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.

PPL Announces Funding for Fisheries, Wildlife and Habitat Enhancement Projects

As part of its commitment to environmental stewardship and conservation, PPL Montana is providing $1.2 million this year to support 40 fisheries, wildlife and habitat improvement projects within the 550-mile corridor of the Madison-Missouri River from Yellowstone National Park to the headwaters of Fort Peck Reservoir in 2013.

“This stewardship program was initiated in 2000, in cooperation with state and federal resource agencies, to monitor and offset any potential effects from the nine hydroelectric projects we operate on the Madison and Missouri rivers,” said Jon Jourdonnais, PPL Montana’s manager of Hydro Licensing and Compliance. 

“The program has been extremely effective and is a great example of cooperation between state, federal and local government; private landowners; and non-governmental organizations to meet river conservation objectives,” he said. “This year we will be collaborating with 12 different government agencies, five private landowners and three different non-governmental conservation groups on these projects. A big advantage is that we provide private funds, which often serve as seed money to secure matching funds from state and federal grant programs.”

This year’s funding from PPL Montana will leverage an additional $1.9 million in outside matching funds and in-kind donations, resulting in a total of $3.2 million for river resource stewardship in 2013. 

Habitat improvement is a high priority for the program. Projects are planned this year to improve willow habitat near Hebgen Lake and to enhance habitat on Spokane and Tenmile creeks in the Helena Valley, Cottonwood and Little Prickly Pear creeks, and the Missouri River below Holter Dam. 

Work will continue on a highly successful project that has already enhanced and restored 662 acres of prime wetlands and nine miles of high-quality spring creek habitat over the past nine years on O’Dell Creek, a tributary to the Madison River near Ennis. 

Another significant part of PPL’s program is to protect and enhance endangered species and species of special concern.  Three projects will be initiated to protect and establish genetically pure populations of native westslope cutthroat trout in Cabin Creek (Madison drainage) and Sixteenmile and Dry Fork Belt creeks in the Missouri drainage.  Funding will be provided for the release of more juvenile trumpeter swans with a goal of establishing five breeding pairs in the upper Madison River Valley.             

Fish and wildlife population monitoring and research are also important parts of this program. 

“Monitoring is a huge challenge in such a large and diverse system, including nine reservoirs and more than 500 miles of river,” Jourdonnais said. “We provide substantial funding and work very closely with the state and federal agencies, particularly the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, to maintain excellent long-term fish and wildlife databases that provide useful management information and gauge the overall health of the system.” 

The PPL program also funds research and special projects to better understand and manage fish and wildlife resources in the Madison/Missouri drainage. Special projects to be conducted in 2013 include investigating moose populations and nesting bald eagles near Hebgen Reservoir; evaluating spawning of endangered pallid sturgeon and other species in the Missouri River below Great Falls; investigating walleye reproduction below Canyon Ferry and Holter dams; and surveying anglers downstream from Hauser Dam.

PPL Montana provides safe, reliable energy from coal-fired power plants at Colstrip and Billings, as well as 11 hydroelectric plants along West Rosebud Creek and the Missouri, Madison, Clark Fork and Flathead rivers. It has a combined generating capacity of more than 1,200 megawatts and has offices in Billings, Butte and Helena. PPL Montana and its 500 employees are dedicated to Montana and its communities, supporting educational, environmental and economic development programs across the state. PPL EnergyPlus operates a trading floor in Butte that markets and sells power for PPL Montana in wholesale and retail energy markets throughout the western United States. PPL Montana and PPL EnergyPlus are subsidiaries of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). More information about PPL Montana is available at www.pplmontana.com

For more on this story and other news at PPL, visit the Newsroom here. 

Bluebirds in a Winter Wonderland

DSCN1363We woke up to a winter wonderland yesterday and the first thing I did when I got to the Environmental Learning Center was grab the camera and head outside. We only got a dusting of snow overnight but it looked beautiful covering all of the trees around the lake. As I hiked around the preserve I noticed the birds were out and singing in full force. The snow had covered up food on the ground and they were looking for their seeds elsewhere, for the most part at our Project Feeder Watch set up just outside the learning center.

BluebirdAs I made my way down to the lake to photograph the snow covered shore, I noticed what I had been waiting for all winter, bluebirds amongst a snow covered staghorn sumac. They had found their breakfast, and there was plenty of it. During one of the first snows of the season sometime in November I spent a good amount of time standing in the frigid cold just trying to get at least one shot of a bluebird picking at red berries in a bush in front of the learning center. With my hands frozen, I unfortunately came away with photographs of just the pretty red berries covered in snow, and no birds. It has been a goal of mine since that day to get a shot of those bluebirds in the snow.

DSCN1370So as I tried to conceal my excitement to keep still and quiet while bringing up the camera for a shot at these bluebirds, I began to notice just how many there were. I took a few good shots, but of course I had to get closer. Here’s where the snow became my enemy because the crunch of it under my feet started to scare them away.

RSCN1398At that point I went from photographer back to naturalist and started to count. There had actually been at least 25 bluebirds in this stand of staghorn sumac. I know we have a good population of bluebirds here because I usually see 3 or 4 everyday, even in the winter. Now I know their favorite spot and I will certainly be checking back for more! They have plenty of places to stay due to our conservation efforts in providing a large number of bluebird boxes at the preserve, most of which were built by a student at Lackawanna College and then decorated by children at our annual Pike-Wayne Earth Day festival.

RSCN1399We are gearing up for the Paupack Plunge on Saturday and the winter wonderland had us wondering what we were thinking when we signed up to be freezin’ for a reason! You should join us in the fun and help support a great cause!

 

-Sarah Hall, PPL Lake Wallenpaupack

Valentine’s Day Giveaway Winners

Happy Valentine’s Day! We are feeling the love! We are overwhelmed by the response to our Valentine’s Day Giveaway and can’t thank you all enough for helping us to reach a larger audience. Four of our lucky followers have been drawn at random for the prizes as follows:

Garmin eTrex Legend GPS- Jennifer Lewis

Bushnell Waterproof 8x42mm Binoculars- Marilee Ruditis

Coleman LED Micro-Quad Lantern- Tom Hector

PPL Bird Feeder with birdseed- John B. Sweigart

Each winner should contact us via e-mail at pplpreserves@pplweb.com with your contact information to receive your prize.

Thanks again to everyone who participated! You are all amazing followers and we look forward to hearing from you here and on Facebook or Twitter! We encourage everyone to share their experiences at our preserves on our PPL Preserves Facebook page, so don’t hesitate to post those great pictures you have!

Calling all bird lovers

Osprey and chick at the PPL Lake Wallenpaupack Preserve.

Osprey and chick at the PPL Lake Wallenpaupack Preserve.

Did you know that PPL’s environmental preserves have been directly involved in efforts to raise awareness of birds and their habitat, and to restore peregrine falcons, bald eagles, ospreys and other bird species to Pennsylvania? Through a “Bird Town” alliance with the Audubon Society, PPL works to raise awareness of birds and their habitats through education, awareness and training activities.

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Here is a chance for all bird lovers to become engaged.  The National Audubon Society is seeking participants for The Great Backyard Bird Count,   an annual four-day event from Feb. 15-18 that engages bird watchers in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.

Anyone interested in volunteering to take part in this event can grab their binoculars and sign up here: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/howto.html.  Volunteers provide important information on the status and trends of our bird populations.

To learn more about PPL’s commitment to birds of prey throughout Pennsylvania, we invite you to read and follow our blog.

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