Why Do I Have Such High Energy Bills?

Why Do I Have Such High Energy Bills?

Whether you pay your energy bills monthly or yearly, the last thing you want is for those bills to remain constantly high or even to increase out of control. Unfortunately, the post-pandemic work arrangements have affected our energy consumption at home. Ultimately, if you’ve been working from work since the start of the pandemic, it’s fair to say that your daily consumption has increased. You need to consider the cost of heating or cooling the house, lighting, potential cooking lunch and working with your laptop during the day. In other words, you can expect your bills to be already a few hundreds dollars  above the average 2019 bill. 

However, there may be another explanation for your unexpected energy expenses.

1.  Your Metre is faulty

Your energy provider tracks your consumption via a meter system. Some providers still take frequent manual readings, while others prefer remote sensors and reading. Abnormally high readings or a sudden increase in consumption based on your electric metre could be caused by a faulty system. If the metre is faulty, the reading will be affected, and you might receive a high bill. You can ask your energy provider to check your consumption against other measurements or get the reader checked for issues. You can also reach out to professional electricians for this task; you will need level 2 electricians who can handle electric metres and proceed to a replacement. 

2.  Your home needs better insulation

Your home insulation plays a significant role in energy management. Indeed, you can learn from a DIY manual how to replace old insulation systems if they do not contribute to regulating the temperature inside your home. Typically, areas that have insulation weaknesses tend to get cold to the touch in winter. They include walls, ceiling, and floor if you have a basement. Most homeowners assume that windows are the main cause of heat loss in winter. In reality, your home loses 30% of its heated air through poorly insulated walls and roofs.

3. You waste energy without knowing

Heating and cooling your home represents 40% of your energy use, followed by appliances which use 33% and water heating, which requires 21%. Appliances that are not energy-efficient could be using more energy than necessary. Poor thermostat use is also a common issue with energy waste. If you set your thermostat too high in winter, the heating system works hard to reach the temperature. Overheating your home could dry out the indoor air. Did you know that when your indoor air loses too much moisture, it affects your temperature perception? When the air gets too dry, your home feels cooler, which means you heat it even more. 

4.  You need to step down on gadgets

As mentioned, appliances could be a source of high expenses. However, gadget-loaded households also accumulate unnecessary high bills. Tech gadgets can be energy vampires. Unfortunately, many households have a tech-heavy entertainment system. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying technology and relaxing with your favourite gadgets, sometimes having too many tech options means that you are paying for plugged-in items you barely use. 

In conclusion, abnormally high energy bills could be a sign that your home is wasting energy or recording a high energy consumption. Getting to the bottom of the problem will save costs. But it can also help protect the environment by proactively reducing your carbon footprint. 

best,

– a contributed post

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Managing The Costs Of Your Medication

Managing The Costs Of Your Medication

There are some costs that you might think you shouldn’t aim to reduce too much, lest they impact your quality of life too much. Some people take this approach to medication but, the truth is that there may be ways to cut down on how much you’re spending on the medicine you take but while still ensuring the same level of self-care.

1.  Consider generic alternatives

Prescription medication can often be one of the worst offenders when it comes to the inflating costs of health care. However, when you’re prescribed a medication, not taking it is not going to help your health at all, in most cases. You may be able to fight the costs by looking at generic alternatives. Generic medication is required to have the same active ingredients as any medication that bears the same same. There are some differences in very specific cases, as MedicineNet outlines, and often the delivery ingredients can change, meaning that some take effect sooner rather than later or vice versa, but in many cases, generic medication can cost less but be equally as effective.

2.  Always check if there are cheaper options available

Regardless of what type of medication you go for, be it branded or generic, you might be able to save money on them simply by taking more time to look for them in more places. Different pharmacies offer different prices, after all. Sometimes, medication may be up to twice as expensive in one location as another, and websites like Pharmacy Checker can help you see not just the availability of certain medications in spots near you, but their current pricing, too.

