Showing posts with label Energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Energy. Show all posts

Friday, May 16, 2014

Save Money: How To Reduce Your Utility Bill This Summer

Are you one of the many Americans who dread opening up your utilities bills each month? Fortunately, there are several ways to cut down on your utilities. These six tips can be a great way to get started with your monthly savings.

Turn off your electronics

It may be tempting to leave your TV or stereo on at night, or maybe you forget to switch off the lights when you leave a room. However, these costs can add up over the course of a month. Before you leave the house or go to sleep, do a quick sweep to make sure your electronics are switched off. This is especially important for charging laptops and cell phones. Take a quick look around your home before leaving for the day, and especially before long trips. You may be surprised at how much electricity you are using when you don't need it. Common sources that are often overlooked include: kitchen appliances like toasters, charging computers or phones, electronic shavers and power strips.

Upgrade your appliances

Switching to energy efficient appliances can save you hundreds of dollars on your utilities. Your AC units, dishwasher, and washer and dryer can all be replaced with a high-efficiency model. In addition, many local and state governments offer financial incentives to homeowners who choose to upgrade to more efficient appliances. Air conditioner installation is a simple process with the help of professionals, and can save you a bundle for years to come, says the experts at Cydcom Services Ltd

Choose your light bulbs carefully

If you choose to purchase energy efficient light bulbs, not only will you save money on your electricity bill, but you will also save money in replacement costs. Although energy-saving light bulbs are initially more expensive, an energy-efficient light bulb can last seven times longer than a normal light bulb and costs you much less on your utilities. You won't end up having to keep going to the store to buy more light bulbs either, making it much easier to maintain as well. 

Install an irrigation meter

A little known fact about your water bill is that you are actually charged twice, once to pump the water into your house, and again when you pump it into the sewage system. By installing an irrigation meter, instead of pumping the water back into the sewer, you can use it to water your lawn or garden. The meter will be measured each month by the utility company and subtracted from your water bill.

Buy a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat can also help you save money on your heating and air conditioning costs. You can use a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer when you aren’t home during the day. This is an easy way to save money without making a conscious effort everyday. By having the programmable thermostat, you can set a temperature for your home each day or night, and not worry about constantly changing it or forgetting to turn it down when you aren't home.

Turn down your water heater

Setting your hot water heater on a higher temperature can cost you hundreds each year in standby heat losses. Most hot water heaters are set at 140 degrees, but by turning the temperature down to 120 degrees, you can save even more money on your monthly utilities bills. When you have company over or need to use more hot water, you can turn it up temporarily to save you money. Hot water is more expensive than many people realize. You should also consider doing your laundry with cold or warm water as often as possible. Using hot water for all loads of laundry costs the average homeowner hundreds of dollars each year.

Bills for your electric, water and gas can be expensive, but by following these six steps, you can greatly reduce your monthly utility expenses. Expenses that you can control can make a big difference in savings at the end of the year.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Investing In Sustainable Technologies In 2014

© Guerito 2005
© Guerito 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2013 was a good year for companies in sustainable technologies. Investors took to the risk and put up their finance portfolios on green investment opportunities. The trend is expected to continue even further in 2014. Investment forecasts predict that investors are going to double their investment portfolios in sustainable technologies in 2014.

Growing trends in Sustainable Technologies

Over the last couple of years, sustainable technologies have generated a lot of interest. Sustainable technologies promise to bring down the cost of production and at the same time conserve the environment. Advancement in technology has seen a number of technologies deliver on this promise. This is why many companies are interested in implementing one form or another of sustainable technologies.

Qualified engineers leaning towards sustainable technologies are also graduating from universities. This means the sectors are not short on manpower. From the current going-ons, ambitious engineers are expected to drive inventions and innovations in sustainable technology to push it to greater heights.

