Thanks to you, Pennsylvania now has 5,000 new trees!

Thanks to you, Pennsylvania now has 5,000 new trees!

A thank you from PPL Electric Utilities to customers that signed up for paperless billing during the month of April.Thanks to our environmentally conscious customers, Pennsylvania is now 5,000 trees richer!

Back in April, we ran a campaign to encourage customers to sign up for paperless billing in celebration of Earth Month. The premise was simple, for every customer that enrolled in paperless billing during the month, we’d commit to plant a tree within one of the many communities we serve thanks to our Community Roots Program. And we’re happy to report that we’ll be planting 5,000 new trees across our service territory.

Mature trees can absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. Which means these trees — thanks to our customers — will grow up and absorb more than 240,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, the equivalent of removing approximately 26 gasoline-powered vehicles from roads annually. With just one small change, you’ve helped the environment in a big way. Thank you to everyone who went paperless in April!

Our Community Roots Program, which began in 2017, provides native trees and pollinator-friendly plants and seeds that enhance the environment and help beautify the region. Since the program began, we’ve distributed more than 132,000 trees, shrubs and native pollinator-friendly plants across eastern and central Pennsylvania.

Learn more about our Community Roots Program, and all our environmental efforts, at pplelectric.com/environmental. And, if you haven’t enrolled in paperless billing yet, sign up today at pplelectric.com/paperless.

 

Empowering a Community of Conservation at the Wildlife Leadership Academy

Empowering a Community of Conservation at the Wildlife Leadership Academy

Being part of the communities we serve goes beyond delivering safe, reliable electricity. Through PPL Foundation Empowering Communities Grants, we support local programs focused on environmental stewardship and education, economic development and/or workforce development. 

The Wildlife Leadership Academy in Lock Haven recently received a grant from the PPL Foundation. The academy’s using this funding for its programming, allowing students to have more printed materials and hands-on learning opportunities in its field schools. 

Now in its 18th year, the academy hosts five different field schools during the summer. It has held 57 field schools and graduated over 1,000 alumni across Pennsylvania and 13 other states. 

“We aim to engage and empower high school-aged youth to become conservation ambassadors,” said Sara Mueller, Executive Director of the Wildlife Leadership Academy. “Once they’ve engaged with us for a week, they go back into their communities and do outreach, service projects, creative arts projects, engaging with the media – really having an impact.” 

The academy welcomes 100 new students every year, developing conservation and leadership skills through hands-on teaching. The students are broken into teams and led by a peer mentor who took the course the previous summer. 

“The a-ha moment is the most rewarding piece for me,” Mueller said. “Students come to us with an idea of what conservation and leadership are, and we really engage them over the course of the week. We don’t just watch the student change, but we then watch how they change their communities.” 

The students say that the 40+ hours they spend at the academy is a transformative experience. 

“The experience has allowed me opportunities and I have been impacted in many ways,” said Sarah Klecanda, a former student. “It’s important that we teach others to protect our natural world; education will help us toward our goal of conservation.” 

As the academy gears up for another wave of students, its beginning a new program that will use fly fishing as the hook for interested conservationists. Mueller hopes this program, called the Stepping Stones Program, serves as a stepping stone toward a future of possibilities for the academy. 

“We can take that recreational aspect and apply it to several other outlets like bird watching and canoeing,” she said. “We’re also looking to expand the opportunities that we already have for our alumni. So many people learn by doing, so we give them the book knowledge and the opportunity to apply that knowledge in the field. We’re creating conservationists, but we’re also creating leaders.” 

A powerful commitment to community in 2022

A powerful commitment to community in 2022

At PPL Electric Utilities, we power 29 counties in Pennsylvania. This isn’t just our service territory, it’s our home. It’s where we live and work. It’s where our children go to school. We’re all neighbors.

That’s why we’re proud of the support we’ve provided to our communities this year – and our commitment to continuing these efforts for years to come. Here are just a few examples of the ways we’ve brightened lives in 2022.

Volunteerism

Throughout the year, our employees give their time and talent to support organizations they’re passionate about, including volunteering on 100+ nonprofit boards. Additionally, in 2022, there were several organized efforts during which our employees and their families could support our communities.

