5 Ways to Build More Sustainable Habits in Your Home

Running a household can be a very expensive feat – everything you spend from your electricity, water, heating, air-conditioning, groceries, and general upkeep of other facilities such as your toilet, piping, pool (if you have one) – these all add up and can make your expenditures quite hefty, especially when left unchecked. If you are running a large household, with anywhere from five people living in it or more, this could be especially true – the aggregate effect of every person’s possible carelessness can add up to a sizable sum when put together.

That is why it has become increasingly important to incorporate sustainable habits in every household. This means to educate each person on the importance of being prudent with the resources of the household, enough so that what is used up is only what is needed, and not a single resource and penny goes to waste. If everyone is on the same page about how important it is to care for the environment, then the combined benefits of this paradigm shift can also be quite notable.

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Here are some ways to build more sustainable habits in your home:

1. Turn off the lights

The best thing to do is to keep your consumption minimal. Turn off the lights when you are exiting your room and do not plan to re-enter for a good amount of time. Use natural light when you can – it is good to have windows in every part of the home so you can utilize natural energy. Apart from the natural light, you can also let in some wind and fresh air instead of turning on your air-conditioning.

2. Turn off the tap

Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Unless you are rinsing off, you don’t need the tap running. You can even fill a cup with water and use that for your gargling needs.

3. Pull those plugs

Pull the plugs for appliances that aren’t in active use for a long time. Toasters, computers, and lamps are all good examples of appliances that can be unplugged overnight or while you’re away from home.

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4. Analyze your electric bills

It would also be a good thing to check out your energy consumption and consult your electricity provider for things you may not understand in your electricity bill. You can take this up with them and clarify what items are taking up most of your consumption, so you can adjust accordingly and minimize those activities.

5. Recycle

You don’t have to throw away everything that you’ve used only once or twice. Plastic containers that you take home from retail or grocery purchases can be used for repacking other items in the home. This is just one example – there are so many things you and your family use daily that you can recycle in order to minimize what you throw away.

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These are just some of the simple but very helpful sustainable practices you can start to live a more sustainable lifestyle. There are many other ways you can build more sustainable habits that help the planet and help you save some money as well. It is good to instill these eco-friendly habits within all the members of your household so that you can all work together to be more clean and green.

Considerations When Buying a Vacation Rental with Solar Panels

It’s possible that one of the properties you’re considering for purchase as a vacation rental will have solar panels already installed. This can be a positive marketing point for your property in today’s increasingly environmentally conscious world.

Installed correctly, solar panels can be aesthetically pleasing. Their presence is also one of the first things people will notice about a property. So, when you get to the stage of when you’re ready to start the financing process of investing in a particular vacation rental property with solar panels, here are a couple of things you’ll need to consider as a part of your vetting process.

vacation rental with solar system

How Were They Financed?

Your first consideration will be how the panels were financed. The easiest scenario is when the owner of the property financed the panels themselves. Solar panels can add a lot of value to the property. Although the value of the panels decreases with the age of the installation, newly installed panels can add up to nearly $30,000 of value to a home.

If possible, see if you can get an idea of what the previous owner’s utilities ran prior to installation of the panels, and after. This will give you concrete information about how much the panels are saving on the electric bills.

What is the Size of the System?

You’ll also want to have an inspector give you an idea of the size of the solar system. If the previous tenants worked from home and had several family members, the installation is probably more than adequate for a vacation rental property. A smaller system for one or two people might need enhancements. Lower utility bills will allow you to charge less for your property.

What if the Panels were Leased?

Sometimes the property owner doesn’t have the money upfront to pay for the panels, so they finance them by leasing. This situation is not necessarily something that should cause you to automatically pass on the property. It’s important to find out the age of the lease. It’s possible the finance period is almost over. In this case, the cost of taking over the lease will be minimal.

There are a couple of points open for negotiation here. You can work with the finance company to see if you can reduce the amount remaining on the lease. Or you could have the remaining amount on the lease included in the selling price. The cost of solar panels is expected to go down by as much as a third by 2024, so the amounts under consideration can be expected to be less as time goes on.

Have the Panels Inspected

As in any potential property purchase, having the panels inspected prior to signing on the dotted line is mandatory. You’ll want to get an overhead inspection of the panels, which can be done by drone. Make sure the drone has a thermal camera to check for an initial check for defects.

You’ll want to perform the solar panel inspection on a sunny day. This way any defects, such as hot spots, will be more easily detected. The optimum time for such inspections is in the morning or late afternoon, to reduce glare off of the panels. If the sun is directly overhead, you may get too much glare off them and the inspection won’t be able to show you anything.

