7 energy-saving ways to show you care this Valentine’s Day

7 energy-saving ways to show you care this Valentine’s Day

Holidays can sometimes call for spending, but they can also mean saving. This Valentine’s Day, and throughout the month, help those you care about be more comfortable while saving on energy costs with these simple home improvements and actions.

A red slow cooker on a background with pink and red hearts.

Date night

#1 Get prepped. Assemble all your ingredients and do all your chopping and prepping before you turn on your electric cooking appliances.

#2 Take it slow. Make someone special in your life a slow-cooked meal like this slow-cooker chicken teriyaki. Slow cookers are more energy efficient than making a meal in the oven.

#3 And don’t forget the ambient lighting. Skip the overhead lighting and add some LED candles to your decor for the evening. You’ll save energy while adding a warm glow.

Parents and a child sitting on a couch and starting a movie, with LED candles in the background.

Family night

#4 Get comfortable. Plan for energy-efficient comfort all evening long by adjusting ceiling fans to run clockwise, circulating warm air from the ceiling. That will allow you to lower your thermostat a few degrees. And don’t use kitchen exhaust fans or vents for more than 20 minutes. They pull cold air from outside.

#5 Stream efficiently. Stream your favorite movies or shows through your digital media player rather than your gaming console and use volume-leveling to make sure that loud commercials don’t interrupt your family time.

#6 Get crafty. Create tasty valentines for the whole family with this no-bake, valentine-heart fudge recipe.

A hand adjusting a smart thermostat set at 62 degrees, with pink and red hearts in the background.

Night out

#7 Get smart. Enjoy energy-efficient nights out all year long by installing a smart thermostat with a $50 rebate. A smart thermostat will save energy while you’re out and have the house warm and cozy again by the time you’re back home. 

There’s money hiding in your home, and a few simple changes can help you find it! Learn more about these and other ways you can save with PPL.

Save energy and money on your bill this winter

Save energy and money on your bill this winter

Our first cold spell of the year is here and with temperatures predicted to remain frigid for the foreseeable future, we want to help you prepare for the colder days ahead. A few simple steps can help you stay comfortable and save energy this winter.

Capture the sun’s light and heat. During the day, leave your curtains and blinds open to illuminate your rooms naturally and gain warmth from the sun. At night, close your curtains and blinds to prevent that free heat from escaping.

Prevent fireplace heat loss. When you’re not using your fireplace, keep the damper closed so warm air doesn’t escape through the chimney. Energy-efficient fireplace grates also help you save by pulling cool air out of your room and into the fireplace, while bringing warm air back in the room.

Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Sometimes we forget that ceiling fans are just as important for keeping you warm as they are for keeping you cool. Flip the switch to change the direction of the blades so they spin clockwise, which will push warm air downward.

Adjust the thermostat according to the time of day. When you’re home and awake, set the heat as low as it feels comfortable. Aim for 68 degrees as an optimal temperature. Wearing warmer clothing or grabbing a blanket can help keep you cozy. Then, while you’re sleeping or out of the house, lower the thermostat by 7°-10°. Doing so for at least 8 hours can save up to 10% on your heating bill. A programmable thermostat will make it easy to save. You also don’t have to heat all rooms equally. Using an energy-efficient space heater in your most common rooms allows you to keep the main temperature lower.

Find and seal air leaks.  Inspect all your doors, windows and ductwork for gaps that could leak heat from your home. Many of these cracks and leaks can easily be fixed with caulk and weatherstripping, which can add up to big savings. Notorious culprits for air leaks are gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.

Maintain your heating system. Basic maintenance of your HVAC system, such as regularly replacing the air filter, can save money and increase your comfort. Dirty filters trap dust and particles that can reduce airflow, which makes your system work harder. This takes longer to heat your home and drives up costs. Check your air filter every month, and if it’s dirty, replace it. Your filter should be changed a minimum of once every three months.

Check your water heater settings.  Lowering the temperature of your water heater by just 10° can save you up to 5% on heating costs. The Department of Energy recommends setting it at 120°F.

Schedule a free energy assessment. Looking for additional ways to save? A good next step is to schedule a virtual energy assessment with a trained energy advisor. They will provide you with recommendations on incentives available for upgrading to energy-efficient equipment, and you’ll receive a personalized energy savings kits with upgrades to help you start saving right away.

Following these simple energy efficiency tips can help you save energy and money this winter. For more information on the variety of tools, tips and programs we have available for you to save, visit savewithppl.com.

 

Should you start planning for your next HVAC system?

Should you start planning for your next HVAC system?

Eighty-three percent of our customers who took the October home energy efficiency quiz correctly answered that heating and cooling is the single largest use of energy in a home. Your HVAC system is critical to your home’s comfort and a big part of your annual energy costs, so it’s a good idea to have a replacement in mind before you need a new system. 

Three signs that your HVAC system may need to be replaced: 
  1. It’s more than 15 years old or needs frequent repairs.  
  2. Your energy usage is going up without any other household changes. 
  3. Your HVAC system struggles to meet thermostat setpoints. 

Luckily, there’s an energy-efficient option: heat pumps. Heat pumps can keep your home comfortably warm during the winter months, but they can also keep you cool in the summer—while reducing your electricity use for heating by around 65% compared to electric furnaces or baseboard heaters. 

