Saving energy doesn't have to be difficult - or expensive. Try these easy tips to save energy and money. Many are low cost or even free. And if you do want to make energy efficiency upgrades, you'll find information about some rebates PPL offers to help you.
PPL also has free energy efficiency programs for income-qualified customers. We will perform an in-home audit and provide free energy efficiency improvements. Some homes may qualify for a new refrigerator, water heater, and heating and cooling system repairs or replacement. Learn more
Saving Money. Lighting represents about 20 percent of your home's electricity bill. Switching from incandescent bulbs to ENERGY STAR® LEDs is an easy step you can take to save on your energy bill and help the environment.
Switching to LEDs. Switching from incandescent bulbs to ENERGY STAR LEDs is an effective, simple way to save energy and money. LEDs use up to 75 percent less energy without sacrificing light output. LEDs can last up to 20 years longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, so you save on bulb replacement costs, too. Every 60 watt incandescent bulb that is replaced with an LED can save you more than $4 per year in electricity costs. That’s $160 per year for a home with 40 bulbs.
Outdoor Lighting. The outdoor porch light is one of your home's most used fixtures. ENERGY STAR certified fixtures use 75% less energy, come in a variety of styles and finishes, and can last up to 20 years longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. So, an LED is much less likely to burn out while you are on vacation. Many include features such as motion sensors or automatic daylight shut-offs. Every 60-watt incandescent bulb in an outdoor light that is replaced with an LED can save you more than $16 per year in electricity costs.
Three-Way Bulbs. Does your fixture have a three-way switch to provide three different light levels? If it does, you'll need to look for an ENERGY STAR certified bulb that is specially designed to provide three different light levels and marked "Three-Way."
Lights out. Remember to turn the lights off when not in use or install an occupancy sensor for additional savings.
Furnace and Boiler
Maintenance. Clean or replace furnace and air filters regularly; filters should be cleaned or replaced at least every three months. Dirty filters block air flow, causing your furnace and central air conditioning to work harder and less economically.
Air Filters. Change your central air conditioner or heat pump air filter regularly. Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months in the winter. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm and wastes energy.
Smart Thermostat. Install a smart thermostat and set it at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or lower—the recommended setting for winter. A smart thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs and most work with WIFI and apps to give you control of your thermostat while you are not home.
Interested in a rebate on a smart thermostat? If your home has electric heating as the main source, and you select an ENERGY STAR® certified thermostat, you can receive a rebate.
Lowering Your Thermostat. Dress appropriately for the weather and on cold winter nights, put an extra blanket on the bed and lower your thermostat another degree or two to save even more.
Doors and Windows
Using Insulated Drapes. Install insulated drapes or blinds to keep warm air inside. In the winter, keep the draperies and blinds on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill and drafts.
Close Fireplace Damper. Tightly close fireplace damper, unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like having a window open during the winter.
Upgrade your heating system when it is time for replacement. If your heat pump is old, consider installing a more-efficient heat pump with an efficiency rating of at least SEER 16. If you have baseboard electric heaters, consider replacing them with an air source heat pump or a ductless heat pump. Learn more about PPL’s rebates on heating systems to help you save.
Keep the Air Flowing. Make sure that rugs, drapes or furniture are not blocking air flow to cooling registers. Also keep them clear of paper, files and office supplies.
Shading Your Unit. An air conditioning unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10 percent less electricity than the same one operating in the sun. Plant shade trees to shield your home and block the heat from the sun. Shade your air conditioner, too. Direct sunshine on the heat exchanger decreases its efficiency. A well-placed tree or awning will shade and protect the unit. Position window air conditioners on the shaded side of the house, away from direct sunlight. For more efficient cooling, close doors leading to uncooled parts of the house.
Replacing old units. If you have old window air conditioners, replace them with new, ENERGY STAR® window units or consider a very efficient (and quiet) ductless heat pump. PPL has a rebate on ductless heat pumps to help you save.
Change your air filter regularly. Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months in the summer. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool—wasting energy.
Install a smart thermostat. If your health allows, set it at 75 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, which is the recommended setting for summer. A smart thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs and most work with wifi and smart phone apps to give you control of your thermostat while you are not home.
Thermostats control nearly half of your home's energy. That's more than appliances, lighting, TVs, computers and stereos combined.
Interested in a rebate on a smart thermostat? If your home has electric heating as the main source, and you select an ENERGY STAR certified thermostat, you can receive a rebate.
