Saving Money and Energy

OK, so you’ve decided that in future, when you make purchases, you’re going to put your “green head” on, and think about energy. But how?

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Photo: subterraneous

Your local electrical retailer may not be the best place to get advice about energy-saving appliances. To them, it may still be a specialised market with a growing but still relatively small demand.

And when you shop for a new car, the second-hand dealer down the road may have a couple of hundred models, but does he know how fuel-efficient they are? Unlikely.

It pays to do your research online before you reach for your credit card.

Talk to most people and they’ll tell you it’s pretty standard that, if you want to buy a product that’s more energy-efficient than its competitors, there will be a cost implication. Whether it’s a 22 inch LCD TV or one of the latest fridge freezers, you may have to fork out an extra 10 per cent over an above what you would otherwise be paying – that’s the common wisdom.

Fine, so you know that your planet will thank you, and in the long run so will your bank account.

But wait, it’s not so simple. Sure, if you go to one individual electrical retailer’s website the choice of energy-efficient products may be limited, and pricey. But there are many price comparison websites where you can shop around and ensure you get the best deal.

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Photo: berkeleylab on Flickr

It’s best to identify, in the first place, the product that most suits your needs. If you want to buy an electric car, that information’s readily available in auto magazines or on thousands of websites. If you are looking for a solar panel heater for your outdoor pool, on the other hand, try Googling relevant search terms and you’ll be directed to relevant products.

You’ll find that manufacturers have lots of information about energy-saving products on their websites, to help you determine just how green they are.

Right, so you know what it is you want to buy. Now it’s just a case of entering the specific product name into a search engine or visiting a price comparison website.

They will tell you how much the product costs with each online retailer, including postage or delivery, so you’ll know the final price you have to pay.

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