Are You Ready for an Off Grid Lifestyle on Maui?

Have you considered a lifestyle where you’re independent of the traditional services like power and water? Have you thought about moving to Maui but want to be a little more self sustainable? Do you have questions about how this can work out for your benefit?  Let me help you with some of your questions.

Q.  What does off the grid mean?

A.  Normal utility services are not at the property, and you’ll have to provide them for yourself. It usually means the power grid, but can also mean the water supply, cable TV, telephone, and internet. There are whole communities on Maui that embrace this lifestyle.

Q.  How does the house get power?

A.  Electrical power can be supplied from a photo-voltaic system which consists of a solar panel array and storage batteries. The sun creates energy that’s stored in the batteries for use once the sun goes down. Along with other components, this makes a complete system that can be sized according to your needs and usage. Systems have gotten much better and cheaper in recent years, and a robust system can accommodate most people. Propane is your best choice for cooking, clothes drying, and maybe even water heating, although a solar water heater is highly recommended.

Q.  How does the house get water?

A.  In parts of Hawai’i we have ample rainfall that makes rainwater harvesting feasible. Water is collected from a metal roof and channeled into a storage tank where it’s then piped to the household. Ideally a tank will be closed off from the sun and other intrusions. Filtering the water ensures its purity, and can be easily achieved to different degrees. There are many benefits to having your own water supply on Maui, and if you’re building from scratch you’ll appreciate not having to count the water fixtures.

Q.  What about wastewater?

A.  Many parts of Maui are not connected to the sewer system, and those houses use septic systems. Some older homes still have cesspools, which were permitted at one time.

Q.  How does the house get internet?

A.  If cable isn’t an option, there may be a telephone line which can also carry fiber optics. Satellite dishes also work to provide TV and internet.

Q.  Can I have an electric car?

A.  Depending on the quality of your power system, it should be possible. You can always upgrade the system.

Q.  What’s the point of being off-grid?

A.  It’s great to be in control of your own utilities and not be subject to things like interrupted service, contaminated water, increasing prices. Recent events on Maui really bring this to light, when large parts of the island have been without potable water for months, and in some cases, no water at all. The lack of a monthly bill is also a welcome feature since we have no control over the supply and pricing when connected to the grid.

Q.  Is it expensive to get started?

A.  Yes it is, but it’s worth it. If you’re starting from scratch there will be a large outlay and it pays off over time. If you’re buying a home that’s already set up, then you can start enjoying the benefits right away.

Q.  Will I have to adjust my lifestyle when I’m off the grid?

A.  Maybe. You’ll become more conscious of your energy and water consumption. You’ll learn to appreciate and understand power input and output, and probably get the rhythm of using the sun’s power when the sun is shining. This means doing the heavy loads in the middle of the day, and not leaving it for nighttime.

Q.  Where can I find a home that’s self sustainable and off the grid on Maui?

A.  You can find them in various parts of the island and some of the areas where it’s common are: Haiku; Hana; Upcountry: Ulupalakua; and West Maui.

Off Grid Properties for Sale in Haiku

Let me highlight a couple of nice Haiku listings so you can see for yourself that it’s a great way to live.

 454 Hoolawa Rd, Haiku Maui HI - off the grid oceanfront estate on 2 acres

454 Ho’olawa Rd, Haiku Maui HI – off the grid oceanfront estate on 2 acres

454 Ho’olawa Rd. is a 2 acre estate perched on the sea cliffs, in a small subdivision called Ho’olawa Point. The 2 bed/1 bath cottage and detached garage/farm office have been built with a modern aesthetic and there’s still room to build a much larger home. The cottage has a green roof to help it stay cool in the summer. The AG zoning means you can grow fruit trees, have some farm animals, and enjoy a green lifestyle. The oceanfront setting ensures outstanding views and even a footpath to the nearby Ho’olawa Bay.

the ocean view at 28 S Honokala Rd #A, Haiku Maui

the ocean view at 28 S Honokala Rd #A, Haiku Maui

28 S. Honokala Rd #A is a custom 3 bed/2 bath pole house on about 2.5 acres with big wide views. It’s the main house portion of a CPR, situated at the end of the road for complete privacy. Granite countertops, hardwood floors, open beam ceilings and more. This house is equipped with a fire suppression system and an oversized water tank to meet fire requirements.

We’ve been living off-grid for decades on Maui’s north shore in the Twin Falls area, and we’ve helped a lot of people to understand how it works. Our whole neighborhood feels like a tight knit community that knows each other and looks out for each other if needed. I can provide a lot of tips for newbies and would love to be your guide if this is something you want to pursue.

Let me know if you have more questions about this way of life that affords you the freedom to be independent.

Thanks for reading my Hawaii Life blog! Connect with me by text, phone, or email anytime…

Georgie Hunter R(S)-58089 ~ 808-283-0635 ~ GeorgieHunter@HawaiiLife.com

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Albon Langbon

November 2, 2023

I want to live in that way. It is good to me.

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