5 Tips for Choosing a Local Electricity Company

Posted by on Jan 24, 2016 in Earth Friendly Activities, Home Furniture, How To's | 1 comment

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Thanks to the deregulation of the energy market, consumers now have the option to compare electricity companies and choose one that fits their budget and needs. This doesn’t apply to all states, but if you live in a deregulated area, then it is important to do your homework before you sign a contract with an energy company.

There are several ways that electricity providers compete with one another. While some offer low prices for long-term contracts, others generate power from renewable energy sources. If you are shopping for an electricity company, then the following five tips can help you find the perfect service for your personal and financial goals:

  1. Find out If Your State Has Deregulated the Electricity Market
    You can obtain this information from two sources: either your current supplier or the state utility commission. Each state has its own utility commission, but the name varies from state to state. Examples include public service commission, utility regulatory commission, public utilities commission and utilities commission, among others.
  1. Research Providers in Your Area
    You can find a list of electricity companies that are licensed by the state in the office of your state utility commission. Alternatively, you can obtain supplier information on the company’s website or by calling it directly.There are also websites that let consumers compare local electricity companies by rates, contract features and other metrics. For example, business and homeowners in Illinois may find this webpage helpful: http://www.localelectricitycompanies.com/illinois/.
  1. Compare Rates
    Find out if the supplier’s rates include generation, transmission, distribution and monthly customer charges. The company should provide a breakdown of all fees in its statements.Also, ask if the provider’s rate is fixed or variable. Fixed rates remain the same for the entire term of the agreement. Variable rates, however, change with market shifts. Variable rates can help clients save money if the rates drop, but if they increase, then customers may wind up paying significantly more without budgeting for the extra expense.
  1. Compare Contracts
    Call the suppliers you are interested in, and inquire about their contracts. Some companies offer plans that lack minimum contract periods and monthly payments. Other suppliers offer contracts with minimum terms that last several years. Such contracts prevent clients from cancelling early. Ask the company about the length of its contracts, penalties if you break the contract, and what happens when the terms of the contract expire.You should also find out how your credit will affect the agreement. Some suppliers ask clients with questionable credit histories to make deposits.
  1. Discuss Payment Options
    Ask which payment options the company offers. Some contracts have a budget-billing plan. Find out what happens when customers miss payments, and ask about your supplier’s equipment charges, such as fees for special meters.

    Many local electricity companies offer customers a choice of energy sources, including renewable and non-renewable energy. Your electricity supplier should provide details on how it generates electricity. 

There are countless ways for property owners to save money, but most can benefit from keeping their energy bills low. Try these five strategies the next time you compare electricity companies.

Image credit: janoon028/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Proper Care for Wood Furniture

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Care Tips, Home Furniture | 0 comments

wood furniture

Many of our homes have some wooden furniture. We have to face the fact, we love wood. Despite the price and the convenience of plastic furniture, nothing beats wooden furniture if you are thinking about aesthetics.

But in order for wooden furniture to serve us well, there are certain things that we need to do in order to keep them in tip-top shape. There are such things that are called preventable damage.

For one, you know that their surface is easily scratched so when you use them, you do not use sharp objects on it. Otherwise, they will get scratched and it will take a lot of effort to restore it. It may be a small scratch, but you will have to retouch the whole thing to make it even.

You also need to be careful in handling them. They should not be tossed around or applied with lots of force because most furniture uses nails and wood glue. These can easily break with strong force.

Use chairs and tables for their purpose. Do not stand or jump on them because these can break.

If you want to maintain the color of your furniture, you may have to use dim lighting. Bright lights are strong and can react with wood. Eventually, the color will change.

Since wood is food for termites, one of its greatest enemies is this pest. Your furniture should be appropriately treated against termite infestation. If you notice a termite hill near your home, it is best to destroy the colony so that the termites will not invade your house and eat the wood furniture.

Clean wooden furniture using recommended products only. It is best not to get them wet with water so that they will not get soaked. Water seeps through the porous surface of wood and destroys it.

Wooden furniture is nice. If you take good care of them, they will last you for generations.

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Downsizing Your Home: What To Do With Your Excess Furniture

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Earth Friendly Activities, green living, Home Furniture, How To's | 1 comment

Downsizing! Whether you’re moving into a new life phase, getting rid of the past or making a fresh start, there’s always the dilemma on what to do with your excess furniture. Having trouble deciding on what to do with your excess furniture? Check out these ideas to help with downsizing.

furniture, excess furniture

Pack It Into The Garage

Of course, the first place many think of to put excess furniture is in the garage. Why not – it’s close and it’s free. The problem many face when storing excess furniture in the garage is we tend to store too much. That antique or heirloom furniture often becomes something to store things on, in or around. Creepy crawlies love making homes in old draws, mould creeps in and before you know it, that beautiful furniture that you were hoping to keep for the kids has been scratched, rotted or infested.