And when the time comes to make a change, you can take advantage of special incentives to upgrade your system. 

Illustrated diagrams showing how heat pumps work. In the winter, heat is extracted from the outside air and transferred into the home, while cool air from inside the home is transferred outside. In the summer, warm air from inside the home is transferred out of the home, while cool air is transferred into the home.

How do heat pumps work? 

In winter, heat pumps extract heat from the outside air and transfer it into your home. Even when it’s very cold outside, there is still heat energy in the air that heat pumps extract to warm your home.  

In summer, they work like a standard air conditioner by absorbing unwanted heat in the air inside your home and transferring it to the air outside.  

To calculate how much you might save by switching to a heat pump, go to the ENERGY STAR® page here, and click on “Calculate Your Savings.” 

 Illustration of a ducted heat pump and a ductless heat pump

Image: Left to right – Ducted heat pump and ductless heat pump 

Types of heat pump systems 

Ducted air source

These heat pumps use your home’s existing ductwork. During the summer months, they serve as central air conditioners and lower cooling costs. In winter, they supply more efficient heat and cost less to operate than conventional furnaces, boilers or electric resistance heat. 

Ductless 

Often referred to as a “mini split,” a ductless heat pump is a good alternative to replace a window cooling unit as well as radiators or baseboard heating. They can be an excellent solution for older homes and additions or outbuildings that do not have existing ductwork. 

 Illustration of a ductless heat pump emitting warm air and illustration of coins going into a piggy bank

We make the decision easier with special incentives!

We offer a rebate of up to $450 for air-source heat pump systems and $400 per outdoor unit for ductless mini-split systems. 

Plus, heat pumps with a thermal efficiency rating of 75% or more qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 per year. You may also be able to include installation labor in your cost calculation. Learn more here.  

There’s money hiding in your home, and a few simple changes can help you find it! Learn more about these and other ways you can Save with PPL. 

 

Easy ways to start saving energy on your electronics in minutes

Easy ways to start saving energy on your electronics in minutes

Do you know the only category of energy use that’s increasing in homes? In our energy quiz last month, 63% of our customers correctly answered that appliances and devices use around 21% of a home’s energy each year. And device use is rapidly rising. 

Each year, energy for electronic devices costs an average of $191 for every U.S. household, according to the Consumer Technology Association. So why not start saving this year? Whether you’re hoping to give or receive an electronic device or just looking for ways to decrease electronics use in your own home, here’s an easy guide for how to save energy and money. 

A hand pointing a remote at the TV and pressing the power button

TVs: 

Review your TV’s brightness settings 

Use your TV’s default brightness setting. On some TVs, this may be called the ABC, or Automatic Brightness Control. 

Power off when not in use or use a smart power strip 

Plugging your TV and components into a smart power strip can prevent energy waste when the system is not powered on. You can buy one at a discounted price on our Online Marketplace. 

Buy ENERGY STAR® 

If you’re purchasing a TV, look for the ENERGY STAR label and remember that smaller screens save energy. Find out how to choose the optimal screen size in the “buying guide” section here. 

Animated GIF of a TV’s volume indicator, with bars disappearing as the volume is turned down

Speakers and Sound Bars: 

Turn down the sound 

It saves energy and prevents damage to your hearing. Or use volume-leveling technology that adjusts the volume for you between shows and commercials. To ensure that volume leveling is on, follow the directions included with your speakers or given on the manufacturer website. 

Use sound bars instead of powered speakers 

Sound bars use less energy than multi-speaker surround systems and can offer the same three-dimensional sound effect. 

A couple using a laptop while sitting on living room floor

Computers: 

Adjust sleep settings 

You can save $10$100 every year by activating the sleep settings on your computer, according to ENERGY STAR. Here’s how to activate these settings on your model. 

Don’t use screen savers 

Despite common belief, screen savers don’t save energy. In fact, screen savers often continue to draw power from the monitor and can even keep the CPU from shutting down. 

Go smaller for bigger savings 

Smaller devices tend to be the most energy efficient, so pick a smaller device to do a task when possible. Desktop computers use more energy than laptops or notebooks, while notebooks and laptops use more energy than tablets.  

 Father and son sitting on a couch playing video games

Games: 

Shut down when youre finished 

Many computer games continue to run even when you’re doing something else, and don’t allow the computer to go to sleep even if the game is paused.  

Keep up with updates 

New software updates can reduce the energy use of a gaming console.  

Don’t use your gaming console to stream media 

Digital media players, also known as streaming devices, use 15 times less energy than gaming consoles.  

 

There’s money hiding in your home, and a few simple changes can help you find it! Learn more about these and other ways you can Save with PPL. 

 

 

 

Hosting for the holidays? Here are three easy ways to save

Hosting for the holidays? Here are three easy ways to save

The holiday season is here. Whether you’re planning to host a gathering, prepare a celebratory meal or decorate your home, we have some easy ways to save energy and money during the festive season Wishing you very happy holidays! 

Click on the card to expand it

Click on the card to expand it

Click on the card to expand it

 

Extra Links: 

*For more tips on how to add shine to your decorating, see our 2022 blog on decorating for the holidays.

Get your smart power strip and more at our Online Marketplace.

Learn about energy-efficient landscaping here

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There’s money hiding in your home, and few simple changes can help you find it! Learn more about these and other ways you can Save with PPL.