3. See if you can grow it yourself

There are some herbal treatments that can offer relief for certain conditions. Perhaps the most well-known of these is the growing use of medical marijuana. Now, how much you can rely on this tip depends largely on the legality in your area, but with the help of accessories like a Nextlight, growing your own supply in your home may be a plausible option, meaning that you don’t have to spend as much at your local dispensary. Again, this all depends on whether use and self-growing are legal where you live, first and foremost.

4.  Consider larger doses and larger supplies

If you’re going to be taking more than a single box of prescription meds because you’re likely to be treating the same condition beyond that single box’s continents, then buying a single dose can see you paying less in general. Buying in bulk always decreases the price. Just make sure you don’t buy more than you will ever need. Similarly, buying larger dose medication can be more cost-effective, and you might be able to split larger pills into smaller ones to make sure you’re getting your correct dose. This does not apply to all medications, so check with your doctor, first.

If you’re ever concerned about the effectiveness of any of the recommendations above, then you should talk to your doctor first and foremost. In fact, you should talk to them about just about any medication changes you’re thinking of making.

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– a contributed post

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When Should You File A Workplace Claim

When Should You File A Workplace Claim

As an employee, you have certain legal rights. These are designed to protect you from any employer behavior that could cause you harm. 

Such legal protections include:

  • The right not to be discriminated against because of your color, gender, religion, sexuality, age, and disability
  • The right to a workplace that is free of harassment
  • The right to be paid a minimum wage
  • The right to work in a safe workplace

But what happens when your legal rights have been breached? Should you sit back and do nothing for the sake of a quiet life? Or should you file a workplace claim against your employer?

Well, there are a number of stages you should go through.

1.  Check your employment rights

We listed a few of your employment rights but there is more detail in this article on federal laws that protect employees. It’s worth reading and other articles like it because you want to make sure you have a case before starting a lawsuit. The whole process can be quite stressful, especially if you have to stay in your place of employment for the duration, so you don’t want to start something that might end in failure. 

There are certain situations where you should be encouraged to file a workplace claim. Such instances can include:

  • Being passed over for promotion for potentially discriminatory reasons
  • Being unlawfully terminated
  • Suffering an injury or illness because of health and safety issues in the workplace
  • Harassment, be that sexual or otherwise
  • Being asked to do something illegal by your employer

This list doesn’t cover every situation but after finding out about the laws that protect your rights, you will know what is and isn’t acceptable.

2.  Speak to your employer

This might not be something you want to do alone so bring along a friend, colleague, or union representative if you need backup and moral support.

A discussion with your employer might resolve the issues you are having. This might be the case if there are disputes over your wage rights, for example, or if you believe they are bullying you. As most employers want to avoid legal tangles, they might listen to your argument and act accordingly for your best interests. In some cases, it might be that they need reminding of the laws that exist and in others, the threat of a lawsuit could be enough to scare them into compliance. 

When speaking to your employer, stick to the facts, talk to them respectfully, and give them a chance to explain themselves. If things are then resolved, you might not decide to go any further.

Of course, you might need to skip this step if it is too late for your employer to do anything. We are thinking of instances where you have already suffered a workplace injury. Or, in a worst-case scenario, when you have fallen ill because of poor workplace conditions. An illness could be stress-related, for example, or it could be something life-threatening. Mesothelioma, an asbestos-related disease, is one possibility. In such instances, you should definitely contact the relevant legal team, such as the folks at this mesothelioma law firm.  

You might also ignore this step if you feel you cannot talk to your employer or if they refuse to talk to you. 

If things are not resolved at this stage, the next step is advised.

3. Gather evidence

If you’re going to make a workplace claim, you will need to document the problems you are having. This can act as evidence for your case. 

So, take note of conversations and events that matter to your case, including the time, date, and names of people who were present at each situation. Gather other information that can help you, such as emails from your employer, written testimony from witnesses, company policies, and medical reports if applicable. 

Be careful, however. You should only collect documents that you are legally allowed to have access to. So don’t try to take or photocopy confidential documents, even if they are related to your issue, as you could compromise your claim.

