June 19, 2017 by Sarah Frans

Why More Homeowners Are Moving Towards Greener Habits

The Rise of Green Technology

In the past 10 years, the rise of ecofriendly technologies has grown at a greater rate than we have ever seen. Both individuals and corporations are beginning to understand how investing inpascal-frei-58520 small green initiatives, like recycling and composting, energy conservation, energy-efficient office or home equipment, and water-saving devices are small examples of moving towards a smaller carbon footprint while saving money in the process. This lifestyle shift has gone from simply being a habit change to make you feel better about how you impact the planet, to becoming a financial savings trick that overtime saves you big.

 

Financial Savings

As the expectations for newer technology rises, the demand for electricity rises with it. The average American household currently uses 901 Kwn per month and more than 300 gallons of water per day. Just think of how many devices are running on electricity in your home at any given time… The number will surprise you! Not only would the implementation of green home improvement lead to a less guilty conscious, but the return on investment on lower monthly energy bills will end up paying for itself in no time.

 

Ways to Save

There are so many small investments that will lead to saving in the long run, both in water conservation and saving on electricity. Investing in reusable objects like blog2Tupperware instead of using plastic bags, bringing reusable grocery bags to the store (often there is a 5-cent discount for using one), composting for fertilizer, and low-energy lighting, are all simple ways that will allow you to start saving in small amounts which will pay off in the long run.

 

Although these are easy for everyone accomplish, in the end, the real savings come from making big household investments like solar powered heaters, investing in a solar company to create asolar-panels-1477987_1280 custom solar energy design perfect for your household, or even small wind turbines. Larger investments like these can save you an average of almost $1,000 per year. According to a study by Forbes, homeowners who install modern solar panels can and often recover nearly all their investment costs after a prolonged period of use or if they end up selling the property.

 

Increase Resale Value

Alongside the energy and financial saving of using larger investment technology, having these utilities is a huge perk for those looking to sell their homes. A national US Department of Energy study found that the resale value of houses increased $4 for every solar watt that was installed. That means that if you’ve installed a 5kW solar energy system into your home, you could possibly increase the resale value by as much as $20,000. As more and more green technology becomes accessible, the motivation to add them to existing households surpasses both moral and social incentives, but boils down to the overall large financial gains.

Save on Taxes

Because going green is becoming a larger cultural fad, the U.S. government is jumping on the bandwagon by encouraging taxpayers to adopt energy-efficient practices for a reward. By using products that pass the Energy Star test, homeowners can get a tax credit of up to 30 percent of the cost of these products. That means that a $5,000 renovation could be reduced to $3,500 after a refund if you were to qualify. The same concept applies to larger investments like solar panels and wind turbines, the only difference being that with a large investment, comes a larger return. A project that costs upwards of $50,000 could be lowered to $35,000.

 

So… What Should You Do?

The ability to save money though investing in green technology is undeniably a proven success. Small investments like reusable products instead of disposable ones are an easy way to start saving small amounts of money that will add up in the long run. Bigger investments like solar panels obviously will cost more to implement, but with tax refunds, energy savings, and larger resale value of your home, the perks of investing big far out way the small.

More and more homeowners are moving to reduce their carbon footprint both for moral and social purposes as well as financial. With easier access to green technologies, the benefits of jumping on the bandwagon far outweigh the negative. At this rate of technological growth, green technological adaptation will soon be easier than ever for anyone to participate in.

January 25, 2015 by Kim Laporte

Are Consumers’ Privacy At Risk On Government Healthcare Site?

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The Reason Behind The Creation Of HealthCare.gov

The website was created in order to follow suit the new healthcare program of the government. This serves as a portal to offer to the people who do lack healthcare coverage on their job, a government subsidized insurance. Healthcare.gov serves to a total of 37 states. The other states are operating their very own market for insurance.

There are millions of individuals who sign up in accordance with the healthcare law. Others also use the site in order to browse around and check for various insurance plans within their communities.

The Release of Personal Info Triggers Privacy Concern

doctor with male patientThere have been reports from AP that personal details of consumers were being sent off to third party companies. These companies specialize in the field of advertising and marketing.  What is even daunting is that information such as the income, age, ZIP code, if a woman is pregnant, and if people uses tobacco. Consumers were alarmed and demanded something needs to be done before things come to worst.

Then, on Friday it has been noted the government had already made some changes in order to lessen the release of personal information outside the site. Right before the move has been done – the government site in silence, sending off personal data towards third-party websites.

Healthcare.gov Should Be Trusted?

Having third party sites incorporated into HealthCare.gov raises questions such as what it sees, what is the purpose of it, etc. What it cannot see is a consumer’s full name, SS number, and birthdate. This can be a very lucrative way of dealing business. The mere fact that it can help sites like Facebook and Google as well as other companies to customize their ads to fit a consumer’s interest is one thing to be cautious about.

What-will-my-new-health-insurance-plan-coverWhat else these companies do know about you? It can be quite scary. How much more knowing that personal information have been getting out from the website towards third parties? Who would want to have that?

The government has taken its first step by reducing the flow of such personal data. This means they are not going to stop there. Privacy advocates are even stressing out to do more about it. Privacy issue like this should not be left behind the shadow and be forgotten. It is a huge thing and needs to be looked at a much greater perspective.

Personal information from millions of consumers around the country being given away without their consent should be stopped. This should not be tolerated by anyone in the government. Or else, this will create a trust issue between the government and the people.

What Now?

Way back 2013 the website in itself has faced technical issues. Right within this year there is a huge improvement and the site works even better now. However, the occurrence of this privacy issue serves as an eye-opener to everyone that the site is still on its way of improving itself. The government works closely in order to give the best service to the people. Amidst this controversy, one thing is for sure everything is indeed a work in progress.

As a consumer, it is incumbent upon us to make sure the government is transparent, sees any loopholes if any, and act upon on issues immediately. Before things get to worst and it can cause a huge damage to the entire country.

What do you think the government needs to do in order to protect us – the consumers from this kind of issue? If you have anything to share, do drop us a line!

 

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