Big Island

Living Off-Grid In Hawaii – For Those Seriously Considering It

Have you ever considered what it would be like to not have to depend on the use of public utilities and to truly live a sustainable life? I cannot clearly express to you the dread that washes over me every time I log into my various accounts to pay the utility bills. There are times that I’ve been shocked by the fees that I owe and have had to ask myself what in the world I was doing last month to have driven my electric bill so high!


Avocado – my favorite!

Regardless, in hopes to save that extra change on the next month’s bill, I reincorporate going about the house daily and making sure that every item that can be unplugged is unplugged. The dread doesn’t only stem from the fees though, it’s mostly from the concern for the damage that I am causing to this place that I call home.

Here in Hawaii, sustainability is very important (there’s even a plan called Hawaii 2050 in place to emphasize the need to preserve the beauty and heritage of the islands by living sustainably). It is up to our community as a whole to learn how to contribute to this plan without causing difficulties to the ways of life of our future generations. As the years go by, advances in modern technology will only continue to escalate. The guess work of how to live and work “sufficiently” has virtually been removed.

Unfortunately, many people do not pay any mind to the environmental impact of these technological advances that we utilize in order to make our lives easier. If the integrity of the planet is something that concerns you, as it does me, at one point or another you may have found yourself asking how one goes about the commencement of everyday activities without the dependence of public utilities. The answer is simple – by living off the grid.

What is the Grid, Anyways?

Let’s start off by clarifying what the grid is, just in case you’ve stumbled this far on accident. The grid is a network of public utilities supplying most people with electricity and means for communication. With that being said, living off the grid refers to living a self-sufficient life without the reliance on one or more public utilities. Public utilities are the municipal water supply, sewer, natural gas, electrical power grid, or similar utility services.

Pineapple - yumm

Pineapple – yum

So, You Seriously Want To Do This?

There are three major things to consider before making the move away from the grid – location, home building, and the lifestyle changes that will be involved. If you have decided that you are sure you want to go about living off-grid, here are some things to be considered when it comes to location:

  • Find a location that can provide either wind or solar power
  • Come up with your initial investment
  • Choose an off the grid community
  • Opt for property where you can get water from a well and install a septic tank

when it comes to building a home:

  • Invest in a plan to produce 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year
  • Invest in generators and other storage devices
  • Drill a well
  • Install a septic tank

and finally, when it comes to lifestyle:

  • Decide if you can reduce your overall electricity consumption
  • Limit the number of electrical appliances in your home
  • Start composting
  • Rent a PO Box in a nearby town
  • Be ready to adjust water usage
  • Consider farming, or at least gardening


How I Do My Best To Do My Part

Though I do not currently live off-grid, I do try to do my part. I grow various fruits and veggies in the space that I have, I raise chickens to provide myself food, I compost and recycle everything that I can, I limit my TV and internet time, and refrain from using overhead lighting during the day, I do not have an air conditioner, I use a dishpan to wash my dishes and rinse only when everything is washed, I line dry my clothing, and I use my shower nozzles’ function to stop water while washing my hair.

One day, I’d love to own a plot of land on which I can farm and build myself a minimal home that fits my needs specifically. Until then, I am committed to doing my best!



My cat Patches watching over our baby chicks

My cat, Patches, watching over our baby chicks



More Information

If you have any questions about living off the grid in Hawaii, or would like to learn about Hawaii real estate opportunities, please contact me.

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Ken Andrews

April 15, 2016

Thank you for the info, plan on doing exactly this on 3 acres I bought in Hawaian Acres a couple of years ago,moving from Lake Arrowhead, calif.
Ken Andrews

Ken Andrews

April 15, 2016

Thank you for the info, plan on doing exactly this on 3 acres I bought in Hawaian Acres a couple of years ago,moving from Lake Arrowhead, calif.
Ken Andrews


October 17, 2017

I have been to the 4 major island a few times now and the islander working there are always wanting to afford to go the the mainland. Who really wants to live on an small island? It gets really old fast. 2 weeks is enough for me at a time.

Sean Fendt

February 23, 2018

Good post.

I’ve been living off-grid on the big island for about 5 years now. Our electric generation is only about 6200 KWH/yr, and we’ve been quite happy, although we are considering some expansion so we can add a large freezer.

In some locations, such as ours, our water comes from catchment. We have plenty of water, our 10,000 gallon tank is nearly always full. In spit of what some would say – careful design, good maintenance, and processing (such as a UV sterilizer) – we have a plethora of clean, chlorine free potable water.

As for traveling to the mainland – I certainly don’t miss it. I get there a couple times a year, usually for work, and would be happy if I didn’t.


March 8, 2018

I’d love to know more. We are looking for the perfect place to start our off the grid life on the big island of Hawaii.

Molly Rose

May 31, 2019

> Hey there! If anyone reading this article is in the process of building off the grid, feel free to email me at I work for a television production company that is looking for stories about people who are building sustainable homes in remote locations. If this sounds like you or someone else you know, feel free to connect with me. Thanks!

Jeremiah Lydy

April 19, 2018

My family currently lives in Ohio and we love homesteading and long for full off grid. Could someone who has been off gridding in Hawaiian acres please email me and answer a few questions? Thank you


May 7, 2018

If worse comes to worst, you can always eat the cat.

Ken Andrews

March 1, 2019

Thank you for the in fo

James Carr

June 10, 2019

I like your articles do you have more information on living off the grid in Hilo Hawaii thank you 908 590 8/8 8 V

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