4.  Consider legal action

After collecting the evidence you need, you have the right to seek legal advice. A lawyer will work with you on your workplace claim, and they will work to get the compensation you are owed. In most cases, the claim will go to an employment tribunal instead of court, and your employer might even try to settle with you before the case goes any further. 

Before filing the claim, ask yourself these questions.

  • Do I have a good enough claim?
  • Can I afford the legal costs?
  • What are my chances of success?

Your lawyer will discuss these questions with you at your first consultation, so listen to the advice they give you. If you do have a strong case, and you are able to afford the legal fees, go ahead with the workplace claim. Hopefully, you will emerge victoriously!

best,

– a contributed post

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5 Tips for Effectively Decluttering Your Home

5 Tips for Effectively Decluttering Your Home

Living in a cluttered home environment can be deeply stressful and frustrating in a variety of different ways – even if you wouldn’t necessarily think so at first glance.

Whenever we allow our living spaces to become highly cluttered, disorganised, and chaotic, we inevitably put ourselves in a situation where our own sense of comfort and harmony in our surroundings is compromised – and where we accumulate a significantly greater amount of more or less subconscious stress, as a result of never quite feeling as though things are the way they should be.

It’s no doubt for these reasons – at least in part – that there has been such an explosion in the popularity of different cleaning, decluttering, and home-organising methodologies, ranging from the “Konmari” method of Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo, to various forms of minimalism.

Of course, actually decluttering your home is often easier said than done – especially when it comes to getting the decluttering process carried out as smoothly and effectively as possible, so that it has the best chance of lasting for a prolonged period of time.

Here are a few tips for effectively decluttering your home, in a way that is likely to have a real impact.

1.  Listen To Your Gut

One approach to decluttering your home is to try and be as rational as possible, and to simply throw out everything that doesn’t have a direct practical function. When it comes down to it, though, this is likely to be a pretty terrible approach to take, since, as human beings, we all rely a lot on emotional connections and intuitions in our day-to-day lives.

This is probably one of the reasons why Marie Kondo’s method is popular – because it relies on the basic principle that you should only throw out those items in your home that don’t cause you to feel a “spark of joy” when you hold them in your hands.

The idea is to go through all of your belongings, category by category, holding each item in your hands before deciding whether to keep it or let it go. Although you should probably throw a bit of practical decision-making in their too – you don’t want get rid of all of your clothes and kitchen utensils at once because they don’t cause you to feel “spark of joy” – the idea of listening to your gut intuition when decluttering is likely to be a good one.

When all is said and done, the point of the decluttering exercises is to make you feel happier and more empowered in your home. So pay attention to what “feels right.”

2.  Look for ways to minimize waste when getting rid of clutter

Often, people are put off decluttering their homes because of how wasteful the process can feel – And it certainly might feel wasteful if you end up throwing or eye bags and bags of old clothes, books, and other items into the trash.

In order to minimise this kind of waste – and to feel better about the process, while also doing some good – look for ways to “get rid of” household clutter and debris, that is a bit more nuanced.

Finding out where to take scrap metal for cash, For example, not only allows you to do a kind of recycling, but it also allows you to win a bit of extra cash as a result of the entire decluttering process, which is certainly not a bad thing.

Other options can include donating all clothes to collection banks, giving all but still functional appliances to charity shops, and so on.

3. Aim to do it all in one go, to the best of your ability

Getting an entire home decluttering job done “in one go” may seem virtually impossible depending on the size of your home, and the amount of stuff you’ve accumulated. All the same, it’s a really good idea to try and get the process done as quickly as possible – ideally over a weekend, or a week at a push.

The problem with going through a decluttering process over a longer period of time, is that you will inevitably end up accumulating more clutter, and having things end up “out of place” as a natural result of everyday life – meaning that it is very likely that your decluttering process will be completely stalled long before it can be completed.

Getting the whole decluttering process done as quickly as possible can also be a bit like pulling a Band-Aid off quickly, rather than slowly. It can reduce a lot of the second-guessing and procrastination that might otherwise arise, and be a real issue.