Man and woman plant a tree

In April, more than 150 employees planted trees, created trails and more during Earth Appreciation Month. Organizations and locations we supported included Wayne Grube Memorial Park, Hays Elementary, Lehigh Valley Zoo, Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, Northcentral PA Conservancy, Louise Moore Park and more.


This fall, over 200 employees and their families participated in United Way Day of Caring events serving nonprofit organizations in the Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg, and Benton. Participants helped complete projects at the Sixth Street Shelter, Camel’s Hump Farm, Lehigh County Humane Society, Phoebe Allentown Health Care Center, and other locations.

Supporting STEM education

One initiative about which we are particularly passionate is supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. From the Mifflinburg Science Festival in Union County to the Summer Reading Program at the Whitehall Township Public Library in Lehigh County, and communities in between, we’ve helped offer students many new opportunities to flex their brains in 2022. Find out more about our support of STEM education programs.

We know that it’s more important than ever to engage students in STEM disciplines from an early age, and that’s one of the reasons we continue to support efforts like the PPL Foundation’s Cover to Cover program and Empowering Educators grants, which support and encourage teachers to provide hands-on STEM learning experiences. Learn more about the 2022 Empowering Educators grant recipients.

Keeping communities safe

Electrical safety exhibit outside

We take our commitment to electrical safety seriously. In 2022 alone, our Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit, which demonstrates the dangers associated with electrical lines, reached 9,500 first responders and others. The exhibit has reached over 57,000 since its creation in 2016.

Captain Wattage addresses an electric safety worker

This year, more than 10,000 students in 60+ schools learned about electrical safety from “Captain Wattage” during a show we developed in partnership with The National Theatre for Children. That show has reached over 125,000 kids since 2015 via livestream and in-person performances.

Illustration of PPL Electric employee and a child

We also distributed thousands of free books on electrical safety for students, a program that has impacted more than 43,000 kids since its start in 2018.

Lending a helping hand

Older woman empties dishwasher

With prices rising in industries across the board, some customers are having trouble keeping up with their bills. That’s why we’ve supported customers with payment assistance and other programs, and provided tips and tools to help you use less energy. Check out our new 360 interactive tool to find the savings hiding in your home.

Going green

Osprey lands on a platform

Protecting the environment is another critical part of our community commitment. We want to keep our winged neighbors safe and thriving, all while protecting the natural beauty of Pennsylvania. We’ve built nesting platforms to protect birds of prey, and we consider the environmental impact of everything we do.

PPL Electric emplyees stand by a sign at a festival

Since our Community Roots program started in 2017, we have given away over 127,000 trees and pollinator plants to help stabilize streambanks, beautify neighborhoods and provide important habitat for birds, bees and butterflies. Over the past year, we’ve connected with thousands of people at dozens of Community Roots events at fairs, concerts, festivals, schools, land conservancies, and conservation organizations in places like Allentown, Bloomsburg, Catawissa, Honesdale, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport, to name a few.

As we look ahead to 2023, we look forward to continuing to serve and support the communities we all call home. Stay tuned to the community involvement category on this blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with our community efforts throughout the year.

Save energy and money with simple landscaping tips

Save energy and money with simple landscaping tips

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recycling plastic and making a difference

Recycling plastic and making a difference

We’re committed to preserving the environment in everything we do. Whether our employees are in the office or out in the field, we’re always thinking of innovative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle common materials.  

Every day, we receive numerous shipments of fragile materials that are wrapped in clear plastic to help keep the items secure. Thanks to our employees at the Lock Haven Service Center, who initiated a new program, we’re making sure that plastic is recycled.  

Through this program, employees recycle plastic by placing it in large bins in their service center. As an incentive for collecting 500 pounds of recyclable materials, Trex®, a manufacturer of wood alternative products, will provide us with a Trex® bench that we’ll be donating to a local park! 

Our goal is to collect enough plastic for a Trex® bench in a local park in every region of our service territory. To date, we have collected over 400 pounds of materials and expanded the program by placing bins in three other service centers in the Susquehanna region including Sunbury, Bloomsburg, and Montoursville. 

Stay tuned for our progress!