Understanding Your Electricity Bill

There are two parts to your electric bill - supply and delivery. But what else gets factored into it?

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Quick & Easy Fix For Those With Recessed Lighting & Looking for LED options

Do you have recessed lighting and are looking for LED lighting options? Here is a quick, easy, and inexpensive retrofit kit.

Do you have recessed lighting in your home and looking transition to LED lighting?  Here is a quick, easy  and affordable  option for you.

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Before The Power Outage. A Shopping List.

Remember Christmas of 2013? At one time or another more than 300,000 New Englanders were without power. So before the storm hits head out and collect a few things. We've got your pre-storm-pre power outage shopping list.

Do you remember what happened around Christmas of 2013? More than 200,000 of us lost power at one time or another. We don’t want to talk about the ice storm of 1998. Lets face it, across New England we see our share of power outages.

A couple of days we can handle, but going much longer can, well, be stressful. To ease the pain of a power outage, we’ve put together a pre-storm shopping list for you.

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Power Outages & Food Storage. What you need to Know.

When it comes to storing food, we’re all pretty good at it. We know the basics. When something starts to smell, throw it away. It’s common sense, right? But what about when there is a power outage for extensive periods of time…what do we do then?

When it comes to storing food, we’re all pretty good at it. We know the basics. When something starts to smell, throw it away. It’s common sense, right? But what about when there is a power outage for extensive periods of time…what do we do then? Although most power outages occur in the winter, they can really happen at any time of the year, so it’s best to be prepared. How do we keep nutritious foods such as produce and meat fresh so they don’t go to waste? Never fear – we’ve got you covered! Just follow this handy food safety guide for when the power goes out.

What Do You Need?

Coolers

Make sure to have plenty of them around the house in case the power outage is prolonged. Even the inexpensive Styrofoam ones will do the trick!

storing food in a cooler

Non-Perishable Food Items

I’m sure you want to still be able to eat during a power outage, right? Keep canned foods on stock so you can have those. These can even be consumed cold or heated on the grill. Want homemade canned goods or don’t have the time or “know how” to prepare them on your own? Try a Winter’s Farmer’s Market to support local growers and farms even in the winter.  Usually they have a delicious selection of fresh, homemade canned items.

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Bags of Ice

Of course, with coolers you’ll want ice to put in them to keep the perishable food cold.

Isolated shot of bag of ice

Snow

When worst comes to worst and you find that the power will not be coming back any time, use your resources! Grab a snow bank and drop your frozen food and refrigerator food in that for a while. It will be kept cold (or frozen, depending on temperatures and how you place it) and you can get outside to enjoy the fresh air!

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What Should You Do?

Refrigerator/Freezer

Keep refrigerator and freezer closed, especially if it’s only half full. Food in the fridge can stay good at a temperature of 40 degrees of below, so the less we open it the longer food will stay cool. Freezer items can also stay frozen for a day or two, depending on how full it is and how frequently it’s opened.

Put Ice around items in fridge if outage is prolonged

If the outage lasts a while and you don’t feel like storing food elsewhere (ahem, outside), those bags of ice will come in handy. Place ice around the food so it stays colder longer.

Store the cooler and other foods outside

If you’re using a cooler with ice to keep food fresh and you live in New England, just stick the whole thing outside! Temperatures in the Northeast are usually below 40 degrees in the winter when most power outages occur.

When In Doubt and Faced with Little Resources….

Build a snow cooler! Dig out a slot in the snow bank for food so it stays cold. Be careful, though…if temps drop considerably during the night, refrigerator food could freeze!

When power finally returns, be sure to check refrigerator for any spoiled foods and dispose of them as soon as possible. Finally, when the storm is over and you’re ready to go outside again, go to the store and buy more fresh food so you don’t have to live off of canned goods anymore! For more helpful tips, check out this video from the FDA. As they say… “when in doubt, throw it out!”

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LED Lighting. Saving Money With A Twist of the Bulb.