4.  Take steps to address the root causes of why the clutter accumulated in the first place

If you end up in a really cluttered living space, where it feels as though nothing is properly balanced, and where the situation is a long way from “harmonious,” it’s important to think about how you ended up in that situation in the first place.

Did the mess and clutter end up accumulating because you just didn’t have a good cleaning rota or schedule in place to ensure that everything was packed away neatly on a regular basis?

Or, you just end up accumulating too much stuff that you didn’t really care for very much, because you are using compulsive spending as a way to try and deal with boredom, or other frustrations in your life?

If you can tackle some of the root causes of why the clutter first accumulated, there is a much better chance that you’ll be able to keep it away over the long term.

5.  Create a home environment that is positive and life-affirming – that you are more motivated to keep tidy

If you can create a home environment that is as positive and life-affirming as possible, there is a good chance that you will simply feel more motivated to keep a tidy home environment, automatically.

Of course, it’s worth pointing out that there is a bit of Catch-22 here– since one of the best ways of making your home feels more positive in this way is to actually give it a good declutter and tidy.

best,

– a contributed post

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Let Your Business Efficiency Soar

Let Your Business Efficiency Soar

Want to make the most of every minute that you can within your business? Of course, you do! However, unless we can make more minutes in the day, you will find that you soon lose track of time. Or that tasks you need to do take longer and have a knock-on effect on the rest of the tasks that you need to complete.  

This means that one of the key business skills that you need to learn (and hopefully have in any team that works with you) is efficiency.

Being time efficient can be hard to do; however, there are plenty of ways to maximise your time and your output. Want to know more? Here are some great ways to let your business efficiency soar. 

Always think about how you can improve

If you stop trying to improve your business, then you might as well give up. No matter how well you think you are doing as a business, there will always be room for improvement. These improvements could be something huge, or they could be something smaller. The main thing to focus on is that you can make things better, change things to make processes flow quicker, and tasks that you do regularly go much faster too.   

Automate where you can

When it comes to running a business, a variety of tools are there to help make things run quicker, run better, and be easier to manage. This is known as automation, and there are several tools out there that will help make life and business that little bit easier from bookkeeping apps to real estate appraisal review tools. It might seem scary at first, automating things and giving over control, but we can promise you that it is definitely worthwhile doing this for the future of your business and your time too.  

Have daily check-ins

Whilst you don’t want to micro-manage any staff you have, keeping on top of tasks and making sure that everyone is in the loop can really help efficiency within your business. Not only does it allow for people to plan for what is coming up, but it also helps staff members to share ideas, knowledge and ways to make things that little bit easier for you all.  

These don’t have to be long; they can sometimes just be 5 minutes; the main idea is that you are simply checking in with one another. 

Work on morale

If you have staff working for you and noticed a dip in their performance, then the chances are that they have also had a drop in their morale. Low morale means that people just don’t want to try for their business, which means that tasks that can be done quickly and efficiently start to take longer and longer.  

If you have noticed that this is true for your business, you will need to take steps to make sure that you work on bringing the morale up. There are several ways that you can do this, including offering incentives or simply recognising hard work. By doing this, you show that you appreciate everything that your employees do and then, in turn, help them improve their morale. 

Delegate where you can

Want to make sure that you get things done right in your business? Are you the type of person who tries to do everything themselves? You may think that this is the best approach (as you know what you are doing right), but it can actually have the opposite effect. If you try to do too much yourself, you will get bogged down, which means that you won’t be focusing on what needs to be done, not taking the time to do it properly or even getting distracted and taking too long on that one task. 

It is a much better idea to think about where these key tasks are better allocated. Find people that you trust and ask them to take on that work. Not only does this help you by freeing up your time, but it also shows that employees that value them and that you trust them to take control properly.  

As you can see, there are many ways to make sure that your business is as efficient as it can be. Not only does this help to improve customer satisfaction and the overall customer experience when they use you, but it also helps to make the most of all the time you have in your business. 

This extra time can then be used in a way that will help your business succeed and grow, becoming the thing that you dream of it being.

best,

– a contributed post

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