Archive for October, 2015

Solar System Calculator

A solar system calculator is a must when you are considering installing a solar power system. There are many decisions to be made in addition to design and physical installation. These decisions should be made prior to your decision to purchase or rent a solar power system. Basically consumers what to determine the answers to several questions. Is it better to lease or rent a solar power system compared to buying a solar power system? How quickly will the savings pay back all of the costs that have been incurred? What factors such as interest rate and other fees will impact the payback period and the overall savings. What is the impact regarding maintenance fees?

Solar System Calculator – Vendor Provided

A good solar power vendor will have a solar system calculator that they can provide to the consumer to use to help them make the decisions surrounding the purchase and installation of solar power system. Some will use applications that can be downloaded to smart phones while others will use a spreadsheet which they can send to the customer. Some sellers may feel that their solar system calculator is a competitive advantage and they will not release it to the customer. If this happens to you find another provider.

The purchase or rental of a solar power system is a significant decision and the financial analysis surrounding this decision is important to ensure that you gain the maximum savings from the system. Interest rates, fees, maintenance, installation costs, usage, power costs etc must all be factored into the calculations to ensure that the system is designed to maximize the customer’s return on investment.

There are many solar system calculators available and it may even be to your benefit to try several to compare answers. Also consider whether you should buy or rent a solar power system. If you buy do you need to borrow the money or do you have the cash available to make this purchase. All of these factors can impact your decision.


Money Saving: Taking advantage of loyalty programs

loyalty programsAlmost every store, travel agency, hotel, airline and financial company has some form of loyalty program they use to enhance customer loyalty. Their objective is to retain you as a customer and to keep you from going to other providers. Sometimes these loyalty programs are really attractive while others you may never use. Let’s face it they all have some value, but it really depends on whether you will take advantage of the programs that determines their true value. If you do not use the program and let the points or credits build up, then there is no value to you and it is actually costing you more money to belong to the program.

Loyalty Programs – Value

Credit cards are notorious for offering points towards trips, hotels, airfare and a variety of goods. They offer trip insurance, purchase insurance and a host of other features. Many will charge an annual fee to use the card in return for all of these services. But if you do not use them then they are worthless and you are paying more than you should.

The writer belongs to a number of loyalty programs and over the years has cancelled some and signed up for others. The objective is to get value for your money and your loyalty.  We stay at a lot of hotels through the years and belong to specific chains to ensure that we get free rooms and meals. Same with coffee shops. We love to receive free coffees and deserts for our loyalty.

Double dipping is also something that many consumers can follow. Staying at hotels earns points for future stays. Charging the room to a particular credit cards also adds points on the card which also can be used for future stays at these same hotels as well as purchases of other goods and services that we are interested in.

With a little bit of focus you can actually save yourself a great deal of money.


Money Savings: Buying everything on Black Friday

Buying everything on Black FridayBuying everything on Black Friday sometimes can save you a great deal of money, but sometimes the items you buy are not really discounted as much as you might think. The only way to really know whether you are getting a good deal or not is to be prepared, know what you want to purchase and most important know the prices of the items that you are looking for. By knowing the prices, either regular price or usual sale price consumers can compare the Black Friday prices and make a quick decision whether the item they are buying is really a good deal or not.

Buying everything on Black Friday – Lining Up

Many consumers line up early to get in the door to purchase the door crasher items. Others go later interest in the excitement of the day and look for items they are interested in. Some just go for the excitement of the day, so they can say they went to a Black Friday event. It is an experience for sure that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.

A great deal of patience is needed from the time you get into your car, to finding a place to park in the parking lot and dealing with the crowds of people in the mall or store that you go to. As the picture above shows, there are lots of people and they jostle each other as they move about looking for deals. If your claustrophobic at all, stay home and avoid shopping on Black Friday. It is just not worth it for anyone that cannot stand crowds or gets frustrated easily with aggressive shoppers. Remember the best strategy is to know your prices for those things you are looking for. Focus on those to get the best deals. Otherwise you risk paying more for some items than you might. Wait until some other time of the year when sales are available.

 

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Rent or Buy a Solar Power System

The rent or buy a solar power system questions basically comes down to two issues. This assumes that you have already made the decision to become involved in solar power generation for reasons of conservation or to get some control over your electricity costs. This issue is discussed on several other posts on this website. What are the issues. The first is the main one and concerns whether you have the ready cash to pay for the installation and operation of the system? The second is what are the terms and conditions for renting vs. buying and which one makes the most economic sense for your situation.

Rent or Buy a Solar Power System – Rent

Renting a solar power system is really no different from leasing a car. You do not own the system, you might place a down payment which lowers your monthly fee and you get the use of the system to lower your electrical costs. There will be a rental fee, there will be an assumed interest rate since the lender must charge an interest rate to make money and of course the seller is making a profit as well which is built-in. Your rental may or may not come with maintenance. All of these details should be considered and built into your analysis. If you do not have the ready cash to invest then renting is probably the best option.

Rent or Buy a Solar Power System – Buy

Buying with cash or buying and borrowing the money is another option. There is a cost of borrowing if you need to take out a loan and of course there is the interest income that you will not be earning because you invested into a solar power system. You still need to incorporate a maintenance fee to keep the system running.

A solar power system calculator should be provided by the solar power system seller to help you analyze your options to determine which option is the best approach and provides the largest savings along with the quickest payback for your investment. Again if you do not have the ready cash, then a loan is needed or you rent the system.


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