Put It Into Storage

Without a doubt, storage comes at a cost. You’re paying for someone else to give you more space. A good storage facility will be mould and pest free, will ensure that old furniture does not have other peoples stuff stacked on it and will still give you easy access to your goods, if need be. Some storage companies such as http://www.yourlocalmovers.com.au/ will even come and collect everything you need to store. Look into the storage options in your area – you might even be amazed at how cost-effective it is!

Give It To The Kids

We all started out with second hand or used furniture, right? Your kids aren’t going to want your furniture. Not yet anyway. Why? Because that heavily stained chipboard table will look terrible in your kids townhouse, that’s why. The only time it is really appropriate to palm off excess furniture to the kids is if they need it AND they ask for it. Your kids aren’t going to want a bulk ‘donation’ of your old stuff.

Give It To Charity

We’ve all given a dodgy barbeque or brown couch to charity, but what about that furniture that is just that bit too good to turf? With most things in your home, furniture has a certain sentimental value. That couch you used to snuggle up on to watch the Saturday night movie. The table you spent many evenings eating around. That bed you spent many hours… sleeping in! Giving to charity is a great way to give things you truly don’t need or want anymore – but things with a special memory?

Those things you really ought to keep. Downsizing your home can often mean a change in life stage. The kids have left, maybe you’ve re-partnered and have excess furniture. Maybe it’s just time to update or upgrade. What have you done when you’ve downsized? Have you found any of these tips helpful, or would you do things differently? Leave your ideas in the comments, below.

Image credit: habitatgsf.org

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Snuggle up to a Beanbag this Winter

Posted by on Oct 18, 2014 in Home Furniture | 0 comments

As they say in Game of Thrones “winter is coming”. Thankfully though people in the UK aren’t at the mercy of white walkers, only freezing temperatures and chilly winds.

But those winds can be a nightmare, and with the patchy weather that’s been experienced this summer a lot of people aren’t looking forward to biting winds and gales that create goosebumps on their goosebumps.

The best way to experience freezing temperatures is on the other side of a window in a living room, with a roaring fire warming up the room and a hot chocolate in hand.

The only thing that can top that scenario and truly complement somebody’s comfortable surroundings is with the addition of a beanbag.

Warm and cosy

bean bags

 

Beanbags are for everyone, and a wonderful piece of furniture for any home. Different from a couch, one of the best qualities possessed by beanbags is that they can be moved anywhere at any time. Why not pick up a soft one and snuggle into it in front of the fire on a cold winter’s night?

The sheer variety of beanbags also means there’s a beanbag for the whole family to choose from to warm themselves up with. People have the choice of getting a smaller, more personal beanbag to cuddle into, with smaller beanbags available for the children.

For the family that loves to huddle together in a blissful cosy setting though there are beanbags large enough to accommodate the whole family! Or, for a loved up couple looking to gaze longingly into the flames on a Sunday evening, sofa bed beanbags offer a unique and creative experience they can enjoy for hours.

For everyone to enjoy

Comfort is the key word when it comes to beanbags. As well as them being available in different shapes and sizes, they are also available in a number of comfortable fabrics including corduroy, faux fur, leather, and many more besides.

Though the weather may be cold the autumn and winter seasons in the UK offer some of the most stunning scenery anywhere on the planet. That’s the beauty of a beanbag; it’s compact, light nature means that it can be enjoyed anywhere.

Coming into the latter months means it’ll be colder, but there’ll also be the odd day where the afternoon is warm and the sky clear. So why not take the beanbag onto the porch or in the garden, and watch the sun set in comfort amongst the trees?

There are beanbags available for outdoor comfort too, with their structure similar to that of a deckchair. And when the spring and summer months roll around again, they’re perfect to take outside and sit in the garden relaxing in total comfort as an alternative to lying on a towel.

If you’d like to know more about beanbags and want to take a look at some of the most comfortable and affordable available in the UK visit Great Bean Bags today to find out more.

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Use Furniture Including a Pine Desk to Create a Welcoming Home

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in Home Design Ideas, Home Furniture | 0 comments

pine desk, pine

When decorating and furnishing your home it is important that one style is used throughout. By using one type of furniture, such as pine, it creates consistency but allows you to alter the colour schemes and decorative styles in each room. This enables you to develop character in each room yet have consistency throughout.

