Connecticut is one of the smallest states in the country, and the population as well is fairly small. The population is around 3.6 million, although people are still moving here this is one of those states from where a lot of people move out. As Connecticut is fairly small it has only 5 cities with over 100k population, Bridgeport with 145k, Stamford 135k, New Haven 130k, Hartford 125k, and Waterbury with around 110k population.
Living off the grid in Connecticut is legal, although it is not a good state for off grid living mostly due to the high property tax and the unfavorable climate. Rain is fairly plentiful so you will not have any problem finding freshwater although you will definitely be limited on what crops you can grow in Connecticut. Overall the state is not that expensive as its neighboring states, but there are plenty of things that do not make Connecticut a good off grid living state.
If you want to live off the grid in Connecticut then you will have no problem with rainwater harvesting, my personal recommendation is to use a gravity fed filter for the harvested rainwater Click here to check it out on Amazon.com
Sadly there are not a lot of good things to say about Connecticut, except that they have an excellent education system. On the other hand, the high taxes and the lack of jobs are the main factors why this state is driving away so many people. From an off grid living stand of point, Connecticut is not a good option as it suffers from the same problems as most of the states do on the east coast, namely high taxes and unfavorable climate.
Currently, the taxes in Connecticut are the 3rd highest in the country, the state takes a lot and offers very little in return, just a couple of years ago they have increased a lot of their taxes and this trend will only continue. The main reason why Connecticut has such a high tax rate is that its economy is way behind when comparing them to the neighboring states, so instead of trying to attract investors they simply nickel and dime the local population.
When it comes to off grid living Connecticut is in a fairly similar position as Massachusetts, which is also not a good state for off grid living, for more information check out my recent article Off grid living in Massachusetts ( The Bay State ).
Even though Connecticut is fairly small it still has two types of climate, same as the neighboring states, in the northern part the climate is humid continental and in the southern part it is humid subtropical, both of them are fairly humid no matter if it is summer or winter. If you have never visited Connecticut then you might be surprised by the weather as it is almost constantly cloudy. The average temperature during the summertime is around 85°F and during the wintertime, it is around 5°F.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Connecticut was 106°F in 1995 and the lowest one was -32°F in 1943. Overall the main problem with the climate is the constant humidity, both during the summer and the wintertime. If you want to take a look at one of the neighboring states then check out my recent article Off grid living in New York ( The Empire State ).
Best crops to grow in Connecticut
You do not have a lot of options when it comes to crops most of the farms grow barley and wheat, on the other hand, you will notice a lot of greenhouses where a wide variety of vegetables and fruits are grown. If you are planning to live off the grid in Connecticut and you want to grow your own food then your best option will be to build a greenhouse, as the local climate is not the best for growing crops. If you want to know what items and tools you need to live off the grid then check out my recent article What do I need to live off the grid? ( Top 15 Items ).
Freshwater availability in Connecticut
Connecticut has plenty of freshwater, and most of it is fairly clean, there are not a lot of animal farms to contaminate the groundwater like in the neighboring states, although the closer you get to the coast the higher the chances are of the groundwater being contaminated with saltwater.
Due to its small size, Connecticut doesn’t have a diverse wildlife, most of the mammals are small rodents and predators which feed on them like foxes, and weasels. In the northern part of the state, you will also find moose, which cause a lot of trouble when they wander into urban areas. In the local rivers and lakes, you will find crappies, trout, walleye, and largemouth bass, in the coastline you can catch striped bass, bluefish, dogfish, tautog, and hickory shad amongst others.
You will need separate licenses for both freshwater and saltwater fishing and for hunting as well, you can easily get the licenses online https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/General-Information/Fisheries-Licenses-and-Permits. I know that most states allow you to buy the licenses online, but most of the government sites do not actually work.
Generating power off the grid in Connecticut
- Solar power: Although Connecticut is not the best state for solar power due to the high frequency of cloudy days, but if you choose to install a solar power system then you can apply for the federal tax credit which is 30%. On top of that, you can also apply to the Green Bank’s Residential Solar Investment program, although the percentage will be somewhat lower than the federal tax credit but if you combine them both you can save up to 50% on the entire solar systems costs.
- Wind power: You can also apply for the federal tax credit with wind power systems, and the Green Bank’s Residential Solar Investment program also offers generous rebates and incentives. The incentives for wind power are somewhat higher than for solar power but the price of setting up even a small wind turbine is way more expensive than setting up a solar power system.
Connecticut off grid laws
You can live off the grid legally in Connecticut, harvesting rainwater is also legal and you will have no problems setting up your own greenhouse. As the education system is fairly high quality in this state it will be somewhat more difficult to homeschool your children in this state, although if you follow the homeschooling laws and procedure then you will have no problem, just make sure to notify the authorities in time that you are homeschooling.
Connecticut road access
Connecticut doesn’t have a lot of problems with road access, as you will probably find at least a dirt road in the remoter areas. The main problem with road access is caused by the local climate, during the wintertime the snowfall is plentiful in most years, so you will probably have to prepare for that.
Price of land in Connecticut
A lot of people think that Connecticut is extremely expensive when it comes to land and housing, the truth is that it is only about 4% higher than the national average. When you compare Connecticut to Massachusetts you will notice that Massachusetts is a lot more expensive when it comes to housing, like 70% higher than the national average. Generally speaking, the cheapest land is in the western part of the state although you might find some hidden gems right on the coast as well.
Connecticut property tax
The property tax in Connecticut is almost double the national average, currently, it is around 2.07% and the national average is at 1.08%. The county with the highest property tax is Hartford with 2.21%.
Connecticut cost of living
Generally speaking, you will pay around 7% more than the national average, the things that will cost you more are utilities with 18% more and transportation with around 12% more. You will also pay 7% more for groceries, and 4% less for health-related services. Overall Connecticut doesn’t seem that expensive although there are numerous taxes that are a lot higher than the national average like the income tax.
Currently, the unemployment rate is at 3.6% which is lower than the national average of 4%. The biggest industries where most of the people are employed are finance, insurance, health care, computer and data processing services, and the tourism industry. Hartford has a lot of insurance companies and the people in that sector refer to Hartford as being an insurance center. The minimum wage is at $10.10 which is significantly higher than the national average of $7.25.
Connecticut crime rate
The crime rate in Connecticut is significantly lower than the national average, currently, the crime rate is at 2.07 crimes per 1000 people and the national average is at 4 crimes per 1000 people. With that being said Connecticut has a big problem with drugs like opioids, and Hartford is right in the middle of it being one of the cities with the highest crime rate in this state. Generally speaking the safest areas are around Voluntown, Lyme, North Stonington, Pomfret, and Salem.
Connecticut natural disasters
Connecticut has a couple of natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, flash floods, thunderstorms, and snowstorms. The most frequent natural disasters are thunderstorms and some of them are followed by flash floods in some cases.
Overall Connecticut has its ups and downs when it comes to off grid living, the problem is that there are way too many drawbacks to moving here just to live off the grid. Although the taxes are somewhat higher than the national average, but the main problem is with the local climate, it is simply not well suited for growing crops, and you will definitely need a greenhouse.