Here are 5 Things You Should Know – Part 15.
01. Many utility companies will give you hundreds of dollars’ worth of efficient lighting, shower heads, faucet aerators, and/or other technology for free
The title pretty much says it. Most will also offer a free (or cheap, depending on the company) energy checkup, rebates for installing efficient appliances, and rebates for recycling old appliances, among other things.
Someone I know just signed up for a free “Energy Saver Kit” through the Energy Trust of Oregon that contained:
- Eight 100w-equvalent standard LEDs.
- Four recessed LEDs.
- Two high-efficiency showerheads.
- Four low-flow faucet aerators.
A single 100 watt equivalent LED will run you about $14 on Amazon, the recessed ones are even more expensive, and showerheads/aerators aren’t exactly cheap either. You do the math.
Obviously, promotions will vary depending on where you live. Here are some of the obvious utilities/affiliates around the country.
- Energy Trust of Oregon for the Portland/Vancouver area.
- Duke Energy.
- DP&L (discounts and rebates).
- Seattle City Light.
- Fort Collins Utilities (I can only find rebates here).
The list goes on. I’m sure you get the idea. If your utility isn’t listed, it’s not because it doesn’t offer this or I couldn’t find their site (or I just got lazy). Try entering something like “[your utility] free light bulbs” into Google and see what comes up. Also try seeing if your area has an “energy trust” that administers this program, like the Energy Trust of Oregon for the Portland area and don’t get discouraged if yours doesn’t offer this right now. A lot of utilities do this on a rolling basis so they can run studies about adoption. Don’t forget to check for rebates as well.
02. You can live chat with an OBGYN via Planned Parenthood’s site without ever leaving home
Here is the link. The working hours are;
- Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m.-12 a.m. (ET) / 6 a.m.-9 p.m. (PT)
- Friday: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. (ET) / 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. (PT)
- Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) / 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. (PT)
- Sunday. 2 p.m.-12 a.m. (ET) / 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (PT)
This is an excellent resource for those without access to transportation or who have anxiety or mobility issues to get advice on their sexual health including things like signs and symptoms of STDs, emergency contraception, and even ‘dumb’ questions like ‘is my body part supposed to look like/smell like/do that?
This is also an awesome resource for girls growing up with single fathers or who just don’t feel they can talk to the women in their family.
03. Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand line of spirits are made by name brand distilleries, with only slight variances in recipe and style.
I bought some Kirkland brand bourbon from Costco and I was surprised at the quality of it, having expected something along the lines of a “well” whiskey. I wondered where they’re getting their product.
After a little research online, it seems likely that their bourbon is the by-product of Knob Creek or Jim Beam Black, perhaps the batches with too much flavor variance. It is made by Buffalo Trace, in the style of Knob Creek/Jim Beam Black/Old Grandad.
Their vodka is supposedly an almost identical recipe to Grey Goose. Their tequila is probably made by Sauza, and their wines are mostly high quality from large wine producers.
In many states, you can walk right into a Costco and buy alcohol without even having a membership, though you may have to go through the trouble of talking to a manager about it as this rule varies according to state law.
Anyway, Kirkland Signature is a pretty good value, with decent product, and can save you some big money for your next party!
04. IRS does not call you about back taxes owed. This is a scam.
The IRS will usually send you a letter first. The IRS only makes contact with you by actual snail mail USPS letters. Even if you don’t respond they will continue to send letters until they take legal action. If you are worried about it hang up with the “IRS” and call 800-829-1040, the official IRS call center and ask if a case has been opened against you.
They don’t send out random e-mails, either. Though they will e-mail you back if you have e-mailed them about something first, but they will never use e-mail for initial contact.
The IRS may call you depending on the circumstances but usually these are for audits. If they call asking for money this is when you know it’s a scam.
05. If you find a driver’s license you can drop it in any mailbox as is.
The Postal Service will mail it to the owner in an envelope with postage due. This works in USA, Australia, European Union and Canada. According to this USPS document, they also do this for wallets, keys, ID devices and some other things. As long as there is the owners address somewhere they will return it with postage due.