If possible, do a second drone inspection with an RGB (visible light)  camera. This inspection will turn up the presence of debris on the panels. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It can simply mean that the panels are due for a cleaning, something that hopefully has been a part of the regular maintenance of the panels.

Is There Enough Sunlight?

Another aspect of existing solar panels to consider is whether there is adequate sunlight to support them. If the panels were installed in an area shaded by trees, you not only may not be getting the full benefits of them but may have more cleaning costs associated with them.

If they are shaded because of geographical features on the property, you also may not get the full benefit of the panels.

Previously installed solar panels are not necessarily a negative when considering investing in that property as a vacation rental. They can be a great marketing point for your property as well as aesthetically pleasing. Just be sure to look into how they were financed, and get them inspected for general condition. This will ensure the panels are in good working order prior to you taking over the property.

5 Points to Consider Before Switching Electric Suppliers

There are several reasons why homeowners want to switch electric suppliers. Some might feel like they’re paying more for their electricity, and they want to find something that will cost them less. Others might be moving to a new home or looking for renewable energy alternatives and more reliable service.

Whatever the reason may be, homeowners are now more able to explore and acquire the energy plan that suits their needs and resources. They can change their electricity providers anytime they want. But with numerous options in the market, it can be easy to feel lost and make a snap decision.

Before you get thrilled about cheaper energy tariffs and better customer service, here are essential points to consider before switching electric suppliers. It may save you a load of potential hassle and stress, especially if it’s your first time to do so.

electric-suppliers

1. Determine Your Needs and Preference

The first thing that you should think about when changing your electric supplier is your needs and preference. This way, you’d be able to point out specific reasons why your current provider is not right for you anymore.

You can ask yourself a few questions to sort what you need and prefer so you can come up with a more informed decision. Does your bill vary from month to month, or are you searching for a plan that your budget can comfortably afford more? Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint, or are you looking for better customer support?

Once you’ve identified the things you need and want that you didn’t get from your current supplier, it would be easier for you to choose a much better one. Take your time to ponder about them before you rush into the market.

2. Check Your Current Electric Bills

It’s also significant to look at your current electric bills, especially if your concern is a high and fluctuating statement every month. Before you review other supplier’s prices, it would be helpful to examine a recent electric bill from your current supplier. Evaluate how much you’ve been paying for your electricity.

By checking the costs that constitute your monthly electric bill, you’d be able to know whether the problem is on the consumption or with the rate. It would also prepare you to choose a new electric supplier that will surely meet your needs.

electricity-cost

3. Research Your Options

Of course, doing some research before changing suppliers is essential. You can start an electric consumption comparison on Eligo Energy. When you do so, it will help best in finding better electric rates. When researching your options, you can break down the factors you want to look for in your new electric supplier.

Here are a few things you may not want to miss out on:

a. Price and Plan

Rates may vary in every supplier, and they are often linked to the unpredictable energy market. You must consider what kind of supply rate would work best for your home’s monthly budget before shopping for any electricity plans.

Opting for a fixed-rate plan might be a good idea if your concern is about fluctuations. But if you use most of your energy at night, you can look for a company that offers time-of-use plans. Note that each project comes with a cost, so it mostly depends on how much you’re willing to pay.

b. Products and Services

Suppliers provide many different types of products and services. It’s a must to check out what each company offers to assess better which one would best serve your needs.

Some companies use renewable energy resources, while others do not. If it’s something important to you, you can cross out from your options to those who don’t offer it.

c. Reputation

Many suppliers are using marketing tactics to capture your attention. Don’t get tempted by cheap rates that have hidden fees in the end. Be sure to switch to a company that has an established reputation. Check on their background before you sign up by looking at the reviews of previous customers.

4. Compare Offers

When looking for the best deal, you would have to compare offers from different providers. If you want to find out how much you could save, compare their electricity rates. However, consider all the other factors as well. Bear in mind that the lowest price isn’t always the best deal.

5. Review Your Current Contract

It is a must to review your contract with your current supplier. Take a look at the terms if there are charges if you leave your contract early. Make sure to ponder whether it would be worthwhile to change your electricity provider right away if there are any exit fees. You won’t have to worry about it, though, if you have an open contract.

Takeaway

It’s so tempting to dive into any electric supplier with cheaper rates and better offers than your current one. But doing so may cause you tons of money and regrets in the end. You would not want to experience the same frustration again. Therefore, take the time to research and weigh all your options before you sign up for anything.