is not the finest state for growing crops due to its geographic location. Hence the main crops farmed here are potatoes, hay, oats, and maize. Maine grows a lot of veggies and fruits, but they have to be grown in greenhouses because the summers are short, which isn’t ideal for many types of vegetables and crops. In addition, Maine produces many nursery products, the majority of which are cultivated in greenhouses. Check out my previous article Off Grid Living in West Virginia if you’re seeking a state where you can produce various crops.

What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Maine?

Maine has lots of freshwaters, and because there aren’t many animal farms in the state, the majority of the groundwater isn’t affected by farm runoff. The average annual rainfall is about 76 inches, and the average annual snowfall is about 75 inches. The areas closest to the coast in the south and southeast receive the most rainfall and snowfall.

What Kind of Wildlife is in Maine?

Maine features a rich range of animals, including white-tailed deer, American black bears, moose, beavers, and lynxes. Lake trout, brook trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, brown trout, splake, and chain pickerel are found in Maine’s lakes and rivers. The most common saltwater fish are alewife, Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic cod, pollock, Atlantic halibut, and American shad. Freshwater and saltwater fishing require separate licenses which are online here.

How to Generate Off Grid Power in Maine?

Solar power: Because the sun shines all year, solar panels are an excellent way to create electricity in this state. For individuals who cannot afford a solar power system, Main offers Property-Assessed Clean Energy or PACE financing, which does not require a down payment. You can also take advantage of the federal tax credit, which amounts to about 26% of the entire cost of the solar power system.

Wind power: Installing a wind turbine can be done with a PACE loan and a federal tax credit. In general, places near the shore are the greatest for generating electricity with wind turbines.

Are There Off Grid Living Laws in Maine?

Living off grid is legal in Maine. It is also legal to capture rainwater, so there is nothing prohibiting you from doing so as long as you follow the local building codes. If you want to homeschool your children, you can do so in this state because the regulations around homeschooling are rather flexible as long as you tell the local authorities.

What’s Road Access Like in Maine?

In Maine, the road quality is fairly decent, yet you will undoubtedly have some road access issues due to the considerable snowfall throughout the winter. Because of the humid climate, black ice frequently forms on the roads, which can be a significant hazard in some regions. Furthermore, some roads close due to the snowfall, albeit this is more likely to occur in isolated places.

What’s the Price of Land in Maine?

The cost of land and housing is comparable to the national average, with a median cost of $229,400. In general, the northern sections of the state have the lowest housing expenses.

Looking for a state that’s a lot cheaper? Check out Texas.

What’s the Property Tax in Maine?

Maine’s average property tax is 1.35 percent, higher than the national average of 1.08 percent. At 1.26 percent, York County has the lowest property tax in the state.

What’s the Cost of Living Off Grid in Maine?

Maine’s cost of living is slightly cheaper than the national average, but only by a small margin. You will save roughly 20% on transportation but pay 3% more for electricity and 7% more for groceries. Both housing and healthcare expenditures are precisely in line with the national average.

What’s the Job Market in Maine?

Maine has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, at roughly 2.8 percent, compared to the national average of 3.6 percent. The unemployment rate has decreased dramatically in recent years; in 2018, Maine’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent. Maine’s minimum wage is $11 per hour, slightly higher than the surrounding states. Agriculture, manufacturing, shipbuilding, commercial fishing, tourism, and mining are the major businesses in which most people work. However, mining has witnessed a dramatic fall in recent decades.

What’s the Crime Rate in Maine?

Maine has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. 1.12 crimes per 1000 people is compared to the national average of 3.9 crimes per 1000 people. Monticello – Bridgewater, Northern Piscataquis, Mount Desert, China, and Island Falls – Sherman Area has the lowest crime rates. The areas of Skowhegan, Rumford, Bangor, Portland, and Sanford have the highest crime rates.

Is Off Grid Living in Maine Affected by Natural Disasters?

Maine is one of the safest states in the US for natural catastrophes; the most common natural disasters are floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, landslides, and winter storms. Snowstorms are the most common natural disasters, and they can completely immobilize some parts of the state.

Is Off Grid Living in Maine Possible?

Living off grid in Maine is the perfect choice. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the country, and natural disasters are uncommon. Maine’s neighbors are much more expensive when it comes to living costs.

off grid living in maine
Maine is known for its rocky coast and lighthouses.

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