By December 16, 2008 0 Comments

Going Green…Saving Green!

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Being a travel nurse, one of your main concerns (besides your patients) is the money that you’ll be making on your travel assignment.  Most travel nurses that I know tend to take the stipend for potential to make more money…but are you?  Below are 5 tips to cut energy cost in your housing to keep that hard earned money in your pocket.

Energy Saving Tips….Start at home!

  1. If you’re taking a travel assignment and headed north a great way to keep your energy cost low is to use a “window insulation kit”.  It’s a simple kit that you can purchase at any hardware store such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Ace Hardware.  They are very inexpensive starting at about $5.00 per kit or less and most kits can cover up to two windows per kit.  All you need is a blow dryer.  I have personally used them in every apartment I have traveled to and they do wonders!  No more cold drafts and they don’t block your view.  Just be sure to speak to your landlord or your complex’s leasing office before you apply.
  2. Resetting your thermostat from 72 degrees to 65 degrees for up to 8 hours a day (say while you’re at the hospital working or tucked away in your bed sleeping) can cut your energy bill by 10%!
  3. If your travel assignment takes you south to much sunnier and warmer weather, consider Energy Film.  Energy Film is a clear, thin, plastic like sheet that you apply to your windows to keep your cool air from escaping in the summer and your warm air escaping through the winter.  Using Energy Film blocks 70% of thermal solar energy in the summer, 97% of UV light while still allowing 77% of natural light into the room.
  4. Using CFL’s (Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb’s) can reduce your energy cost and green house gas emissions to the environment.  CFL’s are ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs.  They use about 75 % less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer.  They come in a large variety of shapes and sizes and can be used just about anywhere in your home from living room, kitchen, dining room, table lamps, ceiling fan lights, recessed lighting,  and even outdoor lighting. 
  5. Fact:  Did you know that if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy cost, and prevent greenhouse gas equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars!  http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls
  6. One of the most cost effective and probably by far the easiest is to unplug or completely turn off your electronics, appliances, and lights.  Even when they are not in use most electronics are using energy while in “standby” mode.  I read on Energystar.com that the average U.S. household has 2 TV’s, 3 telephones, and a DVD player.  They spend about $100 per year or more to power these devices while in “standby”.  If these items were turned off or replaced with ENERGY STAR qualified models, it would save over 25 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to that of more than 2 million cars! 

These simple yet effective tips can keep your hard earned money in your pocket with little to no sacrifice on comfort.  If you have other money or energy saving tips please share with us!  We’d love to hear from you.  Happy Travels!

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  1. jake says:

    I really feel that we don’t make more money because the travel agencies have whats called corporate housing where they pay less monthly than if you would actually take that housing stipened. Plus, what they give you as a housing stipened only covers possibly what the apartment may cost. In some places you do actually make a little more, however in most of them you only get what they would pay for corporate housing. Just my opinion and observation. Jake

  2. Jaylee Gruner says:

    Jake,
    It is true that actual housing costs are sometimes less than what the IRS allows for tax free stipends. However, “corporate” housing is usually more expensive than doing all the work yourself. There are premiums that travel nursing companies pay because of the short leases that accompany the 13 week-travel nursing assignment length. Travel nursing companies that set up utilities, phone, cable, etc. also often pay business rates, which are higher than residential rates, because these items are in the company name and not in the name of the travel nurse, so that is a definite area you can save money by handling yourself.

    If the travel nurse company you are working with allows customized pay packages then you and your recruiter can work on a pay package gives you stipends, based on the allowable amounts in that geographic area. You just need to be specific about your needs and desires and let the travel nursing recruiter know up front. For many travel nursing companies it is better if you take the stipend instead of their housing. Travel nursing companies carry all of the responsibility and liability of costs, leases, deposits, and other items. And because of timing and response from vendors, if there is an issue, a travel nursing company may not have the opportunity to recover any costs that may be at the fault of a travel nurse. And if for some reason the travel nursing assignment ends early or the travel nurse has an issue with the housing, the travel nursing companies are the ones that take the hit. I hope this sheds some light on your concerns.

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