Goal For The Green

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Archive for the ‘Finances’ Category

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Guest Post by Rosie French

Wholesale energy costs might be lowering, but monthly prices for the end consumer are going up.  Bill prices have been rising above the rate of inflation for a long time in the UK, so knowing how to minimise your costs is essential.  Sieving through the vast amount of information on this topic around the web can be tiring, so we’ve created a short guide to beating the energy companies.

Energy prices/BTU, 1980-2030

Energy prices/BTU, 1980-2030 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Price Comparison

Sites like Go Compare are excellent at giving you a top-down picture of what the energy market looks like at any given time.  The best thing you can do when you’re looking to save money on your bills is be proactive. Look for fixed term prices, as variable cost rates can fluctuate wildly depending on fundamental factors such as wars in the raw-material countries or strikes at production plants.

Insulation Grants

There are lots of ways to get free roof and loft insulation if you’re in the right financial circumstances.  If you can’t afford to pay for insulation outright, you could be entitled to file a claim for the job to get it done for free.  So, take a look at an online tool that explains whether you’re eligible or not.

Natural Light

Although you might take preventative measures at night to ensure that your thick, winter-proof curtains are closed to prevent heat loss, during the day you should open them wide to let in the natural sun light.  As it passes through the window it is magnified and the light energy is transferred into heat.  Remember, drawing in heat from the sun could let you keep your heating off for an extra half-hour every day, saving you a fortune on your overall bill.

Low-Tech DIY

There are plenty of DIY fixes that can prevent heat loss at home.  For instance, try placing sheets of tin foil against the walls behind your radiators to prevent heat escaping through the walls to the outside.   Similarly, you could create draft excluders to help block drafts which lower the air temperature in your rooms.

If you’ve been worried about the price hikes in the energy sector and wondering about how you’re going to come up with the funds to pay your new bills, use some of these techniques and you’re sure to see the effects of the new prices minimised.  Nobody wants to pay for expensive energy, so beat the energy companies and save money.

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Just when you thought you had this month’s budget under control, here comes the electric bill. You’re not sure if the rates increased or your attention to shutting off lights decreased, but you’re not thrilled with the super-high bill either way. Rather than going off the grid or vowing to use only candles at night, you can make some simple switches around your home that can cut down on the amount you’re forced to shell out for electricity every month.

save energy light

Image by Flickr user remcovandermeer

Chill Out with Laundry

The way you do laundry may be piling up charges on your electric bill. If you have a hot water heater that’s fueled by electricity, switching to cold water loads only can help you cut back and save some cash. Regardless of how your water’s heated, you’ll save money in general if you only use your washing machine if you have a full load. To conserve even more energy and cash, go au naturel when it comes to drying the load by skipping the dryer and hanging the clothes in a well-ventilated area or outside.

Switch the Light Bulbs

Retiring the old-school incandescent bulbs in favor of energy-efficient light bulbs can improve your lighting as well as your electric bill. The more light bulbs you replace, the more you can save. Energy.gov estimates that replacing 15 of the incandescent babies with their energy-saving counterparts can cut down on your bill by about $50 per year.

Choices include the spiraled compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use up to 35 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and LED bulbs, which use up to 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer. Switching any light bulb off when you’re not using it, of course, will also help cut down your bill even further.

Mind Your Modem (and Router)

Like your entertainment center, your modem and router are two of those sneaky little things that can be using up electricity even when they’re not officially in use. Shutting off your modem and router after every Internet session might not be all that feasible, but switching to an energy-saving modem-router combination can be. If you still have a cable Internet connection, you may be fueling both a modem and a router.

Switch to a DSL connection, with services from sites like http://www.dsl.com, and you can instantly cut your energy in half with a single small appliance that combines a modem and router into one. Connect even deeper with savings if you opt for a specialized DSL modem-router designed to be green.

Plug in the Surge Protector

Any electrical appliance you leave plugged in is constantly gobbling electricity, even if it’s not turned on. This counts for your TV, DVD player, stereo and anything else with a plug attached that happens to be sticking into your wall. Surge protectors can be savvy energy savers since you can shut down the electricity flowing to all devices connected to the protector with the simple flip of a single switch.

Surge protectors can be particularly helpful for shutting down electricity-eating entertainment centers and desks stocked with computers, printers, scanners, MP3 players and smartphone chargers.

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There is no such thing as a convenient plumbing problem.  In fact, such problems always seem to happen at the worst of times.  Thankfully, through professional plumbing services, almost any type of plumbing issue can be resolved in a timely and effective manner.  You can begin your search for  reputable professional plumbing services under plumbers Calgary, in your local directory or online.

Some people avoid hiring a professional plumber because they believe the services will be expensive.  Truth is, if a professional is not hired, the expenses of repairing plumbing issues will be more costly than the actual costs of hiring one.  Unfortunately, many people try to carry out plumbing services their selves.  They wait until it’s too late to realize that from the very beginning a professional plumber should have been hired.

The Plumber

The Plumber (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether it be preventative maintenance tasks or repair services it is important to hire a professional. Plumbing-related work should always be carried out by a professional plumber. It is also important to carry out everyday preventative maintenance by not allowing anything greasy to go down drains or be flushed down the toilet.

When it comes to hiring a professional plumber, it is important to check for credentials and licensure. The same holds true for servicing your furnace and hvac systems. Again, begin your search under hvac services Calgary, or your town. Furthermore, it is good to check with references who have used the contractor you have chosen, and neighbors to see who they have used and recommend. In doing this, you may also find out who to avoid. By doing your homework ahead of time, it becomes easy to find affordable and effective services.  It also means money won’t be wasted on services that have to be redone.

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