Month: May 2016

How to Stay Healthy and Still Use the Elevator

When you ride an elevator, you want to know that it is safe. Lift modernization has had made elevators very safe for riders to use. It has also made adding elevators to homes more accessible for people. An at-home lift can make a home more accessible for someone with mobility issues that prevent them from taking the stairs. This can help people stay in their homes instead of having to find a new one that is easier for them to move around in. This is true for an apartment lift as well. If there is an elevator, units on higher floors become more accessible.

Why Regular Energy Just Ain’t Working Anymore Understandig the Business of Energy Industry Deregulation

Maryland energy suppliers

Think back to your high school history class. It may be hard — or painful — especially if it’s been a few decades, but think back to the lesson or lessons about how the United States was founded, and why it was built on the principles of liberty and justice for all. Although this sentiment was meant for the people and this great country, it also applies to the businesses operating here. The American economic system is known for its capitalist mentality, but it’s also praised for its free enterprise system, which means minimal government in terms of corporate enterprises.

Like other corporations, energy is a big business and an especially important one! After all, it’s how the lights stay on in your home and how you’re able to stay warm and cool throughout the different seasons. However the energy and power industries are rapidly changing due to the trend known as energy industry deregulation. Think of energy industry deregulation as a kind of free enterprise system for energy suppliers and power suppliers, as well as renewable energy companies.

In years past, the government and it’s authorities worked closely on an individual level with local utility providers in an effort to give business and home owners a single, standardized solution for their power and utility needs. Many power and utility companies found these kinds of restrictions to be very stifling and unnecessarily restrictive. The silver lining was that this tight control allowed the industry to stabilize and it helped to establish a significant infrastructure during the early twentieth century. As much as this system was necessary back in those days, fast forward to today, and many find it outdated and impractical.

New government legislation prevent alternatives to the most basic ways of how energy is transmitted and delivered, while simultaneously allowing new, alternative energy companies to enter the market. This restructures the entire energy industry, and home and business owners are the ones that are missing out the most.

While the basic concept of energy industry deregulation is fairly simple to understand, it’s easy to see how it’s dynamics can be confusing, especially since it’s likely that your local power or utility provider isn’t necessarily motivated to highlight the alternatives or benefits. As such, you may not even know what your options are and could be missing out on some serious savings. For the most part, consumers appreciate energy industry deregulation because it makes room for more sustainable, and innovative companies to serve their needs in a more efficient and affordable way.

Here are a few things you need to know about energy industry deregulation and how it can benefit you.

Save money on your gas and power utility bills each month Who doesn’t like to save money? No one! After a while, your monthly utility expenses can add up, so it’s important to find ways to save anyway you can. As previously stated, the United States of America praises capitalism, and one of the most fundamental tenets of that is competition in order to drive prices down and keep them fair. Thanks to energy industry deregulation, alternative power companies can enter a deregulated market and win new customers over by offering lower, more affordable rates for service.

It’s greener

Energy deregulation means more green for your pocket but it’s also greener for the earth and better for the environment. Sustainability and environmental responsibility is on the minds and in hearts of many American households and individuals nowadays, perhaps more so than ever. Deregulation can help you with this by making your electricity and gas greener! As a whole, most alternative power suppliers seek out the most environmentally friends power sources to protect the environment whilst serving the needs of their customers.

No service interruption

It’s important to keep in mind that deregulation of power only affects it’s supply or where the energy actually comes from, not how it’s delivered or distributed to you. If — more like when — you decide to make the simple switch, you don’t have to worry about a disruption in service or a power outage. The only thing that will be different is your lower monthly bill!

The Benefits of Electronic Billing

Billing statements

Outsourcing departments, especially billing services, has becoming quite popular nowadays especially for smaller businesses. If you outsource utility billing, your customers may be able to get a more comprehensive and understandable bill because the outsourced company will have the time to really sit down and figure out what some improvements to the billing process could be. That is, if your customers are still receiving print and mail services. Even if you outsource utility billing, customers should still be encouraged to cut down on paper and print services by switching to the electronic method of billing. Here are a few benefits to electronic billing done by outsource utility billing.

Quicker Availability
If someone has access to an online profile or account then they will be able to look up the information they need, much quicker. For example, if you needed a statement from past months, if you only have paper billing, then you would have to wait an average of seven to 10 business days in order to receive the statement. But online, you could click and immediately download the month that you need the statement for. You can also look up your agreements, deals and discounts availability as well as much more information, of course including your due date and how much you owe.