Investing in Sustainable Technologies

The demand for sustainable technologies has been on the rise over the last five years. On the other hand, supply is working to satisfy this demand. If you are a keen investor, 2014 should be the year you put your money in sustainable technologies. Below are some of the areas of sustainable technologies that hold a lot of promise:

Solar Energy

Solar energy has been around for a while and has always been a good sector for high net-worth, low risk investors. The good news is that solar energy is not about to slow down anytime soon. On the contrary, this sector will see tremendous growth in 2014.

Technology advancement has increased efficiency in harvesting and storage of solar energy. This means consumers of solar energy are getting satisfied. Moreover, more homes and industries are expected to take to solar energy. Several solar energy companies are coming up to satisfy this demand. Now is the opportune time to invest in such companies.

Water and Waste Management

Demand for water is at its peak in the United States. A number of companies centered on waste management to reclaim water have been set up. These companies are riding on the water demand wave. The wave is going to get even bigger as households and industries compete for the scarce water resources. When demand outstrips supply, the country will turn to sustainable technologies in water and waste management to solve this equation.

Water and waste management is an area which will see a lot of innovation in 2014. You can invest in companies specializing in sustainable technology in water and waste management as they are about to see immense growth.

Large-Scale Energy Storage

To encourage the move to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, there is a need to fill the vacuum on how the energies are stored. 2014 is the year when we will see innovations to address this problem. Solar and wind energy uptake is on the rise and innovations to enhance storage will only see the graph climb higher. Both households and industries are turning to renewable energy to cut on costs associated with fossil fuel.

Lots of innovations on energy storage are on the offing. This can only mean one thing; a breakthrough is imminent. Energy storage will prove to be profitable sector to have in your portfolio for 2014.

The whole world has shifted focus to sustainable technology to solve problems and increase productivity. In 2013, we saw sustainable technologies prove they can solve global problems. In 2014, companies in sustainable technology will seek to take their efforts a notch higher and provide practical solutions. The demand for such solutions is at an all time high. This means 2014 is the right time to put part of your finance portfolio in sustainable technologies.

Author Bio
Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he explains new green technologies and aims to encourage further study with a Marylhurst University Sustainability Degree.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Benefits of Renewable Energy: Your Wallet and Your Community

In this day and age, is is crucial to find ways of protecting the environment and its resources to ensure that future generations can thrive on Earth. Fortunately, using renewable energy does not only help the environment but can ultimately save you money as well. In fact, here is a more detailed look at 4 benefits of renewable energy:

1. Unlimited supply

Strong winds, plant residues, fast-moving water, sunshine, and heat from the planet are all examples of energy sources that are limitless or can be replenished. Such sources can easily supply future populations with the energy they need without worry (with the exception of plant residues and fast-moving water if such resources are not taken care of properly).

2. Availability

One of the best things about using renewable energy is that doing so allows for more local control of energy to best benefit the country and individual communities. Using renewable energy helps everyone to become involved and shape energy use for the future.

It is also believed that energy pricing can be stabilized with the use of renewable energy. Many natural resources, such as uranium and oil, experiences pricing fluctuations based on a number of factors. However, renewable energy will not be affected by the increased costs of international resources and its cost will be mostly related to repaying invested capital. In fact, you can see how much money such a service costs by checking out renewable energy providers through services such as Alberta Energy.

Another important thing to note is that the cost of installing energy efficient systems are decreasing. In fact, the cost of a solar panel has decreased by nearly 60% since 2011 while the cost of generating power from wind has dropped by about 20%. In windy areas such as Texas, wind power can directly compete with the use of fossil fuels.

3. Environmentally friendly

Renewable energy is excellent for the environment due to the fact that the systems produce little to no greenhouse gas emissions while in use. Furthermore, only small amounts of emission is produced during the manufacturing of fuels and equipment. Renewable energy sources also produce fewer water and air pollutants, land disruption, and waste.

4. Job creation

Localizing the use of renewable energy produces jobs all over the country (and world). In fact, according to a fact sheet provided by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), in 2012 alone, over 110,000 green jobs were created.

