Everything You Need to Know About Off Grid Living in Vermont

Vermont is a small state with one of the smallest populations in the US. The population is around 626k people, up from around 597k in 2000. This indicates that not many people are relocating here. Although it is a lovely state with many gorgeous areas, you’ll need substantial money if off grid living in Vermont interests you. Vermont is located in the northeastern section of the United States. It should be a perfect location for anyone interested in off grid living near to nature and away from the major city life of the bordering states.

Off grid living in Vermont is a good choice, but the state has drawbacks. Off grid living is legal in Vermont, as is rainwater harvesting, and there are certain statewide incentives for solar and wind energy. Property is 12 percent less expensive, crime is much lower, and unemployment is under 2%. Off grid living in Vermont, on the other hand, will be fairly expensive due to high taxes, such as the 1.83 percent property tax rate and the severe climate.

off grid living in vermont

General Statistics for Off Grid Living in Vermont

The main reason why so few people reside here and why so few people live off grid is because of the exorbitant taxes. Vermont has some of the highest taxes in the country, not because the state is wealthy but because these taxes support a large portion of the local economy. On the other hand, Vermont is one of your finest options if you want to live in a state with a low crime rate; just budget accordingly before purchasing anything here.

Because Vermont’s population is so small, there are no cities with populations over 100,000; the largest cities are Burlington (42,500), Essex (22,500), South Burlington (19,500), Colchester (17,500), Rutland City (16,500), Bennington (15,500), and Brattleboro (11,500). Victory, Vermont’s smallest city, has only 89 citizens. Vermont is well-known for producing maple syrup; it is the country’s biggest maple syrup producer.

Vermont appears to be an excellent area for off grid living at first appearance, and it is if you have some money. If you want to live off the grid as cheaply as possible, you’d be better off spending your money in another state. Check read my recent article Off Grid Living in Utah if you’re interested in off grid living in another state.

What’s the Climate Like in Vermont?

Vermont has a humid continental climate, which means summers are hot and humid and winters are cold and humid. Vermont has cooler days than warm days on average throughout the year, owing to its geographic location. The average temperature in the summer is around 80°F, while the average temperature in the winter is around 22°F. During the winter, the days are shorter days, which will significantly impact you if you rely on solar panels.

What Are the Best Crops to Grow in Vermont?

You don’t have a lot of options when it comes to growing crops because of its location. Because Vermont has so many animal farms, most of the foods grown here are used to feed livestock. This state produces a lot of dairy products, and there are also a lot of cattle, hog, and turkey farms in various locations. Hay, grain, vegetables, and fruits are among the crops grown here.

If you’re interested in off grid living in Vermont and producing your food, you’ll need to build a greenhouse, as temperatures can drop dramatically at night, even in the summer. When it comes to cultivating crops, the southern states are significantly superior. For more details I recommend checking out Off Grid Living in South Carolina.

What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Vermont?

Vermont is bordered by Lake Champlain and several smaller lakes and rivers. Vermont has plenty of fresh water thanks to its humid continental climate, yet runoff from animal farms could contaminate groundwater in some locations. The average annual rainfall is about 50 inches, and the average annual snowfall is about 90 inches.

What Kind of Wildlife Does Vermont Have?

Because most of the state is still undeveloped, creatures such as rabbits, coyotes, black bears, moose, cows, Catamounts, and various birds can be found in Vermont. Fish like Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, northern pike, lake trout, largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, and chain pickerel can be found in Vermont. Both fishing and hunting require a license which can be found here.

How to Generate Off Grid Power in Vermont?

Solar power: Vermont is not the ideal place for solar power generation due to the short days in the winter. You can still generate some power with solar panels though. There are no local solar incentives, but you can save money by taking advantage of the federal tax credit. It is presently 26%.

Wind energy: In addition to the federal tax credit, you can apply for the Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program (SSREIP). There is no set percentage of how much you will save with the SSREIP because it varies by county. 

Are There Any Off Grid Living Laws in Vermont?

No restrictions stop off grid living in Vermont as long as you follow the building code and health requirements. Most people who are interested in off grid living in Vermont will have to figure out how to set up their septic tanks because each county has its own set of rules, but aside from that, you should be fine. Homeschooling rules are quite standard; you should be all right as long as you tell the authorities promptly.

What’s Road Access Like in Vermont?

Due to Vermont’s relatively high taxes, the quality of the roads is fairly high in most of the state, yet in the heart of the state, you’ll either find badly maintained highways or just simple dirt roads. Because this state receives a significant amount of snow each year, road access will be limited during the winter, common in most northern states.

What’s the Price of Land in Vermont?

Vermont’s property costs are about 12% cheaper than the national average, which may appear cheap for a northern state, but trust me when I say it’s not since Vermont’s property tax is one of the highest in the country.

What’s the Property Tax in Vermont?

Vermont has one of the highest property taxes in the country, at 1.83 percent. This is compared to the national average of 1.08 percent. Although land and home prices are lower than the national average, the high property tax means you’ll have to pay a lot of property taxes every year. With a property tax rate of 1.99 percent, Windsor is the county with the highest property tax rate.

What’s the Cost Off Grid Living in Vermont?

Even though the cost of living is roughly 5% lower than the national average, the high taxes greatly raise the cost of living. You will pay about 12% less for housing and 23% less for transportation. You will pay more for groceries, healthcare, and utilities, which will increase by 7%, 8%, and 18%, respectively. It will be exceedingly difficult to get utilities unplugged and live off the grid if you live in a region already linked to utilities.

Looking for a cheaper state? I recommend checking out North Dakota.

What’s the Job Market Like in Vermont?

Vermont has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, now at 2.2 percent. This is compared to the national average of 3.6 percent. The minimum wage is $10.75, lower than the minimum pay in neighboring eastern states. Agriculture, forestry, mining, manufacturing, and tourism are the major industries in which most people work.

What’s the Crime Rate in Vermont?

Vermont has one of the lowest crime rates in the country, with roughly 1.7 crimes per 1000 people. This is compared to the national average of 3.9 crimes per 1000 people. The areas near Castleton, Orleans, Brighton, Chittenden & Pittsfield, and Cambridge have the lowest crime rates. Dover, Bennington, Berlin, Barre, ST. Albans and Derby have the highest crime rates.

Is Off Grid Living in Vermont Affected by Natural Disasters?

Blizzards, thunderstorms, floods, flash floods, and even tornadoes are common in Vermont. Floods are the most prevalent natural disaster in general, owing to the enormous amount of snowfall each year. The snow causes a lot of locations to flood after the snow melts.

If you’re looking for a state that has more mild temperatures, my recommendation is Ohio.

Is is Possible to Live Off Grid in Vermont?

Overall, off grid living in Vermont is completely possible. Nevertheless, the biggest issue for off gridders will be taxed, as Vermont has some of the highest in the country. The local temperature isn’t ideal for off grid living. Those familiar with the area will have no trouble off grid living in Vermont.

off grid living in Vermont

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