Off Grid Living Guide to Nebraska (What You Need To Know)

When you hear about Nebraska, you’ll often hear that it’s a “flyover state,” meaning that few people stop here. Many people dislike Nebraska because it appears to be a very uninteresting place to live. Funny enough that’s one of the key reasons, in my opinion, that off grid living in Nebraska is a good idea. The population is very modest, with roughly 1.9 million people divided into small towns.

off grid living in nebraska
Nebraska is full of farm land. I mean FULL.

General Statistics For Off Grid Living in Nebraska

Living off grid is permitted in Nebraska, and some even consider it to be one of the greatest off grid states. The local climate is ideal for cultivating a variety of crops, and the cost of land and living is also reasonable. The property tax in this state is more than the national average, and the crime rate in some places is also greater than the national average, which is a disadvantage of living off the grid.

Omaha, with over 450k people, and Lincoln, with roughly 280k people, are two cities that have a reasonably significant population when compared to the others. As can be seen, the vast majority of people live in smaller towns and cities, with only 730k people living in the two largest cities. Currently, the population is slowly increasing, but this is due to the high birth rate, not because people are hurrying to come to this state. If you enjoy trains, you will enjoy this state because it features the largest train yard in the country, if not the entire globe.

One thing you’ve probably heard about Nebraska is that it’s covered in wheat and cornfields, which is accurate because much of the area is fertile and great for growing various crops. One thing that a lot of people complain about in Nebraska is how lonely it is outside of the cities because there are only small settlements. However, if you’re trying to live off grid in Nebraska, this should be perfect. If you’re interested in learning about living off grid in another state, I recommend checking out my Complete Guide to Living Off-Grid in Missouri

What is the Climate in Nebraska? 

Nebraska experiences a humid continental climate, which is typical of the area. What this means is that the summers are hot, and the winters are frigid, with significant humidity throughout the year. The average summer temperature is around 85°F, and the average winter temperature is around 10°F. Although you would not think of Nebraska as having chilly winters if you live up north, the state is quite flat, so the wind is virtually always blowing.

What are the Best Crops to Grow in Nebraska?

Nebraska is a great state for growing crops; its principal crop is maize, which is cultivated for both animal feed and human consumption. Other crops grown in Nebraska include wheat, other grains, potatoes, and beans. When looking for a good off grid living state, one of the most important factors to consider is the kind of crops that may be grown. To be fair: Nebraska is one of the greatest states for growing crops.

What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Nebraska?

There are numerous lakes and rivers that run across Nebraska, but groundwater is by far the best source of water. Nebraska rests directly on top of the country’s largest aquifer, the Ogallala Aquifer, which runs from South Dakota to Texas. The only thing to consider about this water is that it is ‘fossil water.’

The fundamental distinction between fossil water and groundwater is that fossil water does not refill at the same pace as groundwater. When the water in this aquifer is depleted, it will take 6,000 years for rains to replenish it naturally. Frankly, this isn’t great; however, Nebraska receives plenty of snow and rain to replenish the aquifer. 

What Kind of Wildlife Does Nebraska Have? 

Although white-tailed deer, elk, prairie dogs, river otters, and even bobcats can be found in Nebraska, it does not have a large hunting scene. Catfish such as the blue catfish and the flathead catfish can also be found in Nebraska’s rivers and lakes, as well as bluegills and white bass. Permits are required for both activities, and you may obtain them online through the state’s website

How to Generate Off Grid Living Power in Nebraska?

Solar energy: The state of Nebraska is ideal for solar energy, and a burgeoning sector is supplying local demand. There is currently a 30% federal tax credit available to help with the cost of installing a solar power system. Because the state is rather flat, you will have enough sunshine throughout the day, both in the summer and the winter, and because there are no large hills to block the sun’s rays, you will be able to create a lot of power.

Wind power: Due to the state’s flat terrain, a wind power generation is also a viable option. The wind energy incentive is the same as the solar energy incentive, which is a 30% tax break.

Does Nebraska Have Any Off Grid Living Laws? 

There are no restrictions that prevent off grid living in Nebraska, and you can lawfully harvest rainwater. When it comes to homeschooling, the process is very straightforward. Residents submit an exception under Rule 13, which is available for all children aged 6 to 18. Overall, homeschooling laws are not overly rigorous, which is understandable given that many people live quite far from the local school.

Interested in a state with no off grid living laws? Check out my Complete Guide to Off Grid Living in Mississippi.

What’s Road Access Like in Nebraska? 

Because the state is relatively flat, road access is not an issue in the summer or winter. The traffic delays created by agricultural equipment, which you may frequently encounter while traveling between the smaller cities and villages, are one thing you may not enjoy.

What’s the Property Tax in Nebraska?

Nebraska’s property tax is relatively high, at 1.8 percent. When compared to the national average of 1.08 percent, there is a significant disparity. If you simply look at one state, the property tax in South Dakota is merely 1.32 percent. Except for the large disparity in property taxes, there are few differences between Nebraska and South Dakota. In some counties, the property tax is significantly higher, up to 2% in some situations.

What’s the Cost of Living in Nebraska? 

Nebraska’s cost of living is around 11% lower than the national average; hence the reduced cost of living offsets the high property tax. Housing is approximately 27% less expensive than the rest of the country, which is a significant benefit in my opinion. You will also pay significantly less for transportation and groceries.

What’s the Job Market Like in Nebraska? 

The unemployment rate is now at 2.2%, which is comparable to that of neighboring states. Agriculture is one of Nebraska’s largest sectors. Agriculture follows renewable energy and smaller industries, including health, education, banking, local manufacturing, and even IT. The minimum wage is $9 per hour, which is more than the national average of $7.50.

What’s the Crime Rate in Nebraska? 

Nebraska’s crime rate is slightly higher than the national average. The state has 5.35 violent crimes per 1000 persons compared to the national average of 4. Although the crime rate is greater than the national average, this should not be a cause for concern. Mostly because the high number is primarily due to the metropolis of Omaha and Lincoln; smaller communities and towns are often safer.

Is Nebraska Affected by Natural Disasters? 

Nebraska experiences the same natural calamities as its neighbors. This includes floods, storms, and tornadoes, which should come as no surprise given Nebraska’s location in tornado alley. Heatwaves and a lot of thunderstorms are common throughout the summer months.

Can You Live Off-Grid in Nebraska? 

Off grid living in Nebraska is excellent. Some off-grid communities have already established themselves in some of the state’s counties. Apart from the high property tax rate and the high crime rate in some counties, there are a few drawbacks to living off grid in Nebraska.

The main perk to Nebraska, in my opinion, is that there are plenty of agricultural opportunities for the land. Nebraska is a perfect state to state a homestead with a farm. 

off grid living in nebraska
Chimney Rock is a worthwhile stop if you’re ever visiting Nebraska.

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