Fortunately, there are plenty of jobs available dedicated to helping the world become more green. In fact, sectors with energy efficiency include:
  • Public Mass Transit 
  • Energy-saving Building Materials 
  • HVAC and Building Control Systems 
  • Green Architecture and Construction Services 
  • Professional Energy Services 
  • Appliances 
  • Energy-saving Consumer Products 
  • Battery Technologies 
  • Smart Grid 
  • Electric Vehicle Technologies 
  • Lighting 
  • Water Efficient Products 
As you can see, there are many benefits for using renewable energy. With vigilance, you can do your part to help the world and also put more money back into your wallet.

Dale Hooper has worked as an electrical engineer in Both the US and Canada, where his wife is from. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge on the topic online.

Friday, September 13, 2013

How Retirees Can Save Money on their Energy Costs

Air conditioner, complete with piping, insulat...
Air conditioner, complete with piping, insulated with foamed rubber pipe covering (common refrigeration insulation, along with foamglass). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Winter can be a particularly hard time for anybody. People are more prone to illness, roads become burdened with inches of that cold powdery stuff, and our finances are strained by the increasing energy costs of keeping our homes warm. However, winter can be particularly hard on elderly retirees who are hoping to stretch their retirement budget as efficiently as possible. 

While other homeowners are able to turn off their systems to save some energy costs throughout the day, retirees don’t really have an option if they’re homebound. Especially given that around 70% of arthritic individuals suffer far worse pain due to arthritis in cold weather, it can be difficult to compromise on keeping a home heated comfortably for the sake of a budget.

However, with the right practices, retirees never have to worry about paying exorbitant energy bills to keep themselves warm. Here are a few tips that folk who find themselves retired, or anyone who spends the majority of their time inside, can benefit from in reducing their heating related expenses this coming winter:

Perform regular cleaning and maintenance

When it comes to your HVAC system, realize that many parts come with expiration dates. No air conditioner lasts forever, ducts require constant maintenance to remain sealed, and homes regularly need to be audited to make sure you aren’t wasting energy. But if you’re experiencing trouble with your system before your equipment’s typical lifespan, it’s important to ask yourself if you’re having regular maintenance and cleaning procedures performed.

It’s important to recognize how your system works if you intend on doing these procedures yourself. It’s important to recognize the sort of system your house runs on; while many homes run on centralized air conditioning systems, newer houses run on split systems. See this article for a look inside the split system A/C in your home.

Some general forms of maintenance that you should certainly consider to improve your equipment’s lifespan and energy efficiency include:

  • Changing or cleaning your filter
  • Cleaning coils inside and out
  • Monitoring your refrigerant for leaks
  • Cleaning your ducts when debris is excessive or creating a blockage

However, it’s important to recognize your limitations if you find yourself unable to accomplish these tasks. Various how-to’s exist online on these subjects for all kinds of circumstances, but doing repairs which are out of your comfort zone could result in personal injury or property damage. And remember – always turn off your system and disconnect power supply when doing any sort of in-depth maintenance.

Consider how well your home “stores” heat

Depending on the amount of insulation and how weatherized your home is, you might be losing a tremendous amount of energy in your home. With improper insulation, it can leak through your walls. With poor weatherization, you can be sending heated air directly out of gaps and crevices in your windows, doors, open frame construction, and other areas. We wouldn’t leave a door open with the heater on; it’s equally reckless to let these gaps go unmaintained if you want to optimize your heating system.

Installing insulation should be left to a professional, especially if it requires removing or working around insulation which contains asbestos. However, weatherizing your home puts you at significantly less risk. This simply requires knowing where to find leaks in your indoor environment and how to seal them using applications like caulk, polyurethane coating, weather-stripping, and other readily-available adhesives. Professional services can perform these tasks for you, though at a premium. Doing it yourself might be advantageous if your budget is too great of a concern and you are physically capable.

With these tips, you can save yourselves up to hundreds of dollars annually on your energy bills. More importantly, you can keep yourself cozy even in the harshest times of winter without worrying about spending too much.

