Energy Audit

Tonight at 11 I have a report on a new technology that can save you $$. It’s called an energy audit. We had one done on our house in New Jersey…where the winters drop below zero and the summers…well they dont get much warmer.

If you’ve ever jacked up the thermostat and

 the house never seems to heat up…this story is for you. I partnered with Tommy Webster from Andrew Consulting Engineers in Wilmington. We did a full thermal scan of a new home. I was pretty surprised to see some of the places that heat leaks out. I’ve also done some research on other ways to save on your energy bill. These include:

1. Ceiling Fans. Heat rises but a fan can help you push that warm air down. During the summer, switch the fan to reverse the direction to pull the warm air up. Just be sure you have it going in the right direction for the right season!

2. Block Unused Rooms. Use vent covers and keep the doors shut in any rooms that are not used regularly.

3. Insolated Curtains.

4. Furnace Check. Have a professional look at how efficiently your furnace is running.

5. Unclog Your Air Filter. Heat systems have to work overtime if the air filter is clogged. Its also a safety hazard. Perform this check yearly.

After you see the story, if you’d like to get in touch with Tommy…here is his contact info:


I’ll be spending this afternoon at the County Commissioner’s work session….RE: solid waste managment. This issue is complicated and ongoing but something HAS to be done to get a handle on the trash around here. For decades we’ve enjoyed putting it on our curb and having it mysteriously disappear when we get home from work.

Out of sight. Out of mind…..WRONG.

What interests me most…at the last meeting where the advisory board presented their recommendations…there was a volley of conversation regarding “biases” on both sides. Things can get murky when private industries come in to bid. I’m looking into what some of those “biases” may be…..if you have some insight..send it my way.

Here’s an article I read this morning. “52 Ways to Make Money Right Now”….if you’re on the job hunt….some of these are a great way to help you make ends meet in the mean time. You cant be too particular right now. Waitressing may be something you think is reserved for 20 year olds….but if I told you that you could get a job with a brief interview…wear jeans to work and have cash in your hand every night when you walked out…would you complain too much? Didn’t think so…’s the list…some commentary included:


52 ways to make extra money

by Karen Datko

Delivering pizzas: If you have a car and a decent driving record, then you qualify for this easy extra-money maker. You’re likely to get some free pizzas, too.

