Off-grid living is holding more appeal to people now than ever before. The ability to work in remote locations via the internet and to become self-sufficient is attracting many people to this lifestyle. However, some states have regulations that restrict what you can do in an off-grid lifestyle, and some locations have climate conditions that make it difficult; How does Maine stack up as a state where you can live off-grid?
It is not only possible to live off-grid in Maine, but it is encouraged by the state authorities. The available sunshine makes the state perfect for solar energy. All-year-round rainfall provides a good water supply. The four distinct seasons make it possible to grow food and raise livestock.
Maine may seem like a state that is tucked away in the northeast region of the country that nobody pays much attention to. However, it is a little off-grid living and homesteading jewel that certainly bears looking into as a possible destination state for your off-the-grid lifestyle!
Does Maine Allow Off-Grid Living?
There are not many states in the US that ban off-grid living outright, but there are some states that make aspects of off-grid living difficult such as rainwater harvesting, sourcing alternative energy systems, and zoning regulations.
Fortunately, Maine is not counted among those restrictive states, and you will have no legal issues if you are considering setting up your off-grid homestead lifestyle in this state.
Related reading: Is it legal to disconnect your home from the electricity grid?
Maine actually actively encourages an off-grid lifestyle, probably because of the remoteness of the state and because state authorities do not cover the entire region with basic services such as water and electricity.
The state authority offers encouragement for its residents to pursue energy efficiency and solar energy by offering rebates and incentives for homeowners to install these systems. This takes the strain off the local energy suppliers, which is good for the state, and it is great for people who what to live off-grid!
Is Solar Power An Option In Maine?
Even though the authorities promote the use of solar energy and other forms of alternative energy generation, is solar a viable choice in Maine?
Despite Maine being one of the northern-most states of the USA, it has surprisingly high sun visibility for a state that has a long snowy winter. Even though Maine has been a little slow on the uptake with introducing solar power as an alternative energy source, it has in recent years grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Maine has quickly become a major solar power producer and even exports some of its solar-generated power to other states. Maine has risen to be one of the top 4 states where solar energy is an important commodity for local use and for export to neighboring areas.
This is indication enough that a solar energy solution would certainly be a viable alternative energy source for an off-grid lifestyle in Maine.
Can You Harvest Rainwater In Maine?
It is perfectly legal to collect rainwater in the state of Maine. Even Though the authorities allow rainwater harvesting, does the climate make it a suitable off-grid practice in this region?
The annual rainfall in Maine ranges from between 35.8-inches to 56.7-inches per year. While this may seem a bit on the low side compared to some other states, the great thing is that the rain is evenly distributed throughout the year.
This means that there is no “dry season” where you will not have rainfall for a few months and have to rely on your stored water from the “rainy season.” The north and northwestern regions of Maine do see a slight increase in rainfall in the summertime, and the coastal regions see slightly higher rainfall in the late fall and early winter seasons. This is because of storms that sweep in from the sea over the coastal regions during this time of year.
Maine, therefore, has a perfect climate for rainwater harvesting all-year-round and it is an activity that rural and residential homeowners already actively pursue across the state.
Can You Grow Your Own Food In Maine?
Maine has no regulations that prevent you from growing your own food as part of an off-grid lifestyle. Some may think that the long, cold, snowy winters are not conducive to a thriving agricultural sector, but this is not the case.
Maine has a long history of agriculture, such as growing huge amounts of corn and other food. Maine is known as a major producer of wild blueberries and chicken eggs.
They also offer great opportunities for farming other crops such as potatoes, apples, and sweet corn. Maple syrup is another major agricultural product that Maine is famous for, as well as dairy products.
Maine is a place with many vegetable farms and other small, diversified farms. This all started back in the 1960s when an inspiring book by Helen Nearing and Scott Nearing called “Living the Good Life” inspired its readers to move to the state from far and wide to experience the homesteading lifestyle!
The climate in Maine has a distinct 4 seasons throughout the year, unlike some other locations that do not have much of a transition between the cold and warmer seasons.
The distinct 4 seasons can have advantages for growing food crops such as fruits and vegetables. The summers are warm, with daytime temperatures ranging from 75F to 80F as the maximums and 55F to 59F as the nighttime minimums. The summers are also quite humid, which makes the temperature feel warmer.
The winters across the state are cold and snowy, with temperatures ranging from 30Fdown to as low as 0F, but mostly only this low in the far north of the state.
The fall and spring provide a gentle transition into the summer and winter months, which actually helps to extend the growing season, particularly for vegetables that prefer cooler climates.
Maine Is The Perfect Wilderness State
The nickname for Maine is “The Pine Tree State,” and this is for good reason! Maine is one of the most densely forested states in the USA, which means there are vast spaces covered with forests and considered wilderness areas.
Maine is the 13th least populated state in the USA, with only just over 40 people per square mile in the state. Most of the population s concentrated around the major cities, which leaves vast spaces of forested and wilderness land that is perfect for off-grid living and homesteading.
Maine is a wild state that is known for its jagged and rocky coastline, its beautiful low, rolling mountains, and its wild, heavily forested interior.
In Maine, the further north you go upstate, the more isolated the region becomes and the less populated. The winters are harsher in the north, which would make an off-grid lifestyle much more of a challenging prospect than other areas of the state with milder winters.
Living an off-grid life in these conditions would require that you are well-prepared and made of pioneering spirit. If you have that type of grit, then the far north of Maine can be considered a challenge for you. For most other homesteaders and people seeking an off-grid lifestyle, the more temperate central and southern regions may be more appealing.
Maine may not be the first state that you think about when you consider locations for living off the grid, but it does offer great opportunities for this lifestyle.
The reason it is not top on the list of off-gridding states is because of its remote and does not feature much in the media.
However, the remoteness of the state, the limited population, and the fact that the local authorities support the off-grid choice should certainly bump Maine up to one of the top choices on your list of best places to live off-grid!
My Off-Grid Product Recommendations
Useful Book: Off Grid Living 2022-2021 – This incredible step by step guide is a great read and gives you useful information about reaching self-sufficiency in just 30 days. Get the paperback on Amazon or read it free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription or listen to the audio version with Audible Plus membership.
Small Solar Panel Systems: Silicon Solar – This is an excellent company that offers lots of products to get you started on your solar journey. Visit Silicon Solar.
Family Water Filter: Big Berkey – For a fast, affordable water filter with no plumbing required, you can’t beat a Big Berkey gravity-fed filter like this one from Amazon.
Cleaning: Fuller Carpet Sweeper –. This carpet sweeper is an ideal way to keep your home clean without using up your energy stores on vacuuming.
Handy Knife: Gerber Serrated Paraframe – This handy all-purpose knife is lightweight and ideal for all those little jobs around your home and garden.