Off grid living in Georgia ( Peach State )

Georgia located on the east coast is considered by many a typical southern state, with a fairly bad economy, healthcare, and education systems. Although states which have a bad local economy could still be a great state for off grid living, but Georgia has a lot of problems. Georgia is not a very desirable state but according to the census data the population is increasing fairly rapidly, currently, the state has a population of 10.60 million people.

Living off the grid in Georgia is legal, overall it is a fairly “ok” state for off grid living, the price of property is cheap, you have plenty of options for growing crops and there is no shortage of water. On the other hand, Georgia is one of the most polluted states, with a fairly bad healthcare and education system and a low minimum wage. The main problem with Georgia is that other southern states are even cheaper and they also offer more incentives and rebates for renewable energy.

If you want to live off the grid in Georgia then you will most likely have limited road access if you move to a remote area, my personal recommendation is to have a guy out bag, just in case of an emergency Click here to check it out on Amazon.com

There are 7 cities which have a population above 100k, namely Atalanta with 480k, Augusta-Richmond 210k, Columbus 200k, Macon-Bibb 150k, Savannah 145k, Athens-Clarke 125k, and Sandy Springs with 100k population. The economy of Georgia is in a fairly bad shape, the minimum wage is extremely low although people who work in the cities tend to have higher wages. There are two things that you will notice the first time you visit Georgia, a lot of homeless people and constant traffic jams.

The homeless population in Georgia is around 9k, but if you visit several cities you will probably see a lot more homeless people than authorities acknowledge. The rent in some areas is so high that a lot of people choose to live in their cars and vans, some do it to save money while others simply do not have any other possibility. On the other hand, a lot of people in this state do live as frugally as possible and there are even some off grid communities.

If you love nature then you will love living in  Georgia, the further away you go from the bigger cities the better the state starts looking. From an off grid living perspective if you compare Georgia to Alabama, then Alabama is probably the better choice, for more information check out my recent article Off grid living in Alabama ( Heart of Dixie ).

Georgia climate

Due to its large size Georgia, has actually two types of climates humid subtropical climate in most of the state and in the northeast part, it has an oceanic climate. This basically means that there will be a fairly large temperature difference between the southern and the northern part of the state. During the summertime in the northern parts of the state, the average temperature is around 72°F and in the southern part of the state, it is around 90°F.

During the wintertime, the average temperature in the northern part is around 34°F and in the southern parts 50 °F. Both in the northern and the southern parts of the state the winters are fairly mild and the summers are hot and humid. If you are not a fan of the hot climate and the high humidity in Georgia then check out my recent article Off grid living in Connecticut ( The Constitution State ).

Best crops to grow in Georgia

There are a lot of crops growing in Georgia as the climate is excellent for them, you will be able to grow corn, soybeans, sorghum grain, wheat, tobacco, and cotton. Although the land is great for growing field crops, but Georgia’s main crops are actually peanuts and pecans. In some areas of the state, you will also be able to grow rice as the local climate is excellent for growing them. In the southern parts of the states, the temperatures rarely drop below freezing which means that crops can grow almost all year round. if you want to know how you can live off the grid in a city then check out my recent article How to live off the grid in the city? ( In 8 Steps ).

Freshwater availability in Georgia

Freshwater is fairly abundant in Georgia, the annual rainfall is around 48″, in the eastern part it is around 53″ and in the northeastern part it is around 75″. You will have no problem finding groundwater or harvesting rainwater. The main problem with water in Georgia is that this is one of the most polluted states in the country and the water could be contaminated with heavy metals and other chemicals, so make sure you filter and purify your water before using it.

Georgia wildlife

There are only a couple of large animals in Georgia, namely the black bear and the white-tailed deer, other animals are rats, raccoons, beavers, wild hogs, armadillos and coyotes. In some areas of the state, the wild hogs do destroy a lot of field crops and it is an ever ongoing battle to keep them in check. In the local rivers and lakes you can find, largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass, red drum and brook trout amongst others.

The most common saltwater fish are southern flounder, lemon shark, blue marlin, gray triggerfish and bonitos. For hunting and fishing licenses you should always take a look at the official website https://georgia.gov/popular-topic/fishing-licenses.

Generating power off the grid in Georgia

  • Solar power: There are a couple of incentives and rebates for solar power, mainly you can use the Investment Tax Credit which is around 26% of the total amount. On top of this, some areas also offer rebates although most of them are capped at around $4500.
  • Wind power: If you want to set up a wind turbine then you can apply for the federal tax credit which is 30%, on top of this you can also apply for the federal wind energy rebates which will further decrease your costs with around 20%

Georgia off grid laws

Living off the grid in Georgia is legal, harvesting rainwater is also legal in this state so there is nothing stopping you to live off the grid.  Due to the poor education system in Georgia, a lot of people who live off the grid homeschool their children. The homeschooling laws are fairly relaxed, the only thing you need to do is to notify the local authorities. If you want to know where are the best places in this state for off grid living then check out my recent article Best Places To Live Off The Grid In Georgia ( Top 7 Counties ).

Georgia road access

In most of the state, the quality of the roads are fairly good, although the closer you get to the bigger cities the more road works you will notice which do cause a lot of traffic jams. As the winter temperatures rarely go below freezing in most of the state, snow will not cause any problems, although in some areas due to the high humidity and the wind chill effect the roads might be covered by ice.

Price of land in Georgia

The price of land in Georgia is around 20% cheaper than the national average, although land is fairly cheap here, but if you visit some of the neighboring states the price of land can be up to 45% cheaper than the national average like in Alabama for example. The cheapest lands are in the northwestern part of the state and the closer you get to Florida and to the coast the higher the prices are.

Georgia property tax

The property tax in Georgia is 0.91% which is below the national average of 1.08%, although again if you compare it to the other southern states you will find states with a lot lower property tax.

Cost of living in Georgia

Overall Georgia is around 7% cheaper than the national average the most notable sectors are housing with 20%, health care services with 5%, and groceries with 6% lower prices than the national average. On the other hand, you will pay around 5% more for transportation, and 3% more for utilities. Although the price of property and housing is lower than the national average but the price of renting a house can be somewhat higher than the national average.

Georgia jobs

The unemployment rate in Georgia is around 3.2% and steadily going down over the past years, this is well below the national average which is at 4%. Most people work in the mining, agriculture, and energy industries, although in the biggest cities there are plenty of tech and pharmaceutical jobs also. The main problem in Georgia is the extremely low minimum wage of $5.15 which is below the national average of $7.25.

Georgia crime rate

The crime rate in Georgia is at 3.27 crimes per 1000 people and the national average is at 4 crimes per 1000 people, although in the biggest cities this crime rate is well above the national average but this is normal for any state which has a lot of cites over 100k residents. The safest areas are around Braswell, Midville, Rayle, Graham, and Aragon. The areas with the highest crime rates are around Louisville, Waycross, Brunswick, Tocca and Albany.

Georgia natural disasters

Georgia has a couple of natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tropical storms, wildfires, and winter storms. Although at first glance it might seem that Georgia has a lot of potential natural disasters, but the truth is that most of them are fairly rare.

In conclusion

At first, Georgia can be a fairly good state for off grid living, as long as you do have some money set aside. If you work in an industry where most of the labor is unskilled then you will struggle with paying your bills if you get the minimum wage.