• Posts Tagged ‘utilities’

    How to Save Money on Monthly Expenses

    by  • February 16, 2015 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    1.      Verify You’ve Signed up for the Right Plan

    The wrong cell phone plan can eat up a lot of your income. So you want to be sure you are signed up for the right plan. Contact your carrier and check to see how many minutes you are actually using versus what you are paying for. Although unlimited calling plans are popular and becoming less expensive, you still may be paying for more than you use.

    Also, be sure to check your data plan. You can contact your carrier or check your data via your Data Manager utility on your phone. If you’re using closer to 3GB but paying for 10GB, you need to scale back. Those dollars really add up. Connect to the Wi-Fi in your home if you have it and only use your data in emergencies while you are out.

    2.      Program Your Thermostat

    Programmable thermostats can save you hundreds a year, so it’s worth purchasing one if you don’t have one installed already. According to EnergySavers.gov, you can save up to 15% each year on your bill if you turn it down 15 degrees for at least eight hours a day. You can easily do this with a programmable thermostat while you are away from home at work.

    3.      Take Advantage of Lower Interest Rates

    Credit card bills and loans are possibly a major chunk of your monthly expenses. So when you get credit card offers in the mail – don’t ignore them. Check them out to see if they offer you a no interest to low interest for balance transfers. Be sure to contact all your current lenders with lower interest rates to see if you can increase your credit line and transfer over other higher interest rate balances.

    4.      Stream Television Shows and Movies

    Finally, slash your cable bill in half or altogether. There are plenty of ways you can watch your favorite programs and movies at a discount. Just pay for your internet service, and you can stream your favorite television shows and movies from service providers such as Netflix, Blockbuster, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video.

    Implement the above four strategies today and save hundreds this year alone. You can also find more money saving tips here.  Keep in mind when looking at your monthly expenses ask yourself if you really need that service or can it be cut to save money.

    Choosing the Best Gas Supplier for Your Large Business

    by  • May 8, 2013 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Organising energy providers and paying monthly bills is an arduous task for homeowners and small businesses, let alone large businesses and enterprises. Ensuring that the process of organising and paying for large business gas supply is streamlined and simple will mean that the person in charge of the utilities will have an easier time of it.

    As with energy supply for your home, choosing the right supplier for large businesses is essential. You may think that the supplier you’re already using offers the best rates but it’s a competitive market and tariffs and plans change all the time. Whether you’ve moved to a new premises or expanded substantially over recent years, take a look at the provision of business gas from British Gas to see some of the superb deals and rates available.

    With substantial experience of supplying gas on an industrial level for many years, British Gas certainly have the know-how any large business needs. If you have an annual spend of £100,000 on energy bills, they could be an excellent provider to turn to. But why?

    They offer a tailormade service that takes your large business needs into account. If you talk to them about what you require, they should be able to arrange something that would be mutually beneficial. Contracts including electronic billing or reporting systems to assistance with the British Gas’s Business Energy Efficiency Programmers are available to ensure that the solution they provide will suit your individual business needs rather than pigeon-holing your requirements.

    Flexible energy plans are available so that your energy requirements aren’t standardised. They will assess your consumption and recognise any emerging patterns in energy usage, so that the contract you sign up for reflects your business’ use perfectly.

    With over half a million organisations utilising the expert services of British Gas, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re in safe hands. Years of experience mean that they know what they’re doing and will help to resolve your energy queries promptly and effectively.

    If you’re a large end gas user, consider your options today and sign up for a energy contract that has your best interests at heart.

    How Low Does It Go?

    by  • December 19, 2006 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Earlier in October we had some cold weather, and Her wrote about the things we do to keep ourselves warm in the winter. Since then we’ve been pretty lucky and have a mild winter here in Chicago.

    After we put up the plastic on our windows this year, we’ve noticed that we can turn our programmable thermostat lower than we thought would be comfortable. Here’s our program:

    6:30AM-8AM (Wakeup): 64F

    8AM-5:30PM (At Work): 60F

    5:30PM-11PM (At home): 64F

    11PM-6:30AM (Sleep): 54F

    So far we’ve been pretty happy with these settings, and we think that we’ve found a good balance between value vs. comfort.

    How low does your thermostat go?

    Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

    by  • October 12, 2006 • Tagged:   • Comments

    But you can stay warm for less!

