Off grid living is legal in Rhode Island, but it is not a good state for it because property prices are high, taxes are high, and living expenses are greater than the national average. The low crime rate is the single positive element of living off the grid in this state, but all of the other aspects that are required to live off the grid are simply not present.
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country, with a population ranking of 44th. The population is currently approximately 1 million, and growth has been stagnant over the last few decades. Providence, the state’s largest city, has a population of roughly 180k people and is home to the majority of the state’s well-paid jobs. The majority of the population is dispersed across smaller towns and cities.
General Statistics for Off Grid Living in Rhode Island
If you’ve ever visited Rhode Island, you’ll know that there’s a lot of potholes. Despite the fact that potholes are quite widespread throughout the east coast,Rhode Island appears to have a lot of trouble maintaining roads. The main reason for the numerous potholes is that the temperature varies greatly, and the salt from the ocean corrodes the roadways.
If you wish to live off the grid in Rhode Island, you’ll find it difficult; land is expensive, taxes are high, and there aren’t many employment; these are also reasons why not many people move to the state. If you are in your 30s or 40s, you should be aware that Rhode Island has been voted the most boring states on multiple occasions; simply put, there isn’t anything to do here, and the population is aging.
There aren’t enough new individuals coming to the state to fill the positions and demands. Most local businesses cater to the elderly, though this isn’t the case in every county. One of the primary issues with off grid living in Rhode Island is that finding a suitable piece of land is extremely difficult. Most of the nice plots have already been sold, and if they are still available, you will have to offer an arm and leg to obtain one. If you’re seeking for a less expensive state, I recommend reading my recent piece Off Grid Living in Kansas.
What is the Climate in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island has a humid continental climate with regular strong winds. Summers are frequently described as warm or hot, and winters as cold and windy. During the summer, the average temperature is around 90°F, with temperatures rising as you travel inland. Rhode Island is fairly breezy due to its proximity to the coast, and you won’t even notice how hot it is.
The average temperature in the winter is around 15°F, and the closer you get to the coast, the colder it becomes. Due to the wind chill factor, temperatures will drop dramatically in just a few hours after sunset in both summer and winter. The environment is comparable to that of Maryland.
What are the Best Crops to Grow in Rhode Island?
In the state, there are approximately 1.2 thousand farms, the vast majority of which raise potatoes and sweet corn. In general, the best land for growing potatoes is found in the state’s southern regions. Furthermore, Rhode Island produces a large amount of dairy products. If you want to live on a homestead and cultivate crops, you’ll need to invest in a greenhouse. Even in the summer, the temperature difference between night and day can be significant, especially if the wind is blowing.
What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island features a few rivers and lakes, with the Scituate Reservoir being the largest. Because the local environment is humid and rain is plentiful, gathering rainwater and obtaining groundwater will be simple. When it comes to groundwater, keep in mind that the closer you approach to the coast, the more likely it is to be contaminated by saltwater.
What Kind of Wildlife is in Rhode Island?
In Rhode Island, you can see deer, opossums, and even turtles. Coyotes, raccoons, and skunks can be found in both rural and urban regions, and some have even settled in Providence. Although there aren’t many hunting opportunities in this state, fishing compensates for the dearth of wild animals by offering a diverse range of freshwater and saltwater fish.
You’ll need a permit for hunting and fishing, which you can find here.
How to Generate Off Grid Power in Rhode Island
Solar power: Rhode Island is probably not the finest place in the country to use solar panels to generate electricity. If you live near the coast, you may notice that the saltwater particles carried by the wind begin to erode your solar panels. Rhode Island has a Renewable Energy Fund through which you can save anywhere from 20% to 30% on your total bills.
Wind power: This is where Rhode Island excels, as the state is fairly windy, making it an ideal location for modest wind turbines to power your home. Wind power incentives or rebates are also included in the Renewable Energy Fund, so you can save anywhere from 20% to 30% on the cost.
Are There Any Off Grid Living Laws in Rhode Island?
In Rhode Island, living off the grid is fully allowed, albeit there are some restrictions on solar power. It is legal to live off the grid, but that does not imply it is simple. The biggest issue is the state’s vastness; in general, the closer you get to a city, the more difficult it is to live without utilities, and this is true in all states, not just Rhode Island.
What’s Road Access Like in Rhode Island?
The roads of Rhode Island are of poor quality; there are numerous potholes and even holes large enough to trap a car inside. You will not have a difficulty with road access during the summer, but you will most likely have a problem during the winter. During the winter, Rhode Island receives a lot of snow, which is combined with a lot of potholes, and you get the picture. Furthermore, even if the road is clean, you may notice a small strip of ice on it, which is primarily due to high humidity and strong gusts, so drive carefully.
What’s Job Availability Like in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is around 3.6 percent. The state’s minimum wage is $12.25, which is more than the national average of $7.25. Biomedical, data entry, IT, commercial fishing, and maritime products are the key businesses. With the exception of the commercial fishing industry, Providence has the majority of the highest-paying occupations.
Interested in another state nearby? Check out my Complete Guide on Off Grid Living in Pennsylvania.
What’s the Price of Off Grid Land in Rhode Island?
The cost of land in Rhode Island is high, but this is typical of eastern states. Due to the state’s tiny size, finding land that is both affordable and in a good location will be challenging. Check the local media first because many people who no longer live in the state may sell their inherited properties and lands for a low price.
What’s the Property Tax in Rhode Island?
When someone tells me they’re looking for a decent off grid state, I always urge them to look at the property taxes. Rhode Island has a property tax rate of 1.66 percent. This is significantly higher than the national average of 1.08 percent. Although the property tax may appear insignificant to some, for those who live off grid, every dollar counts. Overall, off grid living in Rhode Island is not ideal. Therefore do so only if you genuinely love the area, as it is far too pricey for off grid living.
What is the Cost of Off Grid Living in Rhode Island?
You will pay more for housing, groceries, utilities, and even transportation because the cost of living is roughly 10% greater than the national average. Do I need to mention anything else about the high expense of living? Even if money isn’t an issue, I wouldn’t recommend off grid living in Rhode Island because it will slowly bug you.
What is the Crime Rate in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island has a lower crime rate than the national average. When compared to the national average of 4 crimes per 1000 people, the crime rate is roughly 2.16 crimes per 1000 people. One thing to keep in mind regarding Rhode Island is that it is one of the most gloomy places in the country. Around 9% of the population suffers from depression.
Is Off Grid Living in Rhode Island Affected by Natural Disasters?
Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and storms are all common in Rhode Island, as they are in all states along the east coast. The difficulty with Rhode Island is that the roads are perilous even at the best of times, and they become significantly more dangerous when combined with a flood or a hurricane.
Interested in a west coast state? Read my article on Oregon!
Is Off Grid Living in Rhode Island Possible?
Unless you already own land and are familiar with the state, living off grid in Rhode Island is not ideal. If you don’t, you’ll find that you’re constrained by a variety of issues. They include a scarcity of jobs, high taxes, a high cost of living, and relatively expensive land. This is in addition to the cold environment and a lack of cultivable crops. If you have some money set aside to purchase a small farm, my advice is to explore elsewhere.