Empower Oklahoma families. Give during home energy aid month and your donation will be doubled!

Lights. Air conditioning. Electricity to cook a hot meal. Most of us never dream of going without these basic necessities. But for some Oklahomans, the threat of losing their utilities is all too real.

During Home Energy Aid Month in July, PSO will match donations to the Salvation Army’s energy assistance program. During July, every dollar you give will go twice as far! Visit the Salvation Army Energy Aid Month to donate today.

Stories of Resilience
Mark never thought this could happen to him. He eats healthy and stays fit, but all it took was one misstep. Now the job he loves, caring for people in his nursing home, is a job he cannot do. After hurting his back, Mark cannot lift more than 30 pounds. His wife Stephanie has a good job, but one income for a family of four just isn’t enough. When their utility bill overdue notice came in the mail Mark knew they needed help. The Salvation Army Center of Hope Home Energy Aid program helped Mark and Stephanie cover their overdue bill. By taking care of this bill, Mark and Stephanie can now avoid the complications that come with losing home utilities or worse.

Want to help year-round? You can support energy assistance programs through PSO’s Light A Life program in two key ways: 

Learn more or make a donation for Home Energy Aid Month.

Four tips to help you unplug (literally) and keep your home energy-efficient while on vacation.

Summer is here, which means road trips, camping excursions and family vacations—and more time away from home. To help ensure your house isn’t using unnecessary energy and costing you money while you’re gone, follow these four easy tips.

 

1. Make sure indoor lights and electronics are shut off.

We’ve all returned from vacation to discover a closet light left on or a stray television or gaming console still active. It might seem like a minor miss, but little oversights can add up quickly in terms of energy and dollars. Double-check those easy-to-miss rooms — garages, closets, bathrooms, storage sheds — to make sure all lights and nonessential electronics are off. Make sure your electronics aren’t secretly using energy while you’re gone by switching off power strips and disconnecting any electronics plugged straight into the wall, especially televisions, stereos, gaming consoles, and computers.

 

2. Program your thermostat and your outdoor lights.

It’s important to keep your home safe and comfortable, but leaving lights on 24/7 or an A/C unit running while you’re away can waste a considerable amount of energy. Consider installing a timer on outdoor lights and programming them to come on after sunset and automatically shut off at sunrise. During the summertime, set your thermostat to 85 degrees to save on cooling costs while you’re away from home.

 

3. Don’t clean out your fridge or freezer before you leave.

It might seem like a good time to clear out the excess clutter in your refrigerator, but did you know an empty fridge actually uses more energy than a full one? Maximize your fridge’s efficiency by waiting to clear it out until you’re back home and have new goods to replace what you’re discarding.

 

4. Consider an energy audit.

A home energy audit can help you locate and seal costly air leaks across your home. Proper sealing and insulation could help you save up to 30% in energy costs — and help you rest easy while on vacation.

 

Looking for more ways to save energy and money? Check out more energy-saving tips and tricks.

Four ways to help your HVAC stay cool

In an ideal world, summer temps would stay moderate, a cool breeze would always be blowing, and you would rarely have to turn on your home’s air conditioner. But we live in Oklahoma, which means at some point that HVAC is going to be working overtime. The good news: even with your AC system running, there are ways to maximize your energy efficiency without sacrificing home comfort. Here are five of them.

  1. Clean or replace your air conditioner filters

A clogged filter can obstruct airflow and reduce the efficiency of your system—and cost you money. According to the Department of Energy, replacing a dirty or clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.

  1. Keep your coils clean

Your AC’s evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over time—especially an outdoor condenser coil. Check and clean your evaporator coil yearly, and make sure that your condenser coil is not near an excess of debris or foliage. This will allow for adequate airflow—and reduced energy usage.

  1. Check your window unit for air leaks

If you have a window unit, make sure the seal between your air conditioner and window frame is secure and not leaking cool air. Check for leaks on your other windows as well; poorly sealed windows are often the chief culprit of energy leaks.

  1. Get a professional opinion

A professional technician can inspect your HVAC unit on a deeper level and find and fix problems you might have missed. They’ll check your refrigerant, test for refrigerant and duct leaks, measure airflow, inspect electric terminals, oil motors and check belts, and, most importantly, check the accuracy of your thermostat.

Looking for more ways to save energy and money? Check out more energy-saving tips and tricks.

Four simple ways to save more energy this Earth Day

We all want to give the planet a break, and Earth Day is a great time to start living a more energy-efficient lifestyle. One way to do that? Plan energy-saving days with your family at home! Here are five easy ways to start:

  1. Cool your home with a cross breeze.

On milder days—or warm days with a heavy breeze—you can save a ton of energy by switching off the AC and opening a few windows instead. Those open windows will create a natural airflow that can go a long way towards keeping you comfortable. If the breeze isn’t strong enough, try switching on a few fans before you run for the thermostat.

 

  1. Minimize your use of artificial light.

There’s no way to avoid the simple fact that we need light to live. Where and how you get that light is up to you, though. Open the blinds, let the sunlight in, and consider making a rule that during daylight hours the only light switch that gets flipped is the one in your closet or bathroom. You can take it a step further by using candlelight to illuminate your home after dark—just be mindful of the open flame.

 

  1. Cook as a family—on an outdoor grill.

Outdoor grilling is a great way to save energy, enjoy the outdoors, and bond as a family over a delicious meal. If you’re not sure where to start, just grab your favorite meat or vegetable, toss some seasoning on there and throw it on the grill. But If you’re not the spontaneous type, there are tons of grill recipes available online, including those that accommodate special diets. Plan your meal as a family, then take turns manning the grill while relaxing in the fresh open air. When it’s ready, consider dining outdoors to keep the energy-efficient party going.

 

  1. Keep a log of how much energy you save.

If you’