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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
From August through October, our Community Roots Program made its way across PA.
Our employees visited events, like baseball games, throughout our service territory, to deliver free plants and seeds to our customers. Their mission: spread the word about pollinators and how important it is to protect and preserve the environment we all love.
Along the way, they met a few plant enthusiasts, environmental champions, and captured some great moments.
Check them out!
In Williamsport, Chris Stamatedes, PPL Electric’s Regional Director of Operations, threw out the first pitch at the largest attended Crosscutters baseball game of the season!
We also visited one of the coolest spots in the area for First Friday- The Lancaster Science Factory.
And we couldn’t miss an Iron Pigs game at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown!
We spent a beautiful sunny day at the Newfoundland Farmers Market and donated more than 250 mint plants to our friends in the Northeast region.
At the Forks Farmers Market in Orangeville our volunteers arrived in style with our electric vehicle. They spent the day talking with customers about how we plant pollinators in our right-of-way areas.
We passed through Schuylkill County and set up a booth at the Hometown Farmers Market. There, customers had the opportunity to package their own native pollinator seed mix to plant at their homes.
Did you pick up a mint plant or pollinator seeds at one of our recent events? Post pictures of your planted pollinators on Facebook. Tag PPL Electric Utilities, and use the hashtag: #MyPPLPollinatorPatch.
And if we missed you this season, don’t worry- we’ll be back! Follow us on social media for upcoming Community Roots pop-ups!
The work we do goes beyond delivering safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our customers. We’re here to be a true community partner and preserve the environment we call home.
Our team in Lancaster County recently completed a large construction project to replace a 100-year-old transmission line that runs through Kelly’s Run Preserve, a popular local destination for walking and hiking owned by the Lancaster Conservancy.
We know how important this trail is to the community, so we worked closely with Lancaster Conservancy to minimize the amount of time the trail was closed during construction.
Along the way, we identified an opportunity to expand the Conservancy’s pollinator meadow by two and a half acres by planting a pollinator-friendly seed mixture in our right-of-way. This cost-effective, seed mixture is something we at PPL have been testing and exploring in our right-of-way areas.
The future is buzzing — and you too can assist our pollinator friends by creating your own pollinator-friendly habitats at home. Learn more about our pollinators and how you can help by clicking here.