’Tis the season for swirling snowflakes, hot cocoa and decorations. This year, as you hang your holiday lights, we’d like to offer a few ideas to make them even brighter, and to help you save a few dollars while you’re at it.
For starters, if you haven’t replaced your traditional incandescent holiday lights with energy-efficient LED strands, this is the year to do it. Not only do LEDs consume less electricity, but they’re also made to be safer and sturdier. If you purchase ENERGY STAR® decorative bulbs, some have a manufacturer warranty of up to three years. They’re also a cinch to install.
Here’s the best part — many holiday LED strands don’t just shine brighter, but they also come in a wide array of changeable colors and patterns that can be synced to music.
Magnify the shine
Making the switch to holiday LEDs isn’t the only way to save energy this time of year. Once the lights are strung, here are a couple of other ideas. First, try amplifying the light by adding sparkle — hang small, mirrored objects that will catch the glow and reflect it. That way, you can get a brighter feel without adding extra lights. Next, cozy up the place by adding natural garlands, wreaths and ribbons, which don’t require any energy beyond your own.
Finally, use energy-efficient smart power strips and timers to automatically turn displays on and off, inside and out.
P.S. Decorate cookies, too.
Once the house is spruced, take some time to decorate some no-bake cookies. You can keep the holiday energy up, while keeping the oven off. And remember, when the guests arrive to see your décor, turn the thermostat down a degree or two as more warm bodies in the house will naturally raise the temperature. Pretty cool, huh?
There you have it. The makings of a brilliant holiday.
You can find discounted LED lightbulbs, smart power strips and more on our online marketplace.
It’s Energy Awareness Month! We could all use a few extra dollars these days. That’s why we’ve created a new interactive digital home tool so you can find the savings hiding in your home. Go ahead and explore. Click. Swipe. Rotate. You’ll discover rebates, offers and hacks to make your savings really add up. Now hop in, start saving and discover hundreds of dollars in rebates.
Let’s keep things simple with energy–saving tips that are easy to do and easy on your wallet. Here are just a few ways to save energy in your home, from your kitchen to your living room and every room in between.
Make the switch. Flip the switch.
It sounds simple, but if you haven’t made the switch to LED lightbulbs, you’re leaving money on the table. LEDs may look more expensive at the cash register, but they pay off. They have the same brightness as traditional bulbs, but they use 90% less energy and can save you up to $75 a year in electricity costs. Plus, they last 35 times longer than traditional bulbs.
Get a thermostat with a higher
When the temperature outside fluctuates, it’s easy to forget to change your inside thermostat — or to know what temperature to change it to. A smart thermostat can help. These devices automatically adjust based on your behavior, your preferences, and the current temperature. And you can change your thermostat from anywhere using a mobile app. Install a smart thermostat and you could save up to $50 a year in energy costs. We even offer rebates up to $100 to get you started.
You may be leaking money
Keep warm air from escaping your home this winter by installing weatherstripping. Even the smallest gaps can lead to big leaks. You could save up to 15% on your energy bill when you weatherstrip your leaky doors and windows. Check out tips on how to track down air leaks on our blog.
Save now. Save later.
If the refrigerator in your kitchen — or even the one in your garage — was made before 1993, we’ve got bad news and good news. The bad news? You’re probably using twice the energy you need. The good news? We’ll pay you $50 for that energy monster and haul it away for free so you can upgrade to an ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerator. For more information on ways to save — including tips, tools and rebates — and to check out our new virtual energy efficiency home tour, visit savewithppl.com.
Give your water heater a vacation
If you haven’t yet, check your water heater for an “away” or “vacation” setting. If your model doesn’t have this option, lower the temperature of your water heater before you leave home. Water heating can account for 20% of your energy use, so why heat water you’re not going to use?
Turn off the A/C
Raise your thermostat so the A/C won’t turn on during your time away. When you get back home, return your thermostat to its normal level slowly, two degrees at a time. You could also step up to a smart thermostat if you want to save energy and still come home to cool rooms. This little efficiency wonder will allow you to control your HVAC unit remotely from an app while you’re away. A programmable thermostat can’t be controlled remotely but can be set to fit your schedule.