By Jason Wall, an HVAC technician of over 23 years with Griffith Energy Services

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Going Green For Good

It is a concept that has been around for a long while now and is increasingly gaining importance. Green energy is the creation of energy in a manner that reduces the brunt of its negative impact on the surroundings. Some of the traditional sources of energy are notorious for the greenhouse gases that they cause. There are several sources of green energy that we are familiar with. Solar, wind, geothermal as well as hydro-energy are all great sources of alternative energy. The waste produced in the creation of energy from these sources is minimal compared to oil and coal.

So what exactly does this mean for you? Installation of green energy systems has a way of decreasing a home's dependency on the power grid. It reduces the carbon footprint emitted from your home and makes your electricity bills something to smile about at the end of the month. Whether you are in college or close to retirement, switching to green energy solutions can only be beneficial.

Financial Considerations

One of the first things most people worry about is the initial cost of switching a home to solar power. The average cost is around $8 to $9 for every watt of power and approximately 30% more for the associated installation of batteries. This may come across as rather expensive, but the fact is that such a system will pay for itself in a short amount of time.

Such systems especially make sense for those families that are close to retirement and want to have cost-effective methods in place to help their finances maintain some stability. If you do find that such installation is expensive, you can alter things one room at a time, until you have made the transition. Or you could start with the outdoor lighting of your home. Many people hesitate to light up the outside of their homes and consider it to be a frivolous expense. However, with solar lighting, you can have a great source of light that will not affect your bills. It keeps anti-social elements at bay and allows your home to stay safe.

Heat with Bio-fuels

Another great use of green technology is the concept of using bio-fuels to heat up your home. These are comprised of wood, oil and also fat. If you have one of the usual propane based systems in your home, then the switch can easily be made to allow you to use a blend of all these fuels. You instantly reduce your heating bill and carbon footprint.

Tax Incentives

The good thing about using green technology, especially if you are a business owner, is that you get tax incentives for doing so. All you need to do is avoid the use of fossil fuels, and you will be able to give your brand a complete makeover. The same applies to your home as well. If you ever decide to put it on the market, the presence of a green technology system will ensure that it commands a better market value.

Home Insulation

Even the amount of green energy you use can be controlled. If you insulate your home well, especially with R rated insulation systems, you can ensure not only security but also balanced temperatures in the house, and this will reduce your dependency on air-conditioning. Having programmable thermostats installed in your homes too can make a world of difference to the way energy is consumed. This way you can regulate the intensity of usage of power.

Changing small things in the house -- using CFLs, taking all your gadgets off standby mode or shutting them down instead of leaving them on indefinitely, especially when you go to bed at night. All of these moves can help you contribute to the preservation of the environment.

Author Bio
William Stevens is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to technology. In this article, he explains a few benefits of going green and aims to encourage further study through online electrical engineering colleges.

Friday, August 30, 2013

When Not to Buy a Hybrid Vehicle

Hybrid vehicles were considered a great idea when they first came onto the market. They were supposed to be both environmentally friendly and a good way to save money. However, recent studies have shown that hybrids may not be all they are cracked up to be. 

According to a recent study from Polk, only about 65% of consumers who purchased a hybrid said they wouldn’t make the same decision again. One of the biggest reasons they were disappointed was that their vehicle didn’t pay off financially. This is a particularly important concern for older consumers living on a tight budget.

Many hybrid owners never recoup their investment. Anyone nearing or living in retirement should understand the financial costs associated with buying a hybrid before deciding to purchase one. Sometimes buying a fuel efficient car isn’t always the best idea.

High Upfront Cost

Hybrids can cost up to 20% more than other vehicles. The most affordable hybrid on the market costs about $20,000 while other versions cost about $100,000. Can you really afford to pay an extra $3,000-10,000 plus interest to buy a hybrid vehicle?

This is a huge investment for anyone on a limited budget. If you are over 50 then you are probably trying to save money during their final working years or are already retired. You also need to factor interest when you use an auto loan calculator. 

