Join the E-power® Army of Savers

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Existing programs, rebates in place through May; new savings incentives start June 1

If you could hand out the kilowatt-hours of electricity saved by PPL Electric Utilities customers through the end of 2012 with the help of the company’s E-power® programs, each person in the United States would get four.

If they were miles, they would circle Earth more than 52,000 times.

As of the end of 2012, PPL Electric Utilities customers who’ve used E-power programs or services since they debuted in 2009 have reached a collective annual electric savings of 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours. They’ve received more than $112 million in rebates and incentives.

Current E-power programs are in effect through May and will be replaced by a new edition of programs, currently under review by the state Public Utility Commission, which are scheduled to begin in June and be in place for the next three years.

 “Customers who haven’t taken advantage of these opportunities should give them a look,” said Thomas C. Stathos, director of Customer Programs and Services for the utility. “Current rebates and incentives, some of which are retroactive to July 1, 2009, will expire when the new slate of E-power programs starts in June 2013.”

For more information on current programs, visit http://www.pplelectric.com and select “Rebate and Incentive Programs” under Save Energy & Money. To view what programs, services and incentives the utility is proposing for the next phase of its E-power programs, check out the Act 129 Phase II plan by selecting “For Act 129 Stakeholders,” also under Save Energy & Money.

“The beauty of energy efficiency is that it’s not a once-and-done exercise. Making changes now — like investing in more energy-efficient appliances, replacing inefficient lighting, and more — provides savings for years to come,” Stathos said.

PPL Electric Utilities has a long history of helping its customers become more energy efficient, a legacy that predates Act 129, Pennsylvania’s energy efficiency and conservation law.

“We’ve always been customer-centered,” Stathos said. “Energy efficiency and conservation has been and continues to be part of who we are. It’s something we believe in and something we want to help customers achieve.”

PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation that provides electricity delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania, consistently ranks among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.

We’re Expanding Classrooms and Young Minds

We’re  helping redefine the classroom experience for hundreds of local students, who are taking to the outdoors and participating in fossil digs, creating sun root roofs, investigating wetlands and creating a living wall to grow plants.

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Careers in science and math will play an integral role in helping our company and country remain successful in the future and we want to create opportunites to develop hands-on projects that will allow students to explore these subjects as part of their school curriculum.

A team of PPL employees, environmental professionals and educators chose the winning projects from 22 submitted applications. Grant recipients include:

Bethlehem Area School District, Bethlehem, Pa.: $2,000 will help fund the construction of a living wall, designed and built by students, in the main lobby of Freedom High School. The wall will have a vertical lush garden with carefully selected plants that will improve indoor air quality. The project will give students a lesson in engineering, design and construction as well as environmental science, and will be displayed at the Freedom High School art show.

Blue Mountain School District, Orwigsburg, Pa.: $1,400 will be provided to help 150 fourth-grade students at Blue Mountain Elementary East participate in a classroom outreach project provided by the Da Vinci Science Center of Allentown, Pa. The center’s Classroom Outreach Education programs bring the visiting science experience into smaller school settings. Students will discover the electrifying principles of electrical engineering by creating series and parallel circuits, measuring their voltages, and drawing circuit diagrams.

East Stroudsburg Area School District, Bushkill, Pa.: $2,000 will help fund a coal-age fossil dig for a nature trail and outdoor classroom on the district’s North Campus located in Bushkill, Pa. These additions will help students better understand energy and how it impacts their daily lives, both environmentally and economically. The related display will provide students with a hands-on investigation of the fossils that created coal, the methods used to excavate fossils, geologic time and the processes that gave Pennsylvania its large volume of coal beds. 

Hazleton Area School District, Hazleton, Pa.: $2,000 will be given to provide alternative energy lessons in the classroom. The project will incorporate equipment into the existing pre-engineering curriculum to allow students to explore alternative energy sources and their application to our society’s current power needs. A PV solar system, as well as a student-designed tracking system, will be installed at the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences as part of a class project. The completed system will provide power to a prominent display to showcase alternative energy to students and visitors, and will be incorporated into classroom activities.

