Environmentally friendly companies

Companies such as Wal-Mar, Target, IKEA and Tesco have turned to the environmental sustainability. They have started a new “green” policy and are meeting the sustainability goals they have set. Many other giants of the world market are following them – Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft, Johnson & Johnson, and Unilever have also expressed their willingness to turn to the green attitude and start building up a plan for new energy use to become environmentally friendly.

Ecological responsibility

Despite of a variety of ecological strategies implemented by the companies, there is one common element present in all of them – green energy. Its significance comes from its power to influence the companies in important economic, environmental and social areas. Economical aspect concerns the matter of fossil fuels costs which are at lower risk because of conserving energy. Apart from this, many customers have become loyal to eco-friendly companies, thus, being green repays. Environmentally, it is reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses which must become the main concern. In terms of the social area, companies need to consider how their activity will affect the community.

Greenhouse gases emission by United States

Reduce energy consumption

Saving energy is a starting point for all sustainability strategies. Energy efficiency projects bring good profits in a short period of time. Companies, like Tesco or AT&T, admit that implementing such projects helped them save a great amount of money. Nonetheless, the profitable energy efficiency programs alone do not meet the goal of sustainability, they need to be mixed with the less beneficial renewable energy projects.

Energy projects demand a great capital and lots of investments in the beginning. On the other hand, companies need projects with limited initial capital and the usage of internal resources at the minimum level. Hence, the energy projects vary in degrees of commitment. These are:

  • Ownership. This option involves a big investment. When it comes to return, it is 8-10 percent over 20 years of the project which is not highly profitable for the average retailer. But it has other advantages. These are: ability to obtain internal expertise, control over production and development and independence from the conventional energy and the green energy providers.
  • Contracting. Here, the matter of project design, financing, construction and operation remain on the developer’s side. Choosing this option purchase of energy can be cheaper, even below market prices. Its disadvantage can be the contracting firm’s inability to obtain a green expertise.
  • Power Purchase Agreements. Such an agreement is made with a developer or utility for 10-20 years. It assumes a purchase of green power at a fixed price. No resources or capital are required, yet it involves a long-term commitment and does not give a possibility to develop internal expertise.
  • Certification. Renewable energy certificates are the least profitable way of green commitment. Companies declare turning to green by purchasing a commitment incremental to their current costs of energy.

3 useful final suggestions

  1. Find a developing or financing partner.
  2. Find the best solution for you. Do not focus on cross-subsidizing energy efficiency and renewable energy profits, but look through different options and then decide which is most profitable for you.
  3. Do not assume that sustainability means low profits. The potential returns can be lower than the industry average, but good management and finding an appropriate partner in the energy supply market can solve this problem.

Solar power cheaper than the energy of wind?

The world which used to be ruled by coal and gas resources is systematically facing a new order. Renewable energy is trying to take the gas and coal’s position. In the times when people cannot rely solely on the traditional sources of energy the wind and sun become great substitutes. After years of settling the new order, the global energy market has been recently hit by a huge change. Now surprisingly, the solar power is becoming cheaper and cheaper option than the wind energy. We experienced such situations before – there were some projects in the Middle East which generated very low cost.

As Bloomberg New Energy Finance maintains, the current trend shows that even gas and coal are being defeated. And maybe there is nothing extremely shocking in the fact that solar energy has become much more cost-efficient when compared to the usage of the wind power because there were predictions picturing such a prospect, yet no one felt that it can happen so quickly.

According to Ethan Zindler – the head of U.S. policy analysis at BNEF – it has been China’s positive impact on solar investement which contributed to this outcome to a large extent.

Is it a better option than coal?

Last year was marked with the solar power continuously growing popularity. The competition between private companies to provide electricity was making solar power cheaper and cheaper. As a result, it reached the half of the coal power price. Solar energy started from scratch and eventually, has become the great power.

The whole process of turning towards the eco-energy may bring more expenses in the richer regions with less urgent energy requirements, where the competition with the well-established coal or gas factories can be much harder and discouraging. However, the countries in need of new sources of electricity will give the renewable energy the top position among any other technologies. The general usage of such alternative sources of energy may increase significantly, thanks to the emerging market economies which are ready to open their door for the new.

Milestone in the world of energy

Finally we can admit that the clean natural energy has outrun the traditional coal and gas together. BNEF published a report presenting a list of the countries which are the most attractive for projects of low-carbon energy. These are China, Chile and Brasil who reached the top. Uruguay, South Africa and India are placed right after.