Recently we addressed some of the questions that people have concerning LED lighting. Is this a fad (like CFL's)? Isn't LED lighting expensive to install? Will the bulbs work in my fixtures? Once again we visited with our friends from The House Of Lights in Scarborough, Maine...this time we try some LED light bulbs in common fixtures around you home. With a simple twist of the bulb, you can conserve energy and save

Recently we addressed some of the questions that people have concerning LED lighting.   Is this a fad (like CFL’s)?  Isn’t LED lighting expensive to install?  Will the bulbs work in my fixtures?

Once again we visited with our friends from The House Of Lights in Scarborough, Maine…this time we try some LED light bulbs in common fixtures around you home.   With a simple twist of the bulb, you can conserve energy and save money.

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LED Lighting Misconceptions

LED Lighting. What are the benefits, misconceptions, and potential pitfalls of LED lighting? We spoke with folks who know a whole lot about LED lighting and asked them to address some of the more pressing questions they are getting.

Residential and business consumers have many questions (and some concerns) about LED lighting. Is this another lighting fad (like CFL’s)? Can you really save money? Will I have to change out my light fixtures?

To help answer those (and many other questions), we visited with one of northern New England’s most respected lighting and design stores, the House of Lights , and asked them to address some of the questions they are hearing.

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How to Actually Save Money During the Holiday Season

The holidays are the most wonderful time of year. This year, you can make them even better and more cost effective by just changing a few simple things!

I’m not sure about you, but for me, it feels like the months of November and December are the two busiest months out of the entire year. They are spent shopping for gifts, attending family functions, planning, and decorating. All of this can take a huge toll on our wallet, and for most, can leave us feeling stressed out and tight on money.

Don’t get me wrong, the holidays are the most wonderful time of year—we get to celebrate multiple different events, cheat on our diets, and most importantly, spend time with loved ones. With that being said, I am here to give you some tips on how you can save a little bit of cash during the months that take us on a financial roller coaster ride.

What a bright time, it’s the right time…to buy LED Lights

Get rid of those old incandescent light strings—they are sucking up way too much energy! Instead, decorate your house and trees with LED lights. Not only do they consume less electricity, but they are safer (LEDs do not generate as much heat) and last longer.

Find out everything you need to know about the benefits of having LED lights here. Your investment now CAN and WILL add up over multiple winter seasons.

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Self-Timers

Once you have purchased those energy saving LED light strings, I’m guessing you’ll want to decorate your tree and house with them. Let’s be real—no one wants to go outside at night when it’s freezing cold to turn off the holiday lights. It’s easier and more convenient just to leave them on overnight. But, this method is not cost effective. Consider purchasing a self-timer for the lights that would otherwise stay on during the wee hours.

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Use Smaller Appliances As Much As Possible

We all know that the kitchen is where we spend most of our time during the holiday season. Entertaining, eating, cooking, and baking delicious treats for our guests. During this time, the kitchen appliances can be working overtime, which means more electricity usage. Whether you’re having a cookie baking party with friends, or just cooking that big Thanksgiving meal, everything from the electric mixer to the blender can be in use. If possible, try using the smaller appliances to get the cooking done. For example, use the toaster oven instead of the regular oven for baking smaller dishes. Heat things in the microwave if you can, and don’t forget to use the crockpot! Even better—try making food that doesn’t require any baking at all, like these fantastic looking Candy Cane No-Bake Cookies.

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Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire…

Lying next to the fireplace with a hot chocolate is always one of the many joys of winter, right? If you have a fireplace, try heating your living room with that instead of blasting the electric heater. Now that it’s November, the cold weather has arrived for us New Englanders. Since they are predicting another bad winter, start by getting into the habit early. Not only will it be a relaxing activity, but you will not have to worry about the extra costs of a space heater.

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By just changing a few simple things, you will now be spending less on your electricity bill during the holiday season. This can ultimately make time spent preparing for the all those festivities much more enjoyable for you and your family.

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