Air Sealing and Insulation
Seal Then Insulate. Homeowners can save about 10% of their total energy bills by sealing air leaks first, followed by adding insulation. Seal air leaks using caulk, spray foam or weather stripping. Weatherizing your home this way is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve energy efficiency and comfort.
Sealing Hidden Leaks. Air can leak out of your house around windows, doors, skylights and other openings. If you add up all of the hidden air leaks in your home, they can equal a hole the size of an open window! To maximize home efficiency, seal all the gaps where air can leak out.
Doors and Windows
Adding Shade. Close blinds and curtains on the south and west facing windows to block out summer sunlight. To add more shade, plant trees to shield windows or move container trees and plants in front of windows.
Adding Tinted Window Film. Tinted window film can help reduce solar heat gain during the summer and it will keep furniture and carpets from fading.
Air Sealing and Insulation
Seal Then Insulate. Homeowners can save about 10 percent of their total energy bills by sealing air leaks first, followed by adding insulation. Seal air leaks using caulk, spray foam or weather stripping. Weatherizing your home this way is one of the most cost effective ways to improve energy efficiency and comfort.
Sealing Hidden Leaks. Air can leak out of your house around windows, doors, skylights and other openings. If you add up all of the hidden air leaks in your home, they can equal a hole the size of an open window! To maximize home efficiency,
seal all the gaps where air can leak out.
Check your ducts. Check your ductwork for air leaks, especially at joints. Seal off air leaks with foil faced tape rather than duct tape.
Ducts in unconditioned spaces. If you have ductwork in an unconditioned space—such as the attic, a crawlspace, or unfinished basement—seal leaks and insulate it. Wrap ducts in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer. Check to ensure that hanging flexible ducts are supported every four feet with an inch and a half wide or wider hanging strap.
Keep the Air Flowing. Make sure that rugs, drapes or furniture are not blocking air flow to heating/cooling registers or baseboard heaters. Also keep them clear of paper, files and office supplies.
Turn Off exhaust Fans. Turn off kitchen and bath exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing. Also, when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.
Turning off the air conditioner. Use ceiling fans instead of cranking up the air conditioner in the summer. Open windows for cross breezes.
Change Ceiling fan blade direction. In the winter, run ceiling fans in a clockwise direction at the lowest speed to force warm air that is near the ceiling, down the walls and back into the living space. In the summer, run the blades counter-clockwise or downward to push cool air down to the floor and cool more efficiently.
Turn fans off when you leave the room. Ceiling fans cool only people, not the room. There's no need to leave them running in an empty room.
Recycling Old Fridges and Freezers. Older refrigerator models can use up to four times the electricity of new high-efficiency ones and cost up to $150 a year to run. An estimated 35 million freezers are currently in use in the U.S., with over 16 million of these freezers are more than 10 years old, costing consumers $990 million per year on their energy bills. Want to get rid of that old inefficient fridge or freezer? With PPL's Appliance Recycling program you can schedule a free pick-up AND get a rebate. We also offer rebates on new more efficient appliances.
Maintaining. Keep coils and condenser areas free of dust.
Setting Temperatures. Keep your refrigerator compartment temperature between 36 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, and your freezer at 0 degrees. Check temperatures by leaving a thermometer in each compartment overnight.
Anti-Sweat Switch. If your refrigerator has an energy-saver (anti-sweat) switch, it should be on during the summer and off during the winter.
Manual vs. Automatic Defrost. Manual defrost freezers use half the energy of automatic defrost models, but must be defrosted periodically to achieve the energy savings. Don't allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
Positioning Inside. If possible, locate refrigerators and freezers away from direct sunlight and other warm air sources such as ranges and heating equipment. Unless you live in a mild climate, keep your freezer indoors, preferably in a basement. Extreme temperatures are hard on the compressor and can reduce the life of your freezer.
Running Full Loads. Load it up. Dishwashers use about the same energy and water regardless of the number of dishes inside, so run full loads whenever possible.
Scrape, Don't Rinse. Rinsing dishes can use up to 20 gallons of water before the dishes are even loaded. Save yourself the rinsing just scrape food off dishes. ENERGY STAR®-certified dishwashers and today's detergents are designed to do the cleaning so you don't have to. If your dirty dishes sit overnight, use your dishwasher's rinse feature. It uses a fraction of the water needed to hand rinse. Instead of scrubbing, rinsing and drying each dish, just load them all in an ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher that can save you over 230 hours of personal time over the course of a year. That’s almost 10 days!
