Nov 28, 2022 | Community Involvement
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.
Nov 8, 2022 | Community Involvement
What kid wouldn’t want to experiment with static electricity, try their hands at growing vegetables, learn to code, don some electrical lineworker equipment, participate in a program on reptiles, and generally flex their brain in new and exciting ways?
These are just a few examples of the types of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs, activities, and events that we’ve supported over the past year.
Check out this video that showcases some of these experiences—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.
In our ever-changing, increasingly complex, and technology-driven world, we know that it’s more important than ever to engage students in STEM disciplines from an early age. It helps develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to prepare them for their future lives and careers. That’s one of the reasons we continue to support efforts like the PPL Foundation’s Cover to Cover program and Empowering Educators grants, as well as science festivals, library programs, and other learning opportunities throughout our communities.
After all, today’s student could be tomorrow’s electrical engineer.
More on Empowering Educators grants
The PPL Foundation’s Empowering Educators grants support and encourage teachers to provide hands-on STEM learning experiences. Learn more about the 2022 Empowering Educators grant recipients.
Oct 3, 2022 | Safety and Security
The 167th Bloomsburg Fair was about more than fries and snow cones, rides, and prize-winning livestock. Visitors to the fair also had a chance to learn all about electrical safety, courtesy of PPL Electric Utilities.
Fairgoers watch an electrical safety demonstration
During the fair, attendees were invited to visit our Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit to watch regular electrical safety demonstrations each day. The exhibit featured a scaled down, 7,200-volt electrical distribution system.
During demonstrations, the public saw our trained employees, wearing protective equipment in a controlled environment, using ladders, gloves, shovels, and other tools to illustrate the spark, flames, smoke, and crackle that occur when items contact live electrical lines. Our team also showed what happens when contacting underground power lines while digging.
The exhibit, which was designed by our employees in 2015 as part of our commitment to protecting the safety of our communities, is used to educate first responders and others about how to stay safe around power lines and electrical equipment. More than 51,000 people have seen demonstrations since we started taking the exhibit across our 29-county Pennsylvania service territory.
If you think your organization may be interested in a demonstration, please contact Doug Haupt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Available dates for 2022 are booked, but 2023 bookings have begun. You can also visit our Safety and Community page to learn more about our commitment to safety in the communities we serve.
Promoting electrical safety and putting down [Community] Roots
During several days at the fair our Community Roots program also was on hand to distribute free trees to fairgoers.
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. During Community Roots events, our employees also remind attendees to call 811 before they dig and ensure they do not plant trees under or near electrical facilities.
Sep 22, 2022 | Community Involvement
Sometimes, we all need a little helping hand. That’s why we’re proud of our Operation HELP program.
For almost four decades, our Operation HELP program has helped more than 110,000 families struggling with their electric bills. The program, which provides grants to eligible families, is funded by generous contributions from our customers, employees and vendors.
On September 15, 2022, we hosted the 28th annual Operation HELP golf tournament at Olde Homestead Golf Club in New Tripoli and raised an additional $129,000 to support our customers. While Operation HELP, which was established in 1983, is primarily supported by donations from PPL Electric Utilities, its employees and customers, the annual golf tournament has become its largest fundraising event.
In addition to Operation HELP, we offer multiple bill assistance programs for eligible customers. These programs include: the OnTrack payment plan, budget billing, payment arrangements and even flexibility in choosing a bill due date. To find out more about how we can assist you with your bills, visit pplelectric.com/billhelp.
“We’re happy to host this annual event and raise funds for Operation HELP,” said Jaclyn Baldwin, regulatory programs manager. “This program is just one of the many ways we continue to assist our customers in their times of need. Operation HELP — along with other programs — help those who are behind on their energy bill and provide them with ways to catch up.”
Thanks to everyone who participated in the 2022 golf tournament, and all who contribute to this vital program.
Winter is on its way. If your family can use a little helping hand, visit pplelectric.com/billhelp to learn more about Operation HELP and all of our payment assistance programs and plans.
Sep 21, 2022 | Community Involvement
For years, we’ve partnered with Northampton Community College (NCC) to train and place dozens of new lineworkers, who are now safely keeping your lights on.
In addition to helping build and kickstart the lineworker training program back in 2011, we’ve provided wooden poles, vehicles, and equipment so students can get the hands-on experience they need. Even the program’s six instructors are current or former PPL Electric Utilities lineworkers.
When a recent need for a program upgrade emerged, we stepped up again. This time we provided one of our digger derrick trucks so the latest class gets experience digging holes for and setting utility poles.
“It’s a high priority occupation and PPL Electric Utilities has been a fabulous partner,” said Lauren A. Loeffler, vice president of Workforce Development/Community Education. “And safety is a key focus of the program.”
The current group of 15 students will join more than 250 others, mainly from eastern and central Pennsylvania, who have completed the program and become line workers for power companies, cable companies, and other utilities.
In addition to the hands-on skills training, aspiring lineworkers receive training in employability skills, interview skills, and resume writing. This is a critical program because the industry has experienced a lineworker shortage in recent years.
After completing the 12-week pre-apprenticeship program at NCC, students are positioned to become trainees in the PPL Electric apprenticeship program.