Renting Vs. Buying Electricity: Is There a Difference?

Updated on March 20, 2019
Dax Garrens profile image

Dax is a young voice in the solar energy field, offering an alternate view on all topics solar. VP of Advertising for EnergyONE Solar.

Buying VS. Renting

When you purchased your house, your car, or even a boat, I'm sure the subject of buying versus renting was brought up. Whichever you've ended up deciding on, the general consensus for a long time has been to buy rather than rent if you're going to be using it for more than three years. In most cases, after three years, you'll have spent less money buying it than you would've by renting, and are likely to turn a bigger net profit should you ever decide to sell.

That's not to say the popular opinion hasn't been disputed. It's a bit of an age-old argument which is better, both have their pros and their cons for various different situations. Most of the time, the "better" option is down to personal preference. For example, purchasing a home ties you to that one location, and someone who is prone to move often would likely benefit more from the freedom and mobility that comes from renting over buying. On the flip side, someone that doesn't have any plans to move in the near future may be more open to consider buying in order to save money in the long run.

Of course, buying or renting have different pros and cons depending on what it is you're spending the money on. What if I told you that it was possible to "rent" and "buy" electricity? Not only is it possible, but odds are, you're renting it right now. Are you sure that's what you want to be doing? Most people aren't even aware they have the option, let alone know how each option can effect them.

Buying Electricity

Let's use a common example to explain the idea. I'm sure you're already well aware that buying fast food isn't a very efficient use of your money. It's fast, but it's expensive, and your wallet will definitely thank you if you spend your money on ingredients to cook yourself a meal instead.

In order to get started with this, you'll need to make an initial investment in the form of an oven, a refrigerator, a microwave, a Crock-Pot, and/or other cooking essentials. Naturally, all of your appliances will cost quite a bit more than just a trip to your local McDonald's, but as time passes, you'll save much more money in the long run. In this sense, you're essentially "buying" food rather than "renting" it. You're purchasing the means to create your own food for very little cost instead of buying meals every day that add up to be very expensive over time, just like buying a home rather than renting one. It follows the same line of logic. This is all pretty obvious, but this same common sense logic can also be applied to electricity. Your oven in this situation? Solar units.

In the scenario of renting a home, many people are brought discomfort by the fact that a landlord can increase rent at any time, and there's not a lot you can do about it. People are compelled to purchase the home in order to keep their spending from increasing at an inopportune time. This also means you're safe in situations where, say, your neighbor's rent increases. You already purchased your home, meaning nothing changes for your cost.

This can easily be translated to solar panels, replacing the landlord for your power company. It's a well-documented fact that the price of electricity is rapidly rising, and will only continue to do so. Despite this, many people are continuing to "rent" electricity from their power companies, when the option to "buy" electricity is readily available with solar energy. Using solar will keep you safe from the power companies' rising costs, ensuring you'll always have electricity, indefinitely, for the price you bought it for.

Renting From Your Power Company

Think of continuing to rely on your power company as the "renting" option for your electricity, and consider how long you plan to use energy. A fairly long time, I assume, probably even your whole life. In that case, ask yourself, would you rent a home for the rest of your life? Some may say yes, they could be perfectly fine with paying increasing, smaller fees, and might never want to pay an upfront larger investment. Others see that as a red flag, answered with, "of course I wouldn't," in which case, solar may be a smart option to look into.

A common problem people tend to have with the concept of buying as opposed to renting is, as noted above, that they plan to move in the near future. The great thing about buying solar as opposed to an entire home is that the solar panels can be uninstalled and taken with you, removing this issue entirely from the equation. What's even better is that, due to the lack of moving or delicate parts in a solar unit, your chances of damaging them during transport are actually very low.

Alongside purchasing an indefinite amount of electricity, by investing in solar you're also giving yourself a safety net for any potential power-outages. In a situation that leaves a large area without power, having access to electricity, even during the day, is a huge benefit that shouldn't be ignored.

Like most things, it's not for everyone. If your home suffers from a lot of shading produced by trees or otherwise that can't be cut back, solar is likely not a great option for you, unless you have clear space on the ground for the units. Some may be tempted to say that those with a weak or damaged roof may also be bad candidates for solar, though more and more roofing/installing tools are being used that can help combat this. If you don't think your roof can handle solar, it's always best to get a professional opinion.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference, and which option would benefit you the most. As always, anyone would recommend that you do your own dedicated research before making a decision. The choice between buying and renting for most things is a very important one, and there's no reason to believe that same choice isn't just as important when it comes to electricity.

Pros of "Buying" Electricity - Using Solar

  • You're investing one larger initial payment for indefinite electricity.
  • You gain the ability to produce energy even during power outages.
  • You're able to avoid the increasing fees and prices of power companies.
  • You will save money in the long run.

Pros of "Renting" Electricity - Buying From A Power Company

  • You're able to pay smaller amounts spread out over time.
  • You don't have to pay a large amount you may not have.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, turbofuture.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://turbofuture.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)