Feature Blog Post by Carol Obando-Derstine, regional affairs director, PPL Electric Utilities
If we could harness the energy of little kids excited to trick-or-treat – or the energy of kids after a few pieces of Halloween candy – we could probably light the entire state of Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, that seemingly boundless source of free seasonal energy hasn’t been tapped.
The good news is this: While there are no magic solutions for free energy, there are steps you can take to manage your energy use and reduce your electric bill as temperatures get colder and sunlight gets scarcer.
October is Energy Awareness Month. In some places, it’s also called Energy Action Month. That might be the better name: Awareness is a good first step, but action is needed to save.
One action you can take is to have your heating system inspected and serviced before the real cold weather arrives. If it hasn’t been looked at in a while, it might not be running as efficiently as it could be. A little attention now could save you money down the road.
Another little improvement that can pay off is caulking and weatherstripping around doors, windows and skylights. If you add up all of the hidden air leaks in your home, they can equal a hole the size of an open window. A little low-cost attention on your part can keep more of the hot air inside, where you want it.
If you don’t have a smart thermostat, now’s a great time to get on board. A digital thermostat lets you turn down the heat when you’re not at home. Some of them can also be adjusted remotely by cell phone, so if you’re coming home earlier than expected, you can have things heating up when you get home.
Unplug home electronics when you’re not using them, or plug them into smart power strips that will cut power to them. Home electronics can account for up to 12 percent of your energy bill, so saving in this area is no small matter.
PPL Electric Utilities customers can take a quick online assessment at pplelectricsavings.com that will give you energy efficiency tips tailored to your home. You’ll get a report showing where your home is using the most electricity and where you could benefit most from behavior changes or system upgrades—with links to rebates available from PPL.
And don’t forget LED bulbs, which use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescents without sacrificing light output. LEDs can last up to 20 years longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, so you save on bulb replacement costs, too. (PPL offers instant discounts on LEDs at some retailers. Learn more at pplelectricsavings.com.)
All these steps, taken together, can add up to some pretty good energy savings around the house. And that might make you just about as excited as a kid dressed up for trick-or-treating.