The emerging markets turned out to leapfrog the wealthier countries and the situation will probably remain the same throughout next years.

Nevertheless, coal and gas still must remain the “kings” among energy resources. They provide support for the time when there’s no wind and sun and until the wind and solar power usage is solidly established. The industry of renewables is still developing and we must wait for its safe “maturity”. For now, we are forced to rely on the fossil fuels. Yet, since there are places where the clean energy support is desperately needed, the matter of renewables usage becomes extremely important and urgent.

How can you invest in renewable energy?

There are many ways of investing in renewable energy. Some of them are more risky and the others are safer. As usual, the risky options can bring more profit – sometimes faster, sometimes you must wait – the safer ones demand a longer period of your patience before you start earning. We list the different ways starting from the most sheltered position to the least. Before making the final decision, cogitate about two aspects: whether you are a daredevil or not really, and what your investment prospects are.

You seek the safest possible options

Both companies and individual investors can invest directly, even in small amounts.

Consider:

  • Joinmosaic.com – a crowdsourcing startup enabling you to get into a solar project, investigated by Mosaic team. The interest rates are set between 4.5-6 percent for 5-6 year of obligation period.
  • Bonds: It is a good way of investing for people who prefer safer options. Now, there are $9 billion of bond available for investors, and the number is going to increase.

Higher risk, higher profit

Another strategy is to buy stock in a company. This option has become safer after the creation of ETFs (exchange-traded funds).

Consider:

  • TAN – the Guggenheim solar industry. You can invest in a fast developing solar energy use with great prospects for the future.
  • PBW – it is The PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Fund – a renewable energy industry which also shows optimistic prospects for growth in the future.
  • LIT – connected with mining and production of lithium. By investing in LIT you invest in the future of the electric cars. After some noted falls there is probably time for their advancement.

Even higher risk, still higher profit

This option is for more patient risk-takers. You buy individual stocks in a renewable energy company and you either become stressed out because of the unstable stock prices fluctuating in short periods of time or choose the companies which handle not only renewables and your situation becomes more stable.

Check out:

  • GE – the company believing in the wind power. GE Wind- owned by GE, is the American leader of wind turbines production.
  • Siemens – this German firm invests a lot in wind and solar power.
  • GM – an American auto company producing electric cars. Invest if you believe in this industry.

Risk goes up

You can also buy individual stocks of renewables or electric cars centred companies which offer very high returns in the long run:

  • Tesla Motors – a very fast-developing company producing electric cars, with a great potential.
  • PG&E – a utility company from California, American ownership leader in renewables. It offers good safe returns and a dividend.
  • Solar City – the US largest solar installer, with 32 % of the residential installations market’s share.
  • Cree – a generator of energy-efficient items.

For daredevils who want the most

People who believe in their personal entrepreneur abilities can try creating their own renewable energy venture. Taking the solar power into consideration, to bring 1-3 megawatt project to life you will need at least $50,000 at start – it will cover all the needed documents as well. If you manage well, your profits can be really high.

How to raise your FICO credit score to 750?

A credit score can be something that bothers you when it comes to your financial situation.

Your future seems much less stressful and more optimistic in its perspective when you can be the lucky “resident” of the top tier with your credit score above 750.

Consequently, your bank can offer you a loan with a better rate and the insurance company shows more pleasant and hopeful attitude towards you.

image credit: cafecredit.com/credit-score-range

You are on the top when your FICO credit score rates 750 or higher.

You are on a second position if your mark is set between 700 and 750.

Even when you drop below 700 your situation is not so hopeless, yet the score rating no more than 650 becomes the reason to be worried.

The optimistic theory says that it depends on us and it is possible to improve our credit score.

TIP: To check your credit score use free services like Quizzle.

One thing is certain –you must work for your financial credibility and have it in mind while making any decisions connected with your finances.

