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Are the Amish Going Solar?

why do the amish not use electricity

The wide-held idea of the Amish community is that of people who shy away from technology. However, this is not entirely true. Amish communities believe in using technology in ways that would not interfere with their traditional way of life. Since they do not think highly of television and having too much reliance on appliances, they use electric power to keep their lights on and maybe for a washing machine. 

But the convenience stops there. The deeply-rooted beliefs about the right way of life with not much hassle and stress lead generations of the Amish people to the future. A buggy, a barn, some farm animals, and a simple house, just enough for a family are all that is needed for a stress-free life that is not burdened with technology and all headaches that come with it. 

Technology is chosen carefully in the Amish country in Ohio. The culture is such that many technologies are avoided, while the simplest need of lighting an entire house with a single battery pack is allowed. The Amish are closely connected to their values, so the tradition is defended at all costs. 

Does the Amish Use Electricity?

The Amish used kerosene lamps or diesel generators to power lights in their houses. However, kerosene lamps used for lighting were not a safe way of solving the issue of darkness. So, communities living in the Amish country started relying on solar power early on. 

Already back in the 90s, some houses had a single solar panel, maybe two for larger households. The Amish believe that too much reliance on the power grid would compromise the culture. The outside world is not self-sufficient, so the Amish prefer avoiding technologies and focusing on their closely-knit community. 

Wired houses are a relatively new sight in their country, although a wind turbine on a church or one of many village barns is not a completely new sight. These new technologies should replace older generators in providing solar energy while staying away from the grid. 

These solutions preserve their values, as solar energy powers their households and barns. At the same time, solar energy is a great solution because it does not pollute and is just enough for Amish households to make it through a cloudy day. 

Do Amish use solar power?

Solar energy has found its way into the Amish way of life. Although it may not seem as much, two solar panels can satisfy all the energy needs of an Amish household. They do not reject electricity – quite on the contrary, the Amish use electricity in such ways as to support their way of life. 

One or two solar panels and a few buggy batteries mounted in the attic are more than enough to power LED lights, water pumps, and sparse washing machines even on cloudy days. This way, the Amish people can avoid the grid and rely on the power of the sun – solar energy to power the little technology these people enjoy.

Solar Power in the Amish community

Solar panels and solar electricity have been present in this community since the 90s. Nowadays, with a significant drop in the price of solar panels, more people can enjoy the benefits of producing clean, renewable electricity on the roof of their houses. 

The sunlight that nourishes their fields is now saved and stored for later in the day. Solar in the Amish community is supposed to replace the old kerosene light and power generation. They are in no way plain people and safety comes first. 

A battery installed under the roof is a much safer solution in the sense of reduced chances of a fire breaking out. For those who keep animals, having the same battery in a barn would mean more control over lighting and a safer environment on their farms. Gas that replaces kerosene is being phased out as well, as more Amish in the Ohio community adjusted their lifestyle to a more modern one. 

After all, solar panels mean no grid and just enough electricity to power the most basic technologies. The world of technologies and easy solutions for every need is not in a sense something that would fascinate these people. Cars are non-existent and panels, if any, take the overall power supply in a house. 

Living Off-Grid Without Power Lines

The Amish culture is such that they live off-grid. Being connected to power lines is simply not acceptable in an Amish house. Technologies that are used are used sporadically since the Amish man (and woman) relies on their own work to provide for themselves and their families. Their way is simple, among the simplest in the world – the slow pace of living is something that they are proud of. 

The energy needs of an Amish home are not big: just a few batteries and one or two solar panels or wind turbines can help them get through the night or a cloudy day. A washing machine and basic lighting are enough. An average Amish values the simple lifestyle before technology took over. 


Can the Amish use electricity?

Yes, the Amish can use electricity, but in ways that preserve their values. That means off-grid living. Wind and solar energy are used to power a battery pack and then this energy is used during times when there is no natural light. 

How do Amish cook without electricity?

The Amish can cook even without electricity. Gas and wood stoves are enough to satisfy the cooking needs of a family. The bonus with wood stoves is that during winter, the house stays warm as well. 

Why can’t Amish people have electricity?

The Amish people can have electricity, but they cannot be connected to the power grid. Many Amish in Ohio uses solar panels to power their homes, a shed, and a cash register if they happen to run a business. Solar, off-grid, power supports the way of life that the Amish lead. 

Do the Amish use fridges?

Yes, some Amish people use fridges and some do not. The relationship that this culture has with electricity is that electricity is used sporadically and only for the most basic needs. Cars are, for example, a big no-no in Amish villages, as they much prefer their buggy. 


Amish communities use solar electricity instead of grid-based electric power. Diesel generators were used to supply electricity to power the basic household needs: water pumps and washing machines, while kerosene lamps were used to illuminate the nights. 

However, with the advent of technology, the Amish now use the sun to power their lighting and instead of gas. The main idea behind solar panels is that houses can run completely off-grid and the Amish use this tech well. Wired homes and solar panels are no strangers in the Amish country anymore. 

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