Manheim Central School District, Manheim, Pa.: $2,000 will be given to help design and build a living roof on the livestock stable and horticulture work area used by Manheim Central High School. Additionally, a solar panel will be installed to create an alternative energy source for the stable. The agricultural mechanics class will build the roof structure, the environmental stewardship class will install the solar panel and the agricultural science class will plant the roof. More than 300 students will study science, math and alternative energy as part of this project.

Northeastern School District, York Haven, Pa.: $460 will be used to help 75 third-grade students at York Haven Elementary School study the water cycle and wetland environments at PPL’s Brunner Island Environmental Preserve, and learn how to take care of the environment.  After researching various water habitats, the students will create written and oral reports about a given water habitat and share them with the entire third grade.

Scranton School District, Scranton, Pa.: $2,000 will be used to divert rainwater from the roof of Scranton High School into rain barrels, where it will be stored to water the garden and landscaping. A rain garden, consisting of plants native to Pennsylvania, will be placed strategically near a storm drain to reduce flow to the Lackawanna River. Sixty students will plan, plant and maintain the garden and rain barrels. A presentation will be given at the annual Community Connections to the Watershed Forum in May.

 For more information, visit www.pplweb.com and select Environment and Community, then Our Education Programs or contact me, Alana Roberts, at 570-542-2886 &  aroberts@pplweb.com

 

Don’t forget safety this holiday season

PPL reminds everyone to guard against electrical hazards this holiday season.DSCN1132[1]

Taking electrical safety shortcuts could get your holiday season remembered for all the wrong reasons.

“We want our customers and all those celebrating with family and friends at this time of the year to play it safe and make sure good safety sense isn’t dulled by the holiday rush,” said Barry Downes, manager of Health and Safety for the utility. “It’s a busy time of year, but we can’t forget to do important things such as checking electric cords for damage, not overloading outlets, and more.”

Statistics show home fires and electric accidents increase during the winter holidays. At this time of the year, pay extra attention, whether you’re hanging holiday decorations, cooking, or warding off the winter chill. Some tips include:

Decorating

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 150 home fires are caused each year by decorative and holiday lights. To reduce the likelihood of fire:

  • Use lights approved for safe use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Never connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together. Consider purchasing LED lights, which are more energy efficient and burn cooler.
  • Before decorating, determine how many outlets are available and where they are located.  Plan your displays accordingly.
  • Carefully inspect each electrical decoration. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices.  They can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation.
  • Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.

Child safety

Children are at high risk for fire deaths and home injuries, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says seven children are seen in emergency rooms each day in the U.S. for electrical shock and burn injuries caused by tampering with a wall outlet.  To help protect children:

  • Cover any unused outlets on extension cords with plastic caps to prevent children from coming in contact with the live circuit.
  • Place electrical cords out of the reach of small children.
  • Never allow children to play with lights, electrical decorations, or cords.
  • Use battery-operated candles to avoid the hazards associated with open flames.

Heating equipment

Keeping family and holiday guests warm should always be done with safety in mind. Whether it’s your home heating system or supplemental heat, the following tips from ESFI offer help:

  • Have your heating system inspected annually by a licensed, qualified professional.
  • Use space heaters properly and safely.  Keep them out of high-traffic areas and at least three feet from anything that can burn.
  • Do not leave a space heater running unattended.  Turn space heaters off and unplug them when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Never leave an open flame, including the fireplace, unattended.

“Beyond these seasonal tips, PPL Electric Utilities’ safety page, www.pplelectric.com/safety, is filled with information to help keep you safe no matter the time of year,” Downes said. “We’re committed to public and employee safety. We believe electrical safety is important everywhere, every time, at home, work or play.”

Hurricane Sandy Prep

Customers urged to stay safe, report outages during potentially serious storm

(Oct. 25, 2012) – PPL Electric Utilities is preparing for potentially significant damage and power outages from Hurricane Sandy, poised to affect the region starting Sunday.

