is a free energy-saving kit. What else would it be?
Here at the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program’s Crisis office I have been distributing home energy savings kits to eligible customers of the Pennsylvania Power and Lighting (PP&L) utility company. As part of Act 129, Phase II legislation, electric distribution companies are required to adopt and implement an energy efficiency and conservation program for their clients. One component of PP&L’s plan is the distribution of ePower Wise kits- cheery green boxes with energy-saving upgrades such as sink and showerhead aerators, CFL’s, an LED nightlight, advanced powerstrip, FilterTone alarm, thermometer, and miscellaneous stickers and kitchen magnets. As I hand out the kits to eligible customers, I also give them a brief energy education after I explain the different components of the kit.
Although efficient lightbulbs and faucet attachments won’t help with high gas, oil or coal bills, I’m encouraged to see that the kits are generally received with enthusiasm and gratitude. It means that people are willing to make small changes to turn their homes into energy efficient powerhouses, if only we give them the tools to get started. It means that we can effectively disguise resource conservation and environmentalism under the guise of penny-pinching methods to cut back on energy bills. America might be the land of plenty, but the only thing we will have plenty of if we don’t start conserving our energy resources better is regret. And so, I’m happy to play my part by handing out more kits, reminding people to turn off their lights, and getting people on track to becoming greener and more energy conscious than ever before.
Roxanne Li graduated from Cornell University in May 2012 with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Sustainable Energy Systems. She then went on to complete a six month internship with an environmental consulting company in Johannesburg, South Africa. Roxanne works on the Weatherization Innovation Pilot Project at the Commission of Economic Opportunity (CEO) in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She provides energy education for low-income households and develops strategies to overcome barriers related to behavior changes that could reduce residential energy consumption.