Posted on: 04-26-2011 at 1:01pm
Check out these energy savings tips from Stream Energy for your home. Energy efficiency saves money. And deregulated energy markets, such as Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland, allow you to shop for the best service. Stream Energy has fixed rate plans to help with your energy savings.
Consumers are constantly looking for ways to save money, especially in today’s economy. Consumers now cut coupons, limit their eating out, drive less and eliminate expenses that are not essential to their day to day living. When considering all these money savings opportunities, don’t forget to add energy savings tips to the list.
These energy savings tips will help you save on your electric bills and show you how to make decisions that will make your energy more efficient. Energy efficiency equals money savings and reduces energy waste to help the environment.
- In a deregulated energy market, choose a company with competitive pricing
- Turn off lights, computers and TVs when not in use
- Turn off air conditioning when you are away from home at work or for an extended length of time
- Turn down your thermostat just 1° to save up to 10% on your annual heating bill
- Replace older doors and windows to prevent air leakage
- Repair any leaky duct systems
- Have an energy audit or analysis completed on your air conditioner
- Keep air vents and doors open. Closing those increases air pressure and can damage your duct system
- Install a programmable thermostat to keep your home cool or warm when it needs to be
- Use fluorescent light bulbs with the “Energy Star” label
- Use power strips for home electronics, and turn power strip off when not in use
- Set hot water thermostat at 120°F
- Take shorter showers
- Choose appliances with the “Energy Star” label
- Only wash full loads of dishes or laundry and air dry
- Utilize energy savings window treatment or window film
- Wash clothes in cold water
- Set refrigerator temperatures between 37 ° F and 40° F
- Change air conditioning filters regularly
- Make sure your house is properly insulated: walls, attic, ceilings, floors and crawl spaces
Following some simple energy savings tips can reduce your annual energy bills by 10 – 20%. Not only do you save money, but you will be helping the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Check your state government to find out if your state has deregulated energy or when your state will be deregulated for additional energy savings. Stream Energy is a deregulated energy provider in Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Posted on: 04-20-2011 at 1:19pm
By Ignite Associate Support Trainer Olin Degge
There’s a story online attributed to Paul Matthews that goes like this:
A man found a cocoon for a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared stuck.
The man decided to help the butterfly and with a pair of scissors he cut open the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. Something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man watched the butterfly expecting it to take on its correct proportions. But nothing changed.
The butterfly stayed the same. It was never able to fly. In his kindness and haste the man did not realize that the butterfly’s struggle to get through the small opening of the cocoon is nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight.
Like the sapling which grows strong from being buffeted by the wind, in life we all need to struggle sometimes to make us strong.
One of the biggest challenges in training, management, and child-rearing is to have the wisdom of knowing when to help, and when we must let others learn by doing. As the butterfly story so aptly illustrates, sometimes helping can actually stunt growth. Brain research has now documented that memory itself is dependent upon an emotional involvement level attached to the facts being learned. Without that element no long-term memory is established.
I was once speaking to one of our Ignite Senior Directors who was a delightful retired school teacher. She would regularly call in and spend 30 minutes to an hour on the phone getting information for her downline Ignite Managing Directors (MDs) because they “had to work and didn’t have time to do it themselves.” One day when I got her on the phone I asked her if she grew up on a farm. She said she had. I asked her if she knew what happened to plants that went directly from the greenhouse into the field. She said that they were weak and tended to die because they weren’t accustomed to the weather. I suggested to her that she was building a “greenhouse downline” because she was helping her MDs do things they should be doing for themselves! Three days later, she called me and proudly announced that she met with all of her MDs and “laid down the law” that they needed to be doing their own research. She found her sales team to be much stronger and productive after that.
In structuring training for your teams, I encourage you to keep these principles in mind. The training structure should make information helpful, accessible, and clear, but also force trainees to emotionally involve themselves in accessing and applying that information in problem-solving. Only when we take this approach do we create learning situations where mature subject matter experts are created who better both our internal organizations and external sales teams.
Posted on: 04-13-2011 at 10:11am
By Stream Energy Director of Market Research Mike Rowley
One of the most confusing subjects for our customers and independent associates alike are the terms Green, Clean and Renewable.