If you have no clue how to increase you credit score use these tips and aim at the top tier:

  1. Begin with essentials and get fully informed about your situation on the start line. Get the free report and check it for errors. If you find incorrect information, dispute it right away.
  2. Say goodbye to your credit cards. It is significant to be less extravagant and think twice before paying with money you do not have in your hands at this very moment. It is better to buy something in cash and be sure you can afford it here and now. So say goodbye but…
  3. Do not close your old credit accounts. They can be useful as they provide longer credit history.
  4. Consider higher limits on your card. The debt utilization is lower when the limit is higher. Your utilization should not be higher than 40%, but the aim is under 20%. You can lower the percentage by paying down the balances and increasing the limit.
  5. Be punctual in your payments. Pay everything off on time and remember to buy only as much as you can pay for immediately after receiving your bill.
  6. Try something else. It can be very helpful for your score when you have an opportunity to show that you are able to pay two different kinds of debts like the revolving one, in the case of your credit card, and the installment debt. You can open for example a personal loan, mortgage, buy a car and pay in installments.

Although it may seem quite difficult for some of you, it is achievable. Thus, it really is worth the effort and a bit of time to develop a certain strategy for your finances. Finally, remember that the strategy must include the aim and lots of determination to complete the challenge.

Quizzle Review – Free Credit Scores & Credit Monitoring

Having a clear overview of your credit score has become important more than ever.

After the mortgage crisis in the early 2000’s, everyone has become much more aware of the fragile nature of the economy.

People started to concern themselves with a lot more aspects of personal finances, and have even become more involved in the way they manage their money. If the economic crisis has brought anything good, it is that people (especially young people) got more invested in what it means to be responsible with one’s credit score.

Web services like Quizzle have emerged to help young people and created a way for them to manage their personal finances in a way that wasn’t possible 10-15 years ago.

With the new technology we have in the form of smartphones and Wi-Fi internet connections, not being informed about virtually any topic has become almost impossible.

New technology isn’t always tied to efficiency and positive things in life (just think about the hours lost on the internet while procrastinating). However, apps and sites like Quizzle are one of the bright examples how new technology can and should be utilized to make our lives easier.

That’s why we’re taking a closer look at some of the aspects of this website and the way it can help you to manage and monitor your credit score in a better way.

What is Quizzle?

First and foremost, Quizzle is a free credit score and credit report service website that helps you organize all the reports and statistics tied to your personal financial life. The site operates with its own credit score calculation, which means that the FICO score most banks and loan services use to determine your credit worthiness is not a part of the Quizzle calculation algorithm.

However, before you back down on giving this online service a shot, you must know that no credit service has access to the algorithm of the FICO credit score calculation.

This algorithm is secret and all other services of this nature operate based on the information you provide. After calculating your credit score, Quizzle will give you an estimated value of your CE score. This number is usually 50-80 points off from your FICO score. This is due to the fact that the CE score uses a different formula than the FICO score system.

Why use Quizzle if it uses a different credit score system?

That’s the main question we wanted answered when we started to notice Quizzle in the credit score service market. All other similar services are aiming to simulate the FICO credit score, being off a few points from it. Quizzle, on the other hand, swims against the stream. They know that they cannot aim for accuracy in terms of FICO credit scores, so they have their own CE score they base their advice on.

This may seem counterproductive at first, but if you think about it, it’s more important to get good service regarding bettering your credit score, than what unit of measurement it is shown in. For example, let’s say I have a FICO score of 800 and a start using Quizzle and their CE score.

Credit score breakdown – what makes up your credit score?

My CE score is 750, 50 points less than the FICO score. If I now get to work on increasing my credit score based on the analysis and reports Quizzle has given me and I better my CE score from 750 to 760, this means that my FICO score is also improving. It doesn’t matter what unit you use to measure your credit score, as long as it is an indicator of improvement.

Quizzle gets with the times

Another big plus this credit score service has with younger customers is their openness towards using new technology. Mobile alerts and email notifications are included in their free service, making your credit score not a thing to be burdened by all at once, rather than giving you an update every now and then on what you can do to make small improvements.

This model of constantly giving you updates makes it much easier for customers to start seeing their credit score and financial monitoring not as a hassle, but rather anintegrated part of their daily life.

The verdict

Quizzle is a handsome credit score service that aims at implementing new technologies into the sometimes confusing world of credit score reports. It is listed among recommended free credit score websites on Cafe Credit. Many people are using this service everyday and users are generally happy.

The service knows its customer base very well and provides great tools for improving your credit score whenever possible.However, the CE score system they use might not be something everyone wants to get behind. Some alternatives to Quizzle.com include Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.

Although it’s not something that has an impact on the way you can improve your credit score, it is a bit awkward not seeing your credit score represented in the FICO credit score number most banks and loan agencies use.