Buying vs. Renting: Which One is Greener?

The question of whether to buy a home or rent is an age-old one. Which is cheaper and which is worth the money? Is renting just throwing money away and is there any point to buying if you’re going to sell and buy another house? But what about renting versus buying from a green perspective? Which one makes it easier to be more environmentally friendly. And does renting limit the ways you can cut your impact on the environment?

A farm of wind turbines providing clean energy.

Tom Corser

Renting Limitations

Many pieces of advice for making your house greener involve big alterations that renting may not permit. Things like installing solar panels and insulating the house aren’t exactly accessible options if you don’t own your home. However, you can do more than you might think. If you have a good relationship with the owner of the house, it may even be possible to convince them to make some big changes.

One thing that you can persuade the house owner to do is install better insulation. Some government schemes will help to pay for an uninsulated or poorly insulated house. You could talk to your landlord about this, and mention that insulation will increase the value of the house. If they are in charge of paying the energy bills, they could be persuaded by lower energy use and therefore lower bills.

Homeowner Advantages

Homeowners have an advantage in being able to make major alterations to their house. They can change the insulation, install new boilers and solar panels, and switch energy providers without consulting anyone. Estate agents in Ravenshead can even make sure their house is energy efficient from the very start. Renters, on the other hand, could be more limited in finding a green home that’s suitable for them.

Buying and Renting on Equal Levels

In reality, there are many changes that both renters and homeowners can make for greener living. Although the big changes are limited to homeowners, renters can do most of the small things that homeowners can. Renters are often responsible for paying their bills, so can switch to a greener energy provider. Even if they can’t install solar panels. Things like switching to energy efficient light bulbs or planting a vegetable garden are easy. It doesn’t matter whether you rent or own a home.

Even from the beginning, choosing your home, renters can have a similar level of choice to buyers. You can still choose areas with good public transport, and look at the energy efficiency of the house. Everyone, whether renting or buying, can monitor their energy use and cut back where you don’t need heat or electricity. You don’t need to own your house to turn the light off when you leave a room, or put a sweater on, instead of turning the heat up.

It might seem like homeowners have the home advantage when it comes to being green, but it’s actually a much closer race.



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