The decorating and furnishing of your home can be a fun and rewarding process, but for some reason many homeowners see it as a chore. There are all kinds of fantastic styles and colour schemes to choose from, allowing you to get creative and show off your personality. Seeing as there are so many different options and looks to go for, it also means that making your home look its best can be challenging. You will notice when you visit a friend or family member’s home how their house both looks and feels, and the best homes will have an attractive and welcoming interior design style that is also a reflection of their personality. So, how do you go about creating a home that achieves all of this?

It is important to do thorough research online and look at what different interior design styles there are. Once you have decided on one which suits your house as well as your taste, then you will not want to stray too far from this style. If you were to use an art deco style in one room but a shabby chic style in another then this would clash and create an uncomfortable, unstylish feel. By picking one style you can experiment with different colour schemes in each room to ensure that each room does not look the same, but it is also important that there is consistency linking all of the rooms together. This is best achieved with the furniture. Every room in the house needs furniture whether it is a sofa, dining room table, desk, wardrobe or a bench for your garden. By picking one style or material and using this throughout it will create a consistent style, but it will allow you to change the decoration in each room to add variation.

Wooden furniture is the most popular choice, and for good reason too. It is not only strong and reliable; it also looks fantastic and has warmth to it that you do not get with plastics or metal. A good example is in an office or workspace you have in your home. By having a beautiful pine desk, wooden chair and a bookcase it will immediately create a warm, welcoming atmosphere in this space. Wood is also versatile and can work with most interior design styles and colour schemes.

By using wooden furniture throughout the home you will be able to create consistency but allow each room to have its own character through wall colour, flooring and other decorative items. This is important because each room serves a different purpose so they should differ, but they also need to be tied together for a sleek, professional look.

This is something that you will notice with all the best looking, most welcoming homes that you visit. The key is to pick an interior design style in tune with your taste and house type, and then ensuring this style is present in each area of the home.

Image credit: farmhouse-furnishings.co.uk

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5 Space Saving Storage Ideas for Apartment Living

Posted by on Jul 20, 2014 in Home Design Ideas, Home Furniture, How To's | 0 comments

When living in an apartment, you often don’t have the luxury of extra space. In what seems like an instant, your living space can become extremely cluttered and unmanageable. If you live in an apartment and feel like you have run out of space, consider these space-saving ideas.

Consider Binning Style Shelving

Binning style shelving is particularly useful in kitchens. You can use them as make-shift pantries, as additional pantry space or to house a live herb garden. You can get as creative as you’d like. Plastic display bins and brackets can be purchased from storage specialists like Elbowroom, and can be customised to fit your apartment.

Invest in Storage Shelves

storage, storage ideas

Wall-mounted shelves

There are a variety of storage shelves on the market today made from materials such as wood, plastic and metal. Metal shelving, while looking quite industrial, can look very modern and chic in an apartment. You can use your shelving to hold books, ornaments, DVDs, video games and other bric-a-bracs, which tend to litter your clean surfaces. If you don’t have room for standing shelves, you may want to consider wall-mounted shelves. (image credit: downsizemyspace.com)

Utilise all Surfaces

No matter how small an apartment is, there is always unutilised wall space. The best way to make use of this wall space is by using hooks and brackets that mount the wall. You can hang just about anything on your walls. In the kitchen you can hang kitchen utensils, in the study you can hang charger cables, and in your bedroom you can hang jewellery and accessories. Of course any metal surfaces, such as a fridge, metal shelving units or even metal behind your wall, can also be used to hang things if you buy magnetised hooks.

Make Furniture Serve Double Duty

When you are living in an apartment you often can’t afford to have all the furniture you want. For example, in your bedroom, you may only be able to fit one bedside drawer or none at all. This is where you can get creative. Ensure that every piece of furniture serves a dual purpose. For example, have a large chunky piece of artwork that can fold down and become a dining table, and have an ironing board that can fold away when not in use. If you have pets, find a way of incorporating storage around their pet houses or stash your pet’s bowls in a bottom of a drawer, so you can easily stow them out of the way, but are still accessible to your pet when rolled

Create Storage in Seats and Couches

storage seats, space saving ideas, storage, storage ideas

Storage seats

While some seating is necessary, it is more efficient if your seats and couches also have storage space. These days you can buy barstools, chairs and couches that have in-built storage inside them or underneath them. Likewise most ottomans have lift off tops for storage, which is a great place to store books, magazines, CDs and DVDs. (image credit: dezeen.com)

While apartment living can prove difficult, with a little innovation and creativity, you can maximise your apartment’s space. Do you live an apartment? If so, what other things do you do to save room?

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