Energy Bill Busting Tips

Are you dreading your next electricity bill? Starting to worry about how the increases in electricity prices are going to drain your household budget. Well you’re not alone, so here is what you can do to reduce your fiscal stress and your bills.

Most of the time simple and easy common sense measures can cut hundreds of dollars off your bills just by following these steps.

Top Ten Ways to Reduce Your Bills FOR FREE

1. Most people do not realise how much electricity a simple light bulb could be adding to the cost of their electricity bills. Turning off lights when you leave a room will make a significant difference.

2. Try to avoid using the clothes dryer, if the weather is bad purchase a clothes rank that you can use inside.

3. If going on holidays, turn off your electric hot water system at the meter board to avoid the system constantly heating up water when it’s not being used.

4. If you have a peak smart enabled air conditioner you can connect your air-conditioning unit to Tariff 33 – which provides a guaranteed 18 hours of electricity at tariff 33 rates. You may not be able to turn on the system on during peak times, but this could be a good compromise to still enjoy your heating/cooling system without costing the earth. Energex are currently offering $250 reward for split system (peak smart enabled) and $500 reward for ducted systems (peak smart enabled). To see whether your air conditioner is eligible go to the Energex website.

5. An old inefficient pool pump could be costing you up to $640 annually to run on tariff 11. By connect your pool pump to Tariff 33 (if possible) could save you hundreds off your bill. Energex are currently offering a $250 reward for connecting your pool pump to Tariff 33.

6. Turn off additional refrigerators. Have a good think about how much you really use the other fridge. If it’s only for the occasional party switch it off in-between time or if it is to store extra food think whether you really need to stock pile this much as you could be paying a fortune for “just in case you need it”.

7. When running your air conditioner set the temperature to 23 degrees in Summer, as every degree below this will cost you 10% more in running costs (eg. Running at 20 degrees will cost you 30% more than running it at 23 degrees) Or to save more open windows for ventilation rather than turning on the air conditioner in summer time.

8. Use cold water to wash your clothes. With the many washing detergents available today that are made for cold water washing it makes sense to use these rather using your electricity to heat up the water.

9. Once the weather starts to cool down, remember to close any windows that have been left open, use a throw blanket to snuggle up and keep warm whilst watching TV and get out the ugg boots. . If you do turn on the heater, keep the heat in the room you’re in by closing the door.

10. Using low flow showerheads in your shower usually consume less energy and provide the same amount of comfort.

All these free suggestions will reduce your energy usage and your power bills but they do take self discipline and children are often the worst offenders in leaving everything turned on. So if you don’t want to comprise on life style you can still reduce your bills by purchasing energy saving products such as a solar hot water system, solar power system, led lighting, skylights and monitoring systems. If you’d like to find out more visit www.anyenergy.com.au

“Offers Over” – why not just cut to the chase?

If you’ve browsed realestate.com.au recently, you will have seen lots of properties listed as “offers over”. You might be wondering why we do this rather than just applying a fixed price.

Why we do it?
Ultimately “offers over” exposes more people to your property online, if used the right way —let’s not forget that some 90% of our buyer enquiry comes through these channels.

For buyers, realesate.com.au has set price bands when searching (ie: $400k to $450k and $450-$500k). Generally, we recommend using ‘offers over’ when you’re on the cusp of a search band.

For example, if you are aiming for a price of $460k for your home. We would list it as ‘offers over $450k’ on realesate.com.au – your property will display for buyers browsing the $400-$450k price range as well as those browsing $450-$500k.

This exposes your property to more people and gets more people to your open (people who may not have considered your property before). Even if the price is slightly out of their price range – they showed up! It’s your agent’s job from there!

We recently listed a duplex in Fitzgibbon as “offers over $300k”, a move designed to encourage a larger subset of buyers to visit the property. The home sold for $315k—an impressive figure given that the highest previous sale for a similar home in the area was $290k!

Misuse of ‘offers over’…
In my experience many agents use ‘offers over’ to avoid the uncomfortable price discussion with their owners. It’s a way for them to list the house at what they (the agent) think it’s worth without agreeing on a clear price expectation with the owner.

Can you make an offer under on an ‘offers over’ property?

Our agents will always have a firm price that the owner is expecting. After all, the first question at the open is ‘how much’?

Buyers should have the capacity to buy at or above the price indicator. Although they can open negotiations with a lower price, almost always the property will sell at or above the indicator.

When we don’t use it…
It’s not effective if your price expectation is not in line with the market.

It’s also not as effective if your ‘offers over’ price sits in the middle of a search band. A property listed as “offers over $420k” will only display for buyers searching $400k-450k”. Of course there may be some exceptions here, but this is a common mistake many agents make!

And last but not least, ‘offers over’ pricing is also useful for auctions or when agents are a little unsure on the market value (ie: for a unique property).

So if we recommend “offers over” on your next houses for sale Aspley rest assured and take it in your stride!

To view property Aspley visit our web site. To find out more about Justin Watt, owner of Watt Realty and previous owner of Harcourts Aspley click here.