Setting Air-Dry Option. Use the air-dry option. Avoid using the heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-rinse features.
Setting Water Temperature. Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer recommendation on water temperature. It may have an internal heating element that allows you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature.
Using the Right Size Pots. Using the right size pots on stove burners can save about $36 annually for an electric range, or $18 for gas. Heat is lost and energy is wasted if the burner size is larger than the pot size. A 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner wastes over 40 percent of the burner's heat. Covering pots and pans also helps you cook more efficiently and keeps your kitchen cooler.
Sealing the Door. Make sure the oven door is sealed tight. Avoid opening the oven door while baking—each time the door is opened, about 20 percent of the heat inside is lost.
Cleaning Burners. With a gas range, keep the burners clean to ensure maximum efficiency. Blue flames mean good combustion; yellow flames mean service may be needed to ensure the gas is burning efficiently.
Setting Water Temperature. Water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Unless you're dealing with oily stains, washing in cold water will generally do a good job of cleaning. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half. Using the cold cycle reduces energy use even more.
Setting the Water Level. Set the water level on your washer to match the size of the load.
Leaving the Door Open After Use. Front-loading washers use airtight seals to prevent water from leaking while the machine is in use. When the machine is not in use, this seal can trap moisture in the machine and lead to mold. Leave the door ajar for an hour or two after use to allow moisture to evaporate.
Cleaning Lint Filters. Clean your dryer's lint filter after every load.
Air-Dry Clothes. Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks.
Heavy Loads. Dry towels and heavier-weight items in separate loads.
Dryer Vent. Inspect the dryer vent regularly to make sure it is not kinked or clogged. Clean if needed.
Consecutive Loads. Dry consecutive loads to take advantage of the heat remaining in your dryer from the last load.
Avoiding Overload. Fill your clothes dryer but don't overload it. The dryer needs space for air circulation to efficiently evaporate the water caught in the fabrics.
Maintaining. Periodically inspect your dryer vent pipe and remove any blockage. Better air circulation reduces drying time and saves energy.
Using Sensor Drying. Use sensor drying, not timed drying. ENERGY STAR® dryer models incorporate advanced moisture sensors to help you reduce your dryer’s energy use. This feature ensures that your dryer will automatically shut off when clothes are dry.
Setting Temperature. Heating water can account for 15 to 20 percent of your utility bill. Most water heaters are set higher than necessary. Lower your water heater setting to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save energy and money. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit reduction in temperature, you can save from 3% to 5% on your water heating costs. Also, lower the temperature on your water heater when you're away for more than two days.
Adding a Water Heater Blanket. If you have an older water heater, adding a water heater blanket will help increase its energy efficiency until you're ready to replace it.
Insulating Pipes. Insulate the first six feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.
Faucet and Shower: Repairing Leaks. Repair any faucet leaks. A leaky faucet can waste gallons of water. Hot water leaking at a rate of 1 drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water over the course of a year, and waste up to $35 in electricity. Fixing drips is a cost-effective and easy way to save energy.
Choosing Faucet Aerators. Install an energy efficient showerhead and faucet aerators to reduce water use.
Choosing a Shower Head. With a new 2.5 gallon-per-minute (energy efficient) shower head, a 10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving you 5 gallons of water over a typical bath.
Don’t waste hot water. Don’t let the water run needlessly while you are washing dishes or your hands.
Did you know that PPL offers rebates on heat pump water heaters?
Sleeping or Shutting Off Your Computer. Make sure your computer automatically switches to "sleep mode" or manually turn the monitor off when it isn't in use.
Unplugging Electronics. Home electronics still draw power, even when you're not using them, and can account for up to 12% of your energy bill. Reduce that by simply unplugging your DVR, game systems, cell phones and other electronics when you're done. Just unplug and save!
Charging Your Cellphone. Unplug electronics such as cell phones and laptops once they are charged. Did you know your cell phone's charger still draws energy even when it's not plugged into your phone?
Using Smart Power Strips. Use smart power strips to reduce costs. There are three types of power strips: Timer-equipped (with programmable timers), occupancy sensing (with motion detectors), and current sensing (that can turn several outlets off or on).