Pull the plug on all appliances you won’t be using
Just turning devices off won’t keep them from using energy. Everything from your television to your microwave uses energy even when it is not switched on. It’s an energy drain called phantom power. You can unplug devices by hand or step up to smart power strips if you want to get more advanced. Many of these power strips sense motion, or take their cues from a key device like your TV, to know when to power on and off and knock out that phantom power that can eat away at your energy costs.
Use your lights for security and savings
If the movies have taught us anything, it’s that a few strategically placed lights will properly deter robbers. Putting your lights on timers will give the impression that your home is occupied. If you’d like to take your lighting to another level, leverage LEDs and smart lighting to maximize your security and efficiency.
Keep the heat out
You can save by closing your window coverings while you’re away. Nearly 76% of sunlight that hits your windows enters your home and becomes heat. To keep things energy efficient and secure, start closing your drapes or blinds away.
For more energy-efficient ways to save, visit savewithppl.com.
It’s official. Summer has arrived. Time to heat up the grill, turn up the tunes and get the party started. To save energy and money, try these simple party power plays.
Take it outside
Hosting a crowd indoors can raise your home’s temp and make your A/C work harder. Instead, invite your guests to grab a cold one, head outdoors for the real fun and close the door behind them. And while they mingle, you can relax knowing you’re keeping the party energy up and the indoor temp down.
Grill, baby, grill
Give your oven the night off and your A/C a break. Grill instead. Add some cold sides and you’ve got the perfect recipe for the hottest party on the block.
Let your fridge relax, too. Allow leftovers to cool completely before putting them in your fridge. Doing so helps prevent unnecessary heat from entering your fridge and causing it to work extra hard to lower internal temperatures. Another great idea — opt for beverage coolers that can be filled and wheeled into place outside for partygoers.
Go for glow
Keep a good party going. Place strings of energy-efficient LED lights or solar-powered lanterns throughout the yard to give it a glow. Then, to save even more, add a timer to automatically turn off the lights at the end of the night.
Avoid getting soaked
If your party involves a pool, take a closer look at your current pool pump. It could be draining dollars. If it’s making noise, is shutting off unexpectedly or is more than seven years old, it may be time to take the plunge and purchase a new, more energy-efficient model. We offer a $350 rebate on ENERGY STAR® certified variable speed pool pumps.
Follow these energy-saving tips and your next backyard bash won’t just be fun, it’ll be budget friendly, too.
Learn more about PPL Electric Utilities’ energy savings programs at savewithppl.com
Tip 1: Plant shade trees to cool your home
The summer sun hits your home’s walls, windows and roof. This heats up your house, causing your A/C to work overtime. Planting trees around your home can provide shade, giving your air conditioning unit a much-needed break.
Tip for tip 1:
To the south and west of your home, plant trees that shade your walls, windows and at least 20% of your roof. Plant deciduous trees that grow 25‒40 feet tall when mature for the best results. Plant the trees with their trunks at least 15‒20 feet away from your walls, and make sure there are no power lines or other obstructions nearby.
Tip 2: Use ground cover in place of grass or turf
Adding plants to your yard can help keep it cool. Replace part of your lawn with lush ground cover. Water will evaporate off the leaves of the plants, cooling the air around your home.
Tip for tip 2:
Choose low, slow-growing plants that do not require much water or fertilizer to grow. Keep plants 1‒2 feet away from house foundations to avoid a buildup of moisture or pests.
Tip 3: Plant shrubs to better shade your air conditioner’s condenser
Creating shade for your air conditioner can cool down the air around it. The result? Your A/C unit doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your air before sending it into your house.
Tip for tip 3:
Plant tall, narrow shrubs (with a height of around 5‒8 feet). Leave 3‒5 feet of space between the shrubs and the A/C unit for better airflow. And don’t forget to leave room for airflow around the A/C heat exhaust vent.
Tip 4: Plant a windbreak
Planting a windbreak near your home will create an area of still air next to your house. This will prevent drafts and increase your home’s energy efficiency.
Tip for tip 4:
Decide which direction the wind blows most frequently on your home. On that side, plant an unbroken row of evergreen trees that won’t lose their foliage in the winter while blocking the wind year-round. Make sure the edge of the trees is about 5 feet away from your exterior walls. The row of trees should also extend beyond your walls on both sides.
For more energy efficiency tips and ways to save, visit savewithppl.com.