IDT Energy, which specializes in going door to door and lying to customers in order to get sales, has expanded its reach past NYC and is now conning the good citizens in Albany, NY, according to this reader Peter’s letter:
A woman in Maine broke a CFL and, rather than carefully cleaning the mess up herself, she called Home Depot. They told her not to vacuum, and directed her to call Poison Control. Poison Control directed her to the Maine DEP, who then sent an agent. The agent told her to call in a toxic waste team to give an estimate. Naturally, they told her it was going to be around $2,000. She heard that number, walled off the bedroom and alerted the local media.
Warm weather is coming and now is the time to think about saving energy before it’s so freaking hot that you just don’t care anymore. Here are some quick tips for cooling your home without spending any more money than is necessary:
Organizing the chargers for your cellphone, PDA, Nintendo DS, etc. can be hugely annoying and expensive. Why expensive? When you leave chargers plugged into the wall, they’re still drawing electricity—even when your phone isn’t plugged in.
Reader Melissa writes in to tell us that using tips from Consumerist and other sites, she cut her (admittedly outrageous) electric bill down to size. Melissa writes: I cut my electric bill nearly in half.
Meghann’s dad, a commercial construction electrician with 35 years experience, has volunteered to answer any questions the readers might have about home improvement, simple wiring, hiring a sub-contractor, life, art, his 1967 Firebird convertible, or any other topics your strange, evil minds can come up with.
Ultimately the high efficiency lamp (HEI) technology is expected to be about four times as efficient as current incandescent bulbs and comparable to CFL bulbs.
Like, by when? The apocalypse? —MEGHANN MARCO
The folks at BoingBoing are rightly angered by the trend in airports to feature pay-per-use electric charging stations. It’s bad enough that you’re stuck in the terminal, waiting for your delayed flight to finally start boarding, only to sit and wait some more while seated in 25B. Now, more and more airports are renting out their power sockets, so you can’t even recharge that laptop, cellphone, or DVD player while you’re killing time.
Lifehacker points us to a post on Coding Horror that details how to determine the cost of leaving your computer on all the time. Unsurprisingly, it involves the use of the Kill-a-Watt (power meter), but the post also gives some tips that anyone can use to cut the costs involved in keeping that computer running. —MEGHANN MARCO
Dude, you’re getting a shock. An electric shock. If you have a Dell 9400, e1705, m1710, m90, or 6400, and a two-pronged power adapter, Dell has a special hidden feature just for you:
ConEd customer’s personal information is in grave danger. ConEd’s online account system is easily crackable, only requiring entering an account number.
Consumers who switch to Verizon’s new FiOS TV or Internet services will find a change to their existing Verizon phone service: Their copper-wire phone line will be replaced with a fiber-optic line.
Reader J. used his powers as recruiter to mine through the resumes on Monster. He found two companies that seem to have run door-to-door campaigns for IDT Energy.
The reason why we’re having such a hard time finding a job with IDT Energy as a door to door salesman might be because they outsource these jobs.
If you were scammed by IDT Energy into switching over your contract, live in Brooklyn or the Bronx, and are willing to appear on-camera, email email@example.com with your contact info and story.
Lest we remind you, compact fluorescent bulbs “use 75 percent less electricity, last 10 times longer, produce 450 pounds fewer greenhouse gases from power plants and save consumers $30 over the life of each bulb.” If Walmart is successful, they’ll save Americans $3 billion in electricity costs and avoid the need to build additional power plants for the equivalent of 450,000 new homes. Yikes. —MEGHANN MARCO
J.D. at Get Rich Slowly has a review of a nifty little device that tells you how much electricity appliances draw. You can use it to calculate how much money you’d save by turning things off/unplugging them. Cool!