May Not Make Up the Cost

Despite the higher initial cost, many people think that buying a hybrid is still a good long-term investment. They believe that their car will pay for itself in gas savings down the road. However, that may not always be the case.

You will probably need at least three years to recoup your investment even if you purchased one of the most fuel efficient hybrids. Some hybrid owners never break even. According to one study, consumers who bought the Lexus LS600h would need about 100 years to break even.

Lower Return on Investment for Seniors

Fuel efficient hybrids tend to make sense for people who are on the road a lot. Young people who travel long distances for work and enjoy going out for a night on the town can pay off their investment in a couple of years. However, they don’t make as much sense for older people who are living a quieter life. You may want to pass on the investment if you don’t drive very often, because it is unlikely that you will ever break even.

Fuel Savings Aren’t Guaranteed

One of the biggest reasons people buy hybrid cars is because they want to save money on gas. Unfortunately, many people don’t save on fuel costs. You will need to know why some people don’t save money before committing to the purchase.

Your savings depend on largely on your driving habits. Hybrids are usually more cost-efficient at speeds below 40 miles per hour, because they are powered by the electric motor rather than gas. However, they become considerably less fuel-efficient at higher speeds. They are often even less fuel efficient than a regular vehicle. This means that drivers who spend a lot of time on the highway may not save anything.

Many of the newer clean diesel vehicles also have better mileage than most hybrids on the market. You should always research all of your options before you decide what the benefits are.

About the author: Kalen is a financial writer with an MBA from Clark University. He shares tips on saving money, budgeting and investing. He also writes about the benefits of choosing money from U Pull & Pay.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Five Ways To Save Money On Your Utility Bills

English: Series of air conditioners at UNC-CH.
English: Series of air conditioners at UNC-CH. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No matter how strong, or how weak, the economy is, the one constant seems to be the constant increases in utility costs. Every homeowner is always on the lookout for ways to save some money every month, and we will share with you some solid, effective ways to do so. Savings add up, month to month, and any changes made will soon pay for themselves.

Heating And Cooling

Heating and cooling a home is one of the biggest energy costs today, and actually one of the easiest to fix. The first thing to do is to have an inspector come out to check for possible leak points. The more air that escapes through ill fitting vents and gaps in walls or floors, the more dollars that get wasted on heating and cooling costs.

Shade trees behind, and on sides of the home will help reduce the need for high air conditioning costs in the summer. The added insulation from the sun’s rays will keep indoor temperatures down, and the AC kicking in less. Sealing the windows with plastic sheeting will do the same with heating in the winter.


Dimmer switches will help to reduce the amount of lighting needed to illuminate the home. The brighter the light, the more energy is expended. If you will only be occupying a smaller area, use task lighting like overhead track lights instead of lighting up the entire room. Switch out light bulbs for energy savers in every room that sees a lot of traffic. Design the placement of furniture to take advantage of natural lighting, near windows, whenever possible.

Using Home Electronics

Research has shown that 60 percent of the power that each piece of home electronics uses daily is eaten up by continually sitting on standby. Don’t just turn the volume down, or leave that green light blinking, turn it off completely. To be honest, plugging them all into a surge protector power strips will not only preserve them from storms, it will also make it easier to turn them all off at once.


Make sure that you keep all of the appliances in the home in good repair, especially items like hot water heaters, dishwashers, and washer-dryers. A machine like these that is damaged will work twice as hard to perform, using twice the energy. Upgrade to Energy Star rated appliances, if possible, which use less energy. With washers, dryers and dishwashers, consolidate loads whenever possible. If you have an appliance you no longer use, unplug it and take it away. One empty refrigerator alone will waste up to 160 dollars of energy costs.

Go On A Budget

A lot of municipal energy providers offer what is termed a ‘budget plan’ for cost conscious consumers. You will pay the same amount of money every month, regardless of what your meter says. On months that you do not use that much energy, the overage that you paid in will go into credit, which you can then use during months when you will need more energy, like summer.