“According to current forecasts, this could be the most severe storm to date this year,” said David Bonenberger, vice president of Distribution Operations. “We’re continuously monitoring weather reports, and we’ll have the necessary crews and resources in place to respond to whatever comes our way.”

Crews from PPL Electric Utilities’ sister utilities in Kentucky will be in the area as early as Sunday night. In addition, contractors who normally assist PPL Electric Utilities with storm restoration have been notified to remain local so they can be called on if necessary.

The utility placed its emergency response organization on high alert and canceled time off for its operations personnel next week. Between today and Monday, utility personnel will be reviewing available staffing, preparing for additional supplies, and arranging for housing and feeding of personnel visiting from outside the area.

 Since the busy storm season of 2011, PPL Electric Utilities made numerous storm response improvements, including increasing phone lines for customer service and expanding emergency call capacity to better handle high volumes of customer calls during major storms. The company also has initiated an alert system and enhanced outage information for customers.

Customers experiencing outages are asked to report them at 1-800-342-5775 (1-800-DIAL PPL) or through the online Outage Center at www.pplelectric.com/outagecenter. When prompted, customers reporting by phone should press 1 for “Power Problem.” The Outage Center also is available on smart phones or other mobile devices.

Nor’easter storms can leave significant damage with downed trees, power lines and possibly localized flooding. “Reporting outages is important because the more information we get, the better we can assess damage and prioritize repairs,” Bonenberger said.

Customers also can sign up for PPL Alerts at the Outage Center site and receive updates on outages affecting them. Participants can choose to get the alerts by phone, text or email, or all three.

Staying safe is paramount in severe weather. PPL Electric Utilities advises the public to:

  • Stay clear of downed power lines.
  • Do not use gas ovens or ranges to heat your home.
  • Avoid candles and use flashlights instead. Candles can cause a fire if tipped by animals or people, or if they come in contact with a combustible item.
  • Never run a generator in your home, basement, or other indoor space where exhaust fumes may accumulate.

Other steps to take in an outage also are available at the utility’s online Outage Center at https://www.pplelectric.com/my-account/outage-center.aspx.

Be Energy Smart!

Energy Awareness Month is slowly coming to a close, but PPL would like to remind you of all the no- to low-cost tips that can help you save money on your electricity bill this month and all year long. With all the electricity-using appliances, electronics and other gadgets in our home today, it makes sense to be as smart as possible about energy use.

  • This winter, install storm windows. They keep the cold air out and pay for themselves in energy savings.
  • You can save by installing energy-efficient incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs. For products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs that have earned the EnergyStar label.
  • Heating your home accounts for more than 30 percent of your energy use. Visit pplelectric.com/epower to learn more ways to save.
  • Use the sleep mode on your computer if it has one. The government says EnergyStar computers power down to a point where they use around 70 percent less electricity than a computer without sleep mode.
  • Stop the draft! Sealing and insulating walls, ceilings, windows, doors and floors can save a homeowner up to 20 percent on heating costs.
  • Check your compass! During the heating season, keep the drapes and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter your home.
  • Examine your filters. Forced air furnaces and heat pumps have filters that need to be cleaned or replaced monthly.
  • Check the temperature setting on your water heater, making sure it’s set to 120 degrees F. Some manufacturers set the temperature higher, something most homes don’t require.
  • Always buy EnergyStar appliances. They are more efficient than other appliances and will cost less to operate

Join us for our Be Energy Smart program this Saturday, October 27 as part of Energy Awareness Month! It’s a great time to think about home energy efficiency, especially with winter right around the corner! We’ll utilize our new SmartHouse to teach you and your family ways to reduce your electricity use through cool video displays and interactive cutouts. Kids will also participate in energy games (with prizes!) and learn how to stay safe around electricity. All participants will receive a free CFL light bulb for attending. The program will be held at the Susquehanna Energy Information Center at 1 p.m.

For more details about all of our free, public programs click here.

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