Good Reasons to Install Solar Power in Your Brisbane Home

Utility bills are driving many homeowners in Brisbane to the wall. You can spend so much on electricity to keep your home up and running that you feel like you need another cost effective alternative. If you are on the verge of giving up on electricity altogether, maybe it is high time you considered something new. Have you ever thought of installing solar power. Brisbane has the perfect climate to produce maximum solar benefits. Have you ever thought of installing solar power Brisbane?

For a start, solar power is an affordable way to reduce power consumption. Solar power is generated from radiation from the sun. The initial cost of installing solar power Brisbane can be somewhat high. However, even the cost of installation has gone down over the years as there are many great products to choose from in the market. You will receive extensive warranties when buying your solar panel so you are certainly confident that the investment will be worthwhile.

Other than reducing the cost of utility bills, solar energy is also cost effective in the sense that it is basically free. Once you invest in the installation and maintenance of the solar power Brisbane all you have to do is to enjoy your free energy.

Solar power is also an environmentally friendly option to generate your own power. Solar does not emit any green house gases, smoke or any chemical by products.

You can decide to rely solely on solar or connect it with your electricity system. This means that even the people who are living in rural areas can benefit from solar energy. This way, you will avoid the frequent power cuts let alone the high cost of installing power in remote areas.

By installing solar power Brisbane, you will be contributing to the efforts of saving our eco system. The mining of fossil fuels is slowly depleting our natural resources. This is why the government is giving rebates to people who have installed solar power in their homes.

If you need solar power Brisbane, it is important to contact the right installer. There are companies in Brisbane which specialize in the installation and maintenance of solar power. Make this change and you will certainly enjoy the outcome.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options

Plantar fasciitis is extremely common affecting around 10% of the adult population at some time in life. Commonly plantar fasciitis is associated with heel spurs however on x-ray only 50% of patients with plantar fasciitis have evidence of calcification through the heel (DiMarcangelo, 1997).

Commonly plantar fasciitis symptoms start as an awareness or ache in the morning. Relief treatment can be quite simple at this time however if it is left, these symptoms will often slowly progress to pain that significantly impacts quality of life.

When targeting plantar fasciitis symptoms your practitioner will guide you through the best strategy or combination of strategies to help relieve and control your individual pain. At Body Leadership Australia we recommend a multimodal approach utilising a number of different treatment options.

Soft Tissue Release
Tightness of the muscles surrounding the foot have been found to pull hard enough on the bones that they alter the natural shape of the foot and ankle often leading to plantar fasciitis pain. Accordingly, release techniques and stretching of the lower limb muscles can have an effect on decreasing symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis.

Stretching
Strategic stretching of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon or on the plantar fascia itself can decrease pain associated with plantar fasciitis. You should get a program tailored to your individual needs.

Orthotics
Orthotics can help to relieve the effects of plantar fasciitis. Changing the weight load through the foot can allow the inflammatory response to settle by supporting the foot appropriately.

Night Splints (Strassburg Sock)
The use of a night splint can reduce recovery time compared to the same protocol utilising standing stretches through the calf.

Cortisone
Cortisone was always a last resort due to potential complications and pain post injection. Now with ultrasound guidance outcomes have improved and we see them used more effectively. Cortisone options can be discussed with your health care professional.

Surgery
A number of studies found 75% to 95% of patients had long term improvement as measured by various criteria. Up to 27% of patients still had significant pain, up to 20% had some activity restriction, and up to 12% had moderate pain that impaired function (Brown et al., 1999; Davies et al., 1999; Fishco et al., 2000). Surgical options are always a last resort.

Once your pain is treated and controlled it is important to understand your individual factors that predispose you to plantar fasciitis which can be explained by your physiotherapist. You can then be taught a home program to release tension, particularly through the calf as well as the foot to nip problems in the bud. This can also be optimised using home exercises to improve strength for better control of your biomechanics long term.

If you, your friend or family member suffer from plantar fasciitis please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly Brisbane sports physiotherapists on 07 3847 8040. Our Brisbane sports physios can also provide treatment from our Brisbane Sports Physiotherapy practice.

The cleaning wonder that is clove oil

Clove Oil has been commonly known as a pain reliever in the medical world. With its natural analgesic property, it has been used to ease toothache, muscle tension and even skin irritations. Despite its reputation as a healing extract, people are finding more ways to use it beyond its usual purpose.

Today, Clove Oil is also considered as a good household cleaning agent. Here are a few ways to make use of the cleaning wonders of Clove Oil -

Mould Removal – moulds make bathroom and sink tiles look dirty and aged. Killing moulds is a breeze by creating a simple mixture of water, Clove Oil and perfume oils. Just spray on and let it do the rest. Moulds drop off in no time while giving the bathroom a fresh scent. In the recent Queensland floods clove oil was used extensively by householders to remove mould from walls.

Metal Polisher – Clove Oil is effective for cleaning dust and dirt in metals while keeping its luster on.

Odor eliminator – a simple heating of scented clove oils can get rid of unpleasant odors within the house.