Take steps to stay cool and save

Take steps to stay cool and save

Temperatures may be rising, but your energy costs don’t have to. Keep cool and save energy this summer with these helpful tips from our friends at ENERGY STAR® and rebates from PPL Electric Utilities.

  1. Consider an HVAC upgrade. If your cooling equipment is more than 10 years old or needs frequent repairs and your energy bills are going up, it may be time to replace the system. Get rebates of up to $450 on ENERGY STAR certified cooling equipment through PPL Electric.
  2. Install a smart thermostat. An ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat saves energy by adjusting to your schedule and favorite temperatures. You can even control it right from your phone. We offer rebates of up to $100.
  3. Insulate and seal air leaks. Feeling different temperatures from room to room? Updating insulation and sealing air leaks can keep the hot air out and improve the efficiency of your cooling system. Save with rebates of up to $700.

For more resources and rebates, check out savewithppl.com.

Stay cool and splash into energy savings

Stay cool and splash into energy savings

When the summer heat is at its highest, your energy bill can take quite a hit. One of the best ways to keep your energy costs down is to focus on the ways you use water. Water heating accounts for an average of 13% of a home’s energy costs.

Tip 1: Reset With a Cold Shower

When it’s just way too hot outside, a quick cool-off in the shower is an easy, energy-efficient way to lower your body temperature. Keeping it short and cool gives your water heater a break and can help lower energy costs. Bonus: Cold showers promote better blood flow, making you feel more awake, support healthy hair and skin, and help with sore muscles.

Reset with a cold shower

Tip 2: Replace Old Water Heating Equipment

The last thing you need during a heatwave is a broken appliance. Older water heaters have a lifespan of about 10 years. Stay up to date with regular maintenance and replace older models with new, energy-efficient ones. If you plan to upgrade, consider installing a heat pump water heater, which can cut energy costs for water heating in half. We also offer a $400 rebate on ENERGY STAR® heat pump water heaters.

Replace old water heating equipment

Tip 3: Lower Your Water Heater Temperature

Since scorching-hot water isn’t typically necessary, check to see what temperature your water heater is currently set to. If you lower your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you can save energy and money and reduce the risk of scalding.

Lower your water heater temperature

Tip 4: Wash Clothing With Cold Water

Another good way to avoid using hot water and save more on your energy bill is to wash your clothes on a cold setting. About 90% of the energy used in washing machines comes from water heating.

Wash clothing with cold water

Let us know if these tips worked for you and comment below.

Looking for additional info?Discover more ways to save

 

Track down air leaks to save energy and money

Track down air leaks to save energy and money

Whether it’s an old farmhouse or brand-new construction, your house can develop air leaks over time. That allows heat to escape, which increases your electric bill.

In fact, most existing homes have so many air leaks that it’s like having a window open at all times. Sealing the leaks could save an average of 15% on your heating and cooling costs, but you have to know where to find them first.

Become your own in-house energy detective and start hunting for leaks with this checklist.

On the outside of your house, check for gaps or cracks where different building materials meet. Siding and chimneys, the foundation and brick or siding are often at fault. Also check exterior corners and outdoor faucets.

On the inside, check for cracks and gaps. That includes door and window frames, electrical outlets, switch plates, baseboards, fireplace dampers, wall-mounted air conditioners, attic hatches and recessed lighting, and areas where dryer vents, cable and phone lines pass through walls.

Perform a flashlight test. Pick a likely drafty spot, such as an exterior door. Ask someone to shine a flashlight through potential gaps from inside when it’s dark outside. Stay outside and see if light seeps through. Then, plug the gaps.

Take the dollar-bill test. Shut a door or window on a dollar bill. If you can easily pull it out, you probably have an air leak.

Try the paper test. Hold a piece of paper where there might be a leak, such as around an electrical outlet or window frame. The paper will move if there’s a draft.

Check insulation. Properly insulated walls help keep the warmth inside your home. Energy.gov offers a detailed list of how to evaluate your insulation and determine if it needs to be improved.

If you discovered any air leaks, the next step is to seal them. When gaps are less than a quarter inch wide, and located between stationary building components and materials, caulking is your best bet.

Use weatherstripping for components that move, such as doors and windows.  Be sure to choose the weatherstripping that will withstand the friction, weather and temperature changes associated with its location.

Spending the time to find and repair air leaks will make your home more comfortable and save you energy and money.

Three steps to energy savings this winter

Three steps to energy savings this winter

Last winter, many customers on variable-rate plans for their generation supply faced high bills, resulting from a combination of high usage during the prolonged cold weather and volatile market prices.

We suggest a three-step plan to help customers avoid paying more than they have to for electricity:

1. Use energy wisely

We have many low-cost and no-cost tips to help you save energy. They include turning the thermostat down, if you can. Heating accounts for more than 30 percent of an average home’s energy bill. Turning the thermostat down about 1 degree saves about 2 percent on your heating bill, while turning it down 5 degrees saves about 10 percent. Also, seal your house against drafts, and have your ductwork checked for air leaks.

2. Shop for electricity

Shopping for everything from groceries to gasoline is part of almost every family’s routine. So why not shop for electricity, too? The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has a website that makes shopping easy: PAPowerSwitch.com.

3. Shop smart

Customers have two choices when they shop for their electricity: fixed rate and variable rate. If you have a variable rate, it means the price you pay per kilowatt-hour can change anytime, based on factors like weather and market conditions. A fixed-rate plan offers pricing stability for a defined period of time. There are many fixed-rate offers below PPL Electric Utilities’ price to compare — the rate PPL Electric Utilities charges customers who don’t shop.

Even if you’re already on a fixed-rate plan, it’s a good idea to check the terms and expiration date of your supply agreement. Sometimes fixed-rate plans automatically shift to variable-rate plans when they expire.

As with any purchase you make, it’s always good to double-check what you’re buying, and know the terms of your energy contract and the price you’ll pay this winter.

No matter where you buy your electricity, it will still be delivered safely and reliably by PPL Electric Utilities.

6 ways to save energy at home while you’re on vacation

6 ways to save energy at home while you’re on vacation

Relax and kick back – you’re going on vacation! But don’t take a vacation from saving energy at home. While you’re lying on a beach or exploring a new city, your empty house is still using energy.

Here are some tips to help you save energy while you’re away:

1. Change your thermostat: Set the thermostat temperature much higher than usual. No need to spend money to cool a home when you won’t be there, unless you have pets that will be staying behind.

2. Adjust your water heater: Turn down your water heater to “vacation” or “pilot” mode. Water heating can account for up to 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home, and a large percentage of this cost is to have hot water ready to use, according to ENERGY STAR.

3. Unplug your electronics: Even when your electronics and appliances are turned off, they still use small amounts of power. Unplug your computer, TVs, video game system, coffee maker, etc. Or if these items are plugged into Smart Strips, you can turn off the strip to power down everything at once.

4. Use automated timers: Set an automatic timer on a few lights instead of leaving a light turned on. Consider installing motion-activated lights outside your home. These lights turn on when there is movement near your home.

5. Be shady: Keep your window shades closed. Draw your curtains and close your blinds to shield the air inside your house from the sun. When you return home, let in the fresh air!

6. Turn off fans: Remember, fans cool people, not rooms. When you’re not home, be sure to turn off the fans.