Easier Reminders
Some people prefer the printed bills because this is how they remind themselves that their bills are almost due. However, when you set up your online account, you can add into the settings that you want reminders. They can send them to your phone via text or email you a few days before your bill is due so that you can be prepared. It is a more efficient method than waiting for a paper bill because mailed bills can get lost, show up late or any number of problems. An email or a text will be instantaneous and it’s very hard for them to get lost.

Better Organization
Keeping track of paper bills end up building up clutter and disorganization around your house. It’s hard to throw away those kinds of things because you always wonder if you are going to need those bills later on down the line for something. Keeping everything in your online account will automatically date things so that you can find them easily. It’ll keep it organized for you and you don’t have to worry about clutter or losing a paper. Should you need a physical copy, you could easily print off whatever you need to have in hand.

Communication with Company
When you call the 1800 number for a utility company, you’ll be lucky to get through within 20 minutes. Unfortunately, those lines are usually so tied up it’s almost impossible to get through to anyone. However, the online account will usually offer email capability to contact the company or sometimes they have a live chat service where you can talk with a level one representative regarding your issue. You don’t have to worry about the line dropping or the call cutting out after waiting so long on hold and most questions can be answered online anyway.

Money Saver
Being able to track your usage online will help you to make sure that you are using your utilities efficiently. Some websites even have real time assistance regarding how much energy you are using. If you only have paper billing then you miss out on the opportunity to watch how much you are using and potentially cut down on areas where you have excessive usage. The hard part about trying to do that with a paper billing system is that you have to wait month by month to see if you are doing better. If you are online then you can just pull up your account and see what has happened or changed almost immediately.

If you are wanting to outsource utility billing then it would be a good idea to let them encourage your customers to partake in the online billing system. This will make life a lot easier for the outsourced company as well as for the customer. Keeping the customer happy should be your number one priority but sometimes, the customer doesn’t know that they could be happier than they are now. You have to show them.

Online Sales Dominate The Market How Can You Keep Your Business Transactions Secure?

Payment processing companies

Thanks to the Internet, buying a wide variety of products and having them delivered right to your doorstep is easier than ever. People have gravitated to this new form of business and, as a result, small businesses and corporations alike work day and night to accommodate these new standards and expectations. However, with all upsides there’s a downside — secure payment. Many customers are concerned about credit card fraud, lost transactions and a lack of oversight for their hard earned cash. With gateway services and chargeback protection you can spend less time offering refunds and more time selling what you need to keep your business afloat.

Ecommerce Sales

Online buying is the way of the future and shows no sign of slowing down thanks to convenience and accessibility for a wide variety of people. Nearly half of all digital buyers already know where and how to look for a product before buying, with many having a favorite store they frequent. A MineWhat survey conducted in 2014 found that, on average, a customer will visit three stores online before making a final purchase. According to Statista, the incentives to buy items in bulk or through special sales will see customers spending more online than they would in person. The average American shopper will spend nearly $80 per order, causing businesses across the country to abandon traditional methods in favor of new technology.

Credit Card Fraud

One of the most prevalent issues among frequent online buyers is that of credit and debit card fraud. The United States sees credit card fraud costing more than $8 billion every year, with a projected worldwide total of $16 billion in recent years. Many customers are understandably concerned about their ability to safely access one of the most popular and convenient ways of purchasing and are more likely to return to a business that has taken proper measures against fraud and data breaches. When global ecommerce sales total $900,000 every 30 seconds, it’s a wise decision to take as many steps as possible to secure your customer base.

Data Breaches

While credit and debit card fraud qualify as data breaches, there are other forms of illegally accessing customer and business information. Data breaches added up to nearly 1,600 worldwide, up by 46%, and compromised over one billion different data records. Half of all data breaches related to identity theft, with 17% aimed at financial access and another 11% through account access. In over 12% of cases of credit and debit card fraud an Internet website was the initial point of contact. Nearly half of all online buyers plan to make the transition to mobile shopping in the coming years, as well. What methods can you use to make your business a more secure and trustworthy place to shop?

Chargeback Protection For Ecommerce

Secure payment is high on the priority list of both businesses and customers alike. Studies have shown over 80% of American Express card members and 79% of Visa and Mastercard members agreeing that, no matter the nature of the business, merchants should offer customers as many different payment options as possible. This includes payment protection, a backup option in case payments are lost or shipments go missing. The most secure apps will use data encryption techniques, able to deter even determined hackers, alongside high-level passwords. A little care goes a long way and nowhere is that more evident than secure payment options.