Archive for December, 2015

Money Saving Habits that Cost You

Money Saving Habits that Cost YouThis web site has an objective of identifying ways to save money and helping consumers to make the hard earned dollars stretch further. But sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we are actually spending money to save money. We develop money saving habits that cost you more than you save. It is important to really look at how much you will save before you spend money on something or take an action. For example, driving halfway across town to save a few dollars with a coupon you have really just does not make sense.

Money Saving Habits that Cost You

One of our favorites is buying something just because it is on sale when we really do not need the item. It is clearly nice to have, but we would save a lot more if we just did not make the purchase in the first place.

Opening a store credit card to save 10 or 20% sounds great at the time, particularly if it is a large expense. If you cannot pay for the item when the credit card comes in and pay 19% or even up to 29% on some cards, you are going to lose your savings and then some very soon.

Buying extended warranties is another item we think you should avoid. Instead use a credit card that doubles the warranty on your items purchased with it. You will save a great deal this way.

Buy in bulk when you can use all of the merchandise or groceries before they spoil, other wise you are just wasting money and losing any savings you might have received initially.

Savings accounts are a great way to set aside money for emergencies, however you are losing money if you’re not collecting interest on your savings. Look for other opportunities that pay more and still protect your money.

Buying cheap, often saves money initially. Cheap items wear out more quickly and replacing them just adds to your cost.

Free shipping is great and convenient. Compare final price on everything before you make the purchase decision. Shipping is always built into the price one way or another.

If you have other ideas about Money Saving Habits that Cost You, please leave your comments and we will add them to this post.


Solar Power Impact on the Grid

Solar Power Impact on the GridWith wind mills and solar panels becoming increasingly popular, many investors as well as company managers are wondering what the solar power impact on the grid will be. We see solar panels appearing all over the country. Wind mills are popping up in a variety of locations.  To the uninformed, it looks like there could be a significant impact on the grid. However stop for a minute and consider all of the homes and businesses that are powered by the nations electrical generation plants. These are massive sites, generation millions of kilowatts of power. What is the impact today on the grid? Almost nil!

Solar Power Impact on the Grid

We were able to find several charts that put this in perspective. For the year 2014, wind turbines generated 3% of the world’s power needs. By comparison solar and tidal wave generation amounted to 1%. Coal is by far the largest at 39% and of course produces the most pollution. Will these numbers shift over time? Of course, but it is going to take time, perhaps as much as 20 years before there is a sizable change.

In the United States, coal is still at 39%, with natural gas at 27% and nuclear at 19% of the total generation requirements. Solar is down at .4% and wind at 4.4%. Other countries are making advances and attempting to begin the shift from greenhouse gas causing power generation to renewables such as wind and solar.

The real driver for many energy companies facing historic demands for electrical power will be growth in the wind and solar areas. Whether these are large corporate driven power plants or individuals installing their own windmills and solar systems and attaching them to the grid, much of the growth needs will be taken up by these new forms of energy generation.

The real impact on the grid is not how much power is generated. Instead it will be making sure that the power coming from these small localized systems is clean energy without interference that can cause damage to sensitive computer and monitoring systems. Strict guidelines and standards will be required to ensure that this phenomenon is successful over the long term.


Reduce Your Hydro Bill

Reduce Your Hydro BillElectricity rates are going up again in the province of Ontario Canada again, just like they are in every other province and state across North America. This recent raise in rates prompted us to write a post about how to reduce your hydro bill and minimize the impact of these rate increases. While we cannot do much about the rate increases, we can control how much electricity we consume and keep our electric bills as low as possible. After all I would rather have the money in my pocket instead of lining the pockets of the electric company managers and investors. The following are a few ways you can lower your bills or at least control how much you pay to some degree.

Reduce Your Hydro Bill

Reduce Phantom Power – use from computers, TV’s, Radios, and other electronic devices that are turned off, but still consuming power to keep them warm and ready to be instantly turned on.

Use LED Bulbs – to reduce the amount of electricity used substantially compared to incandescent bulbs and also compared to fluorescent bulbs.

Use a Programmable Thermostat – to reduce your energy use when you are not at home or in the evenings when in bed.

Run Appliances in Off Peak Hours – Dishwashers, washing machines and dryers are three examples of appliances that should be run during non peak hydro rate periods.

Use Microwave – vs. using your oven, particularly in peak periods of electrical rates.

Insulate Windows and Doors – by adding weather stripping and eliminating drafts

These are just a few of the things that can be done to reduce your electrical use, especially during peak rate periods when electricity rates are at their highest levels. Using automation such as electronic thermostats is a great way to ensure that you are always using electricity at lower rates.


8 Steps to Reducing Your Electricity Bill

8 Steps to Reducing Your Electricity BillElectricity rates are on the increase across the board in almost every state and province. With winter coming on we thought it was time to identify 8 Steps to Reducing Your Electricity Bill to help consumers control their costs for electricity and heating fuel. Anytime you can reduce your overall costs, leaving money for other important activities, you are ahead of the game. The important thing is to have an energy saving attitude in your family so that everyone contributes to reducing your overall energy costs. what follows is a partial list of things you can do now to keep your costs down.

8 Steps to Reducing Your Electricity Bill

Phantom Power – is power used by devices that are turned off, but are still drawing power to allow them to turn on instantly. Computers, TV’s and many other devices of this sort are drawing power 24 hours a day. Unplug them rather than just turning them off if you do not plan to use them.

LED Bulbs – At least convert to fluorescent bulbs if you have not already done so. LEDs will save even more money and are coming down in price as well. They last longer and save that increasingly costly electrical energy.

Programmable Thermostat – allows you to control when you heat your home or use air conditioning. Adjust the temperature lower when sleeping and away from the home in the winter. Adjust the temperature up when not home or at peak periods in the summer.

Dishwashers – if you have to run a dishwasher, especially the self drying kind, try to run them at night during off peak hours to reduce your energy costs.

Laundry – the same applies to running washing machines and dryers. Also use cold water to reduce your costs even further. Less hot water means less heating related energy use.

Clothing Lines – something our parents used to do. Hanging the clothes out to dry saves energy too, however if you live in a polluted environment, use the dryer in non peak energy hours.

Microwave – using a microwave or a toaster oven is far more efficient than using an electric oven.

Windows and Doors – apply caulking, weather stripping even plastic window covers to increase the insulation value. This will keep your home warmer and reduce energy use.

Turn Lights off – When you are not in the room, turn off lights, TV’s , radios etc to reduce your electrical costs.

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