  1. Waiting tables  This is the perfect job for nights and weekends. That’s when all the big tips are made anyway. Pick the nicest place in town.  (I dont agree with her advice here…the nicest place in town is also the most expensive and people cut out fancy dinners FIRST in a bad economy. GO to these restuarants on a Saturday AND  a Monday night…if the place is hopping…you’ve found yourself a money maker.)
  2. Bartending Even better, I think, than waiting tables is tending bar at nights in a busy bar — typically at least $1 for every drink you serve.
  3. Teaching swimming lessons. If you’re a good swimmer, you might be able to pick up a weekend swim-teacher gig at your local recreation center. Keep in mind that some places may require a special certification or that you be a lifeguard.
  4. Car valet. If you hook up with a for-hire car-parking service (the type hired out for fancy neighborhood parties) you can make some nice cash tips in just a few hours at night and on the weekend, when parties are held. (I’ve been a valet and YES its great money…when you are on the West Coast. I doubt that there is enough valet hotels here and enough volume to see much $)
  5. Create Web sites Businesses will pay you to take them online. 
  6. Blogging This isn’t quick money, but you can make decent money with a little luck and a few months of solid, consistent effort. Believe me, it can be tough and a bit time-consuming, but it can be done.
  7. Write an ebook  I hesitate to put this one in here because an ebook by itself usually doesn’t make money unless you’re an excellent marketer. What a great ebook can do, though, is act as a sales lead to one of your other online businesses.
  8. Design Web logos . If you’re good with Photoshop and can work quickly, you could make some decent cash with this online business.
  9. Rewrite poorly written ads. Search the ad listings at eBay and Craigslist for big items like cars. E-mail the seller and offer to rewrite the ad for a 1% commission.  (Hm…if you can ACTUALLY get someone to pay you for this I’d be amazed)
  10. Write reviews  Many Web sites will pay you a little cash to write product reviews. If you’re knowledgeable and can write fast, this may work for you.
  11. CashCrate. There’s some money to be made with CashCrate by completing the free offers, but the real cash comes from the referral program.
  12. Freebie trading . Freebie trading is a real moneymaker. But it takes a special person to master the techniques and be consistent with the process.
  13. Freelance writer. Right now is looking for more writers. Set up an ad and start offering up your fast writing skills.
  14. Sell digital photos  Take nice pictures. Get them up on the Web at a broker or microstock site. Make some money. It’s not as easy as that, but those are the basics.
  15. Sell yourself online (I Wear Your Shirt). Get creative and sell you and your time online in a fresh, new way.
  16. Sell micro ad space online (The Million Dollar Homepage). Start a Web site and sell tiny ads. Can this be duplicated? Or can you take the concept and make it fresh?
  17. Start an online store (Gather Little by Little). Setting up an online store is extremely easy with sites like Amazon, eBay and CafePress. Once you learn how to market that site, you can begin making some cash.
  18. Focus group participant (Paying Off My Future and Bargaineering). Researchers need people to help them develop their results. Become a member of a focus group in your area and get your share of their research funding. Call your local university or museum, or look in your local paper for opportunities.
  19. Sell bottled water (Neville’s Financial Blog and katekashman). Buy bottled water in bulk and sell it for a dollar where there are a ton of people — parks, festivals, concerts, etc.
  20. Sell your body (My Dollar Plan). Not talking about the oldest profession here. I’m talking about your plasma, hair, eggs and sperm.  (Eggs go for a few thousand but be WARNED….the process is hormonally intense and you should really be doing this because you want to help a family)
  21. Have a car wash. Find a business that’s willing to loan you its parking lot and gather up a few friends to wash some cars. Take donations or ask for very little. People usually do this to raise funds for an organization, but there’s no reason you couldn’t do it for the You Foundation.
  22. Cleaning houses. This is a job with flexible hours, but requires a bit of elbow grease. Some households will provide their own cleaning supplies and tools.
  23. Get a 2010 census job (ChristianPF). Work opportunities begin in the spring of 2009.
  24. Sell your baked goods. Are you skilled at a few special recipes? Contract your items out for parties, meetings, etc.
  25. Rent out your truck or van. If I had a truck and needed extra money, this is one of the ways I would do it. Nothing seems much easier to me.
  26. Drive people to the airport. Another good gig for someone with a reliable car and the ability to be on time all the time. Once you have a few happy clients and word gets out, you’ll find you have to turn business away.
  27. Lawn care. I grew up doing this job on the side and loved it. But it’s not just a teenager gig. Obviously better for warmer climates.
  28. Be a mystery shopper (Wise Bread). Get paid to shop and share your experience.
  29. Become a ticket broker. No special permit required. If you know sports or entertainment enough to pick the right events, and have access to purchase the tickets at face or below, then you can use a service like StubHub or Craigslist to resell the tickets for a profit. I’ve done this both out of necessity and just to make some extra money.
  30. Paper route. This job will likely take up only your early-morning hours. You can also search for a paper that comes out only once a week.
  31. Walk dogs. If you love animals and live in an urban area, consider this job.
  32. Pet-sitting. Take dog walking a step further and actually be paid to watch someone’s pet for a few hours or days. This may just entail checking in on the pet a few times a day.
  33. Baby-sitting. If you enjoy kids and are good with them, this can be a fun and easy way to make a little cash.
  34. Tutor (Green Panda). Have a knack for a certain subject and live near a college? Consider offering up your brain power and teaching skills for some quick cash. Grade-school kids need help too, and parents pay better than college students.
  35. Play music in church or at weddings. Some churches don’t have volunteers for their music. A talented pianist can make pretty good money doing this on the weekends.
  36. Teach English to adults. Go through your local schools and colleges to find classes where teachers of English are needed.
  37. Collect aluminum cans (The Simple Dollar). I collected cans in my teens and made a few extra bills for spending money. One woman saved up $73,000 collecting cans.
  38. Sign in the yard. In our neighborhood we’ve seen this service hired out for announcements or funny pranks. Ha!
  39. Stage homes. People are having trouble selling their homes these days and could use a second pair of eyes to stage their home for the quick sale. If you’ve got the designing skills, offer up your services.
  40. Sell stuff on Craigslist. Craigslist is the first place I go to sell something. It’s best for items you think will appeal to everyone (therefore justifying the smaller audience) and large items that can’t be shipped.
  41. Sell your stuff on eBay. EBay should be used for those items that are unique (you need a larger audience) and that are easily shipped.
  42. Sign up with Upromise (No Credit Needed). Upromise puts money in your kids’ college funds while you do your normal spending.
  43. EBay arbitrage (Niche Geek). Find items that you know are selling below their full value (either online or through a deal Web site like Slickdeals), buy them and sell them on eBay for more. Once you find your product niche, you can set up a system.
  44. Resell computers (Shoe Money). This is slightly different than eBay arbitrage. Find a distributor that will sell to you at discounted prices. List these items online. Buy and ship to your heart’s content. Basically, you become a reseller.
  45. Look for odd jobs on Craigslist. People in your town need your help and they will pay you for it. Seriously. The jobs are there on Craigslist.
  46. Have a garage sale. The stuff you can’t sell online, you could sell from your garage on the weekends.
  47. Put stuff on consignment (eHow). This is great for clothes and other items that aren’t easily sold online.
  48. Bank account-opening bonuses. Many banks will give you a cash bonus to open an account with them. I’d start with a bank that will pay you higher interest.
  49. Credit card bonuses (Cash Money Life). Like the bank accounts, many credit cards will give you bonus cash for opening an account.
  50. Rent out a room (Free Money Finance). If you have an extra room in your house, consider renting it out to a friend, relative, or random person you find using what else, Craigslist.
  51. Paint street numbers (Neville’s Financial Blog and katekashman). With just a few paint and stencil supplies, you could walk the neighborhoods with curbs and solicit your curb-number-painting services.


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