    The cold weather is finally upon us, but last winter we tried lots of ways to cut our heating costs after getting hit with a huge heating bill early in the season. Here are some that worked for us:

    •Get an electric blanket and turn the thermostat way down at night. You might remember how “bony” electric blankets used to feel, but they really have improved recently. We found one with micro-wires that are literally imperceptible.
    •Get a programmable thermostat, and set it to turn the heat on only when you need it. A good one can be had for under $50.
    •Cover windows, especially drafty ones, with plastic film. It’s available pretty cheaply at any home improvement store.
    •If your heating registers are near the ceiling, direct the heat downward with a directional vent cover. These cost about $3 and stick on with magnets.
    •Have a room you seldom use? Cover the heating register with a magnetic panel to seal it off, and then close the door to the room.
    •During the day, open the drapes and blinds and let the sunshine in! At night, pull them fully across to stop drafts.
    •If you become cold while doing a passive activity like watching TV, get up and do some light exercise for a few minutes to warm up rather than turn up the heat.
    •Make your oven do double duty – an oven full of dinner can warm the whole kitchen.
    •And dad’s all time favorite… put on a sweater!

    We noticed a significant reduction in our heating bills after we implemented these easy tips. No more big bad heating bills for us!

    Vaporize or Spend $312 – We Chose the Latter

    by  • June 6, 2006 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    When we signed the lease for our apartment a year and a half ago, we came in knowing that while there was central heating, there was no central air conditioning. We signed the lease in the middle of a harsh Chicago winter, so air conditioning was pretty far from our mind…until the relentless Chicago summer arrived. I’m pretty tolerant to the heat, but there were a few days when it got even too hot for me. Not to mention I tend to sweat profusely (disgusting, I know). When our cats starting panting, I knew it was way too much.

    If you don’t know, Chicago summers are nothing but hot and muggy. Ninety degree days combined with 95% humidity not only gives people bad hair days, but in the summer of 1995, 739 people died due to the heat. Not a good environment to have less than adequate cooling.

    Our only sources of cooling that summer were two undersized air conditioners. One was quite a behemoth, an older hand-me-down from my older brother. It was beige and it meant business, but the truth was that barely kept our dining and living rooms cool. Not only that, it weighed a ton and probably wasn’t very energy efficient. The other one was my dinky air conditioner that managed to cool off my room in my fraternity house in college. That went into our bedroom window, and barely manages to keep that cool. That one is still around.

    We decided that the large behemoth needed to go – its archaic dials, heft, poor energy efficiency, and craptacular ability to cool a room helped us come to that conclusion. Not only that, but I stored it in my parents’ garage over the winter and didn’t want to deal with it anymore. We were in the market for an air conditioner.

    Her looked up how much air conditioner we needed, and it turned out to be about 14,000BTU. We also wanted one that was uber energy efficient and had cool doodads such as timers, climate control, and other energy saving perks. She did the legwork, and even got a 10% coupon for Lowe’s. Serendipitously, the air conditioner we wanted went on sale this past weekend at Lowe’s.

    $312, 14,000BTU, and 105 pounds of air conditioner later, we’re cool cats (I guess so are our cats, natch). Yes, that money could have grown to be a billion dollars in some investment account, but to be able to go to work not drenched in sweat is priceless.

    SBC, DirecTV, and AT&T Are All My Bitches

    by  • February 20, 2006 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Over the weekend Slickdeals.net pointed to an offer to get faster but cheaper DSL from SBC than what we already have. You don’t even need to call a vapid customer service rep — just click through and see if you’re qualified. Later, we saw a promo for DSL for $12.99 at the regular speed. I called to speak with the worse-than-DMV-customer-service, and got that promo. We’re saving $7 a month and now that will be put towards debt reduction. SBC YOU ARE MY BITCH.

    I was feeling pretty good, saving at least some money, so I called DirecTV to see if they’d lower my bill. The guy on the other end of the line was pretty hard-nosed about getting me a lower rate. He offered me Stars, Showtime, or HBO at discounted rates. I held my ground and just held on for a rate decrease. I asked for $5 reduction for a year. He said six months. After wiping the sweat formed on my brow after such intense negotiations, I countered with 9 months. He said, “Deal.” Another $5 towards debt reduction. HAHA DIRECTV I JUST MADE YOU MY BITCH.

    She saw an ad in the paper — “Take the AT&T Triple Play Challenge.” AT&T says they can save me money on phone, long distance, DSL, and cable, (wait a sec, isn’t that a quadruple play?) or else they’ll give us a $20 gift card. I called, of course AFTER I got all of these rates lowered, and they could NOT beat what we are paying now, so now they are sending me a voucher that I have to return with copies of my monthly bill to prove that we’re saving. Hello, $20 to spend on something we probably don’t need. AT&T YOU ARE MY BITCH.