About Author: Alisa Martin is a proficient author and writes articles on finance. She regularly contributes for the website

Friday, August 16, 2013

Save Heating Costs by Using the Sun

English: Solar panel installation at an inform...
English: Solar panel installation at an information center adjacent to Ögii Lake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Heating costs are soaring these days due to the increasing costs of fuel. What if you could reduce those costs easily by simply adding a glass conservatory and creating a means to funnel that built up heat from the glass encased room to the other parts of the home. You can harness the natural power of the sun with technology.

Add Solar Panels to the roof

You may want to consider adding solar panels to roof of the glass extension to store heat to be used later on cloud covered days. These solar panels can then be channelled to the rest of the house as a source of heating energy. Why pay for natural gas to heat your home when the sun can provide ample energy in solar panels?

Use open space between your garden room and the rest of the home

The garden addition to your home need not be blocked off to the rest of the home with walls or heavy doors. You can use the heat from that room to heat the other nearby rooms. Another way to use the heat from the glass room is to have glass walls between the conservatory and the rest of the home. Look into manufacturers who make double glazed glass that will use the heat of the sun more efficiently. 

Consider using Argon Gas windows

Some manufacturers build double or triple paned glass windows or walls that have argon gas between the panes that will help the plant life within your garden get a steady source of heat. They can also be used to provide renewable heating for the rest of the home.

You can enjoy the beauty of a garden full of flowers and other vegetation and gain the added advantage of using the sun’s wonderful rays to heat your home with a little forethought and careful planning. When you plan your addition study the way the light plays on the part of the home where you want to add a garden. Make sure that there will be ample lighting for the plants. Check the climate information to learn the average number of days with full-on sun in your area. You want to gain as much advantage from the sun as possible to heat your garden and your home.

Isn’t it amazing how improvements in technology have helped us gain power from the sun in our lives? Learn how you can harness nature to heat your home.

The Alpine Group in the UK specialise in bespoke Orangeries, Glass Verandas, Conservatories, Pool buildings for residential and commercial properties. Check out their website for inspiration and advice.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Keystone State Helps With HELP: Three Things To Know About HELP Loans

English: Series of air conditioners at UNC-CH.
English: Series of air conditioners at UNC-CH. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the last decade the environment has become an increasingly important political topic, and politicians are doing everything they can to show that they care about the fate of the environment and that they care about environmental policy. In Pennsylvania one of the ways that the state is show a commitment to environmental issues is through the HELP (Home Energy Loan Program) program. Through this program, homeowners can secure low cost loans that will help them upgrade their homes to greater energy efficiency, and save money on their utility bills. Before applying for HELP, there are three things you need to know.

Who is eligible?

The first question that you need to be concerned with is whether or not you are even eligible for the HELP loan. Homeowners are eligible for the HELP loans if they need the money to make an energy efficient improvement to their home. These loans are applied for just like a traditional loan, so your income level and debt will greatly affect your ability to get the loan. The loans are competitive, so if you have poor credit, you will probably not qualify for the loan, but it never hurts to put in an application.

What kinds of things qualify?

Now that you have determined your eligibility as a homeowner, it is time to think about what improvements you want to make and whether or not those improvements qualify. Home systems that are rated Energy Star by the Federal government can qualify for the HELP program. These systems include things like air conditioning, heating and anything that can make those systems more effective. You can get a HELP loan to install solar panels and you can get a loan to upgrade the insulation to the home. You can check with the HELP office or with your contractor to make sure that all of the improvements that you want to make are covered under the program so that you will not be blindsided when the work is done. Larger projects, such as whole house upgrades and geothermal units, qualify for additional funding and have slightly different terms than other HELP loans. For more information you need to discuss the program with your contractor.

What is the process like?

The actual process of applying is not very difficult, and you should know in a matter of days whether or not you qualify. You can visit and follow their links to the online application and you can get the application in the works. Because of the number of people who are applying to the program, and the limited funds that are available, it is advisable to get your application in well before you want the work to begin. This will give you plenty of time to find other funding sources if the HELP loan does not go through, and it will give you some time to plan for the improvements if you do qualify.