Green is a defined term that may or may not mean clean. In the State of Texas, for instance, Green is a legal term that includes solar, wind, geothermal (using underground heat to create electricity) and Biomass (burning residential waste, farm and dairy waste and manufacturing waste that is not toxic in nature). Biomass green electricity can also come from the burning of tree trimmings and brush. High-efficiency natural gas generators that pollute less than a regulated limit can also be qualified as a “green” generation source.
Clean is generally not a legal term, but it implies that the process for creating electricity creates no pollutants at all.
Renewable is a term used for electricity generation that has a fuel that will never be depleted. Combustible trash from a landfill is considered a fuel source to which we will always have access. In the lumber industry there is an inordinate amount of bark and wood shavings that cannot be used to manufacture other useful products. Burning this waste is considered renewable and green; but because it is burned, it will most likely produce some sort of airborne pollutant, so it does not qualify as clean.
The methodology for green and renewable energy generators to collect on the added value of their product is called the renewable energy credit (REC). When a generator produces electric energy, it sells that energy in the same market as any other generator of electricity. However, green/renewable generation is awarded a REC for every megawatt of power it produces to recognize the cleaner energy it produces. So, every time green or renewable energy is produced, its RECs are sold into a market designed to reward the green/renewable generator for not polluting. Stream Energy purchases these RECs to supply our customers who want a green product so that our customers can feel confident that they are truly making a positive impact on the environment.
Simply put, when you purchase Stream Energy’s green and clean product, you are incentivizing the electricity industry to make electricity with renewable energy sources and to build more green and clean electricity generators to make even more renewable electricity.
Posted on: 04-06-2011 at 10:18am
By Senior Director of Communications Paul Thies
This past weekend, it was Stream Energy’s privilege to host an Easter Egg Hunt for children served by Captain Hope’s Kids.
As you may know, Stream Energy has been a corporate supporter of Captain Hope’s Kids (CHK) for several years now. During the 2010 holiday season, Stream Energy Chairman Rob Snyder kicked off our “A Big Difference Starts Small” campaign with a series of commercials which highlighted the good work done by CHK in meeting the needs of homeless children in the North Texas area.
As part of our ongoing commitment to CHK, we invited many of the children helped by CHK and their families to join Stream Energy employees and our own children at Sandy Lake Park on Saturday, April 2, for an egg hunt, a visit from the Easter Bunny, lunch and more.
As a Stream Energy employee, I can attest that having the opportunity to meet these children who we’ve supported through various initiatives, and being allowed to participate in their lives for part of a weekend, helped us appreciate to an even greater extent the value of doing something good for others.
I asked several of my fellow employees who helped put on this event what they thought, and here is what they had to say:
“I think it was a huge success, and I think everyone had a great time. The kids enjoyed the hunt and they really enjoyed finding money in some of their eggs. Plus, the employees and their families had a good time as well.” – Meka Moore, Loyalty – Quality Assurance
“This event is now classified as my favorite Captain Hope’s Kids event because I got to spend some time with the kids. They were adorable! I originally thought they would be shy or withdrawn, but from the moment they bounced off that bus, they were there to have a good time. I LOVED IT!” – Joanna McQuien, Sr. Manager, IA Compliance & Ad Approval
“I believe that whether you were there on your own or with your little ones it was a lot of fun and truly eye-opening. It is one thing to know that you are providing diapers, Christmas toys or stuffing 2,000 eggs for kids, but to actually see their little faces with huge smiles and grateful parents is another thing. I look forward to the next time Stream Energy can plan another event with Captain Hope’s Kids.” – Zhila Garza, Business Analyst II
“The Easter Egg Hunt was such a great experience for everyone involved. It allowed the employees of Stream Energy to meet the wonderful children that benefit from Captain Hope’s Kids. Getting to see the children and see that we really are making a difference in their lives is an experience that is very uplifting and humbling. It makes all the time and effort given to support Captain Hope’s Kids very well worth it.” – Brian Hale, Internet Communications Editor
“Words can’t express what we experienced on this day. Yes we’ve been very successful with the toy drives and the diaper drive but to see the kids of Captain Hope’s run, play and laugh was truly priceless.” – Gayrelyn Miller, Front Desk Coordinator
Stream Energy would like to especially thank two of our vendor partners for helping us put on this Easter Egg Hunt. Our friends at Bob Lilly Professional Promotions were kind enough to print and donate commemorative T-shirts for the occasion, and our friends at Impact Printing were gracious in supplying commemorative bags for the children to use in gathering Easter eggs.