The Keystone HELP loans are a great way to aid the people of Pennsylvania in their desire to become more environmentally conscious. With these loans people can make the upgrades that they need to their home without the high costs usually associated with taking out a home improvement loan.

I am Amanda Sullivan, and I wrote this article to talk about the eligibility for the Keystone HELP program. I have worked in the HELP office for several months, but I still run into people every day who never knew the program existed, yet who need an upgrade to the air conditioning Lancaster PA homes currently have. I try to point them in the direction of contractors like Vertex Mechanical ( because I know that they are on the approved contractor list and I advise people to discuss their home improvement dreams with a contractor to find out if they qualify for the loan.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Looking For the Best Oil & Gas Companies for Investment? Here Are Some Ideas!!!

An assortment of United States coins, includin...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
These days it seems everyone is interested in investing in oil and gas companies. The strategy is shared and very common amongst all who want to indulge in tax deferred investments. By doing so, one can now invest the money which would have been taken by the government, into something that would bring home returns. 

Some choose to pay for charity or donate that extra to avoid large tax amounts, but tax deferred investments actually help an individual make more. This is why investing in oil and gas companies across the nation have become such a rage amongst investors these days. But before you jump the gun and cut a cheque, know what risks are involved and use these tips wisely to make the most while the wells are drilled.

Check the company’s portfolio

This would help you decide if you want to deal with large or small medium companies. And it would further help you choose private or public enterprises to invest in. Once this is done, check the investment strategy and be determined with it. Your expectations should be borne in mind, but don’t forget that there are many risks along the way too. Higher profits come along the way when higher risks are taken. This means your money is at stake, and every investment would need minimal risks involved to have profits too.

Check the company’s credentials and history

The history of the company should be long and stable. Financially it should be diversified and there should be a strong team to help with risk management too. Ask them for reports and papers that prove their credentials.

Contact the companies one by one

Go to their websites and fill out the enquiry form. They would then send you prospectus and brochures through snail mail or in PDF forms. Before you think of investing in any oil and gas investment, it is mandatory for you to qualify as one. You have to be an accredited investor before any investment from your end can be made. Check resources online to learn more on what it takes to be an accredited investor.

Licensed professionals only

For appraisals on the net value of the investment being made by you, only a licensed and well certified petroleum engineer should be taken into confidence. He or she should have an exit strategy set-up for you in place. This would ensure while the holding period is on, liquidity is well managed.

Check Better Business Bureau

It is important to check for oil and gas companies in the US, since this site would bare the ugly truth about companies that claim to make your rich. If there are frauds and scams happening around, investors who have suffered the same shall post their grievances and will inform others about it too. Any company with unresolved issues from the past should not be thought of as a favourable investment platform.

Guarantees on any investments should not be made by any company dealing with oil and gas production, exploration or drilling. If there is a company that emails and tell you so, please don’t fall for it. It is on the basis of speculations where oil and gas investments are thought of and made. This could lead to major profits or losses, only time would tell. Since the prices for oil and gas has not been stable over the recent past, it would thus be wise to use your due diligence and then decide on such investments.

Author Bio
Take a look online at the various resources available on oil investing. Learn more on how you could make the best out of small and minimal investments, says Lily Noronha. There are risks involved in the oil and gas industries too. Play it smart and do your homework well, this would bring in the profits you so look forward to.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Improve Your Home Energy Efficiency with the Green Deal

Wind Energy
 (Photo credit: janie.hernandez55)
Unless you are lucky enough to have purchased a relatively new build, eco-friendlier property, it is likely that your home isn’t as energy efficient as it could be. There are several reasons that this is important, the first of which is it increases your carbon footprint if your home isn’t energy efficient. The second is a by-product of using less energy - it costs much less to run an ‘A’ energy efficiency rating home than a ‘G’. In our economic climate, saving money has never been so important, which is why government-backed initiatives such as the British Gas green deal that aim to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the UK, are much needed.

Although the government has not yet committed to a target to decarbonise the UK’s power sector yet, this scheme is certainly a step in the right direction. Saving money on your household expenditure can only ever be a good thing, so here’s how it works.

To start with you will need to arrange an appointment with a Green Deal assessor, who will do a thorough inspection of the current energy efficiency of your home. They will also review how you use energy in your house. Once this assessment has been carried out you will get a Green Deal Advice Report which contains the results of the assessment including an Energy Performance Certificate, which gives you your energy efficiency rating between A to G and your environmental impact rating, also between A to G. The report will also explain how you use energy such as heating, hot water, appliances and lighting, and compare your usage to a typical similar household.

English: A part of the „Demonstration Project ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With the Green Deal assessor’s valuable experience in improving the energy efficiency of homes across the UK, an individual recommendation will be made as to what you could have done to your home to improve its energy efficiency, and how the occupants of your household could save money by being more efficient with energy. If you would then like to proceed, they can form a Green Deal plan and arrange the installation of the recommended improvements to your home.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Energy Efficiency: Understanding How a Window Upgrade Can Save You Money

You know winter is arriving when the temperatures begin to get frigid. When the temperatures begin to drop, many homeowners will begin to turn their heating systems on and the colder it gets, the harder the system needs to work which increases energy bills. The good news is, by utilizing replacement windows; you can significantly decrease energy use as well as the cost of home heating.

Energy efficient windows help to make your household more comfortable as compared to older drafty windows. This means you are able to not only live comfortably, but save on your electricity and gas as well. There are several ways that efficient windows work in saving energy. Your windows make up a central part of your household's architecture and it can be really simple to go about your daily activities without giving them a second thought. As the energy costs climb, however, the time is now that you want to pay more attention to them and seriously consider an upgrade to more energy efficient windows. In both function and construction, windows like these are different than regular windows and will help you to save a bundle on both your heating and cooling expenses. Below will help you understand how energy efficient windows work to save you on energy costs.

Window Frames

The frame of a window can be made from fiberglass, wood, vinyl, composite, aluminum or another metal. Even though they all have their own particular advantages and disadvantages, it is recommended that you go with vinyl, composite or fiberglass to get the most benefit. Aluminum is heated easily and therefore does not make a great insulator. Due to contraction and expansion, efficiency problems exist with wood frames, so vinyl-clad or fiberglass is a good choice. However, if you decide on vinyl, depending on your house requirements and climate, it is best if you go with the insulated version for the best thermal insulation.

Window Glazing & Insulated

There are many different options when it comes to selecting your window glass, such as heat-absorbing tints, gas fills, double or triple glazed insulated, spectral selective coatings and reflective coatings. Double or triple glazed as well as storm windows allow air and space between panes. This will lower the U-factor and the SHGC or solar heat gain coefficient.

Gas fills

Argon is the most common gas used and is fairly inexpensive. Krypton, although more expensive, is also a common gas used and works better at decreasing the U-factor of a window.

Heat-absorbing tints

Tints come in different colors like green, blue, bronze, gray or black. Tint does not lower the U-factor of a window, but you can add spectral sensitive coatings and inner glass layers to help with that. Bronze and gray help to reduce light and heat while green and blue allow for more VT or visible transmittance, but with only a slight reduction in heat transfer.

You can save money each month with energy efficient windows. In some cases, newer windows have helped people to become net energy gainers. Typically, energy efficient windows will have a payback period of around 2 to 10 years. In new installation, their initial cost is higher but can be offset by giving you the ability to get a less expensive and smaller heating and cooling unit. More durable, energy efficient windows will end up costing less in the long run due to lowered replacement and maintenance costs. Plus, you will be more comfortable all around and a fully insulated home. Places like  Central Scotland Joinery can help you select the best option of energy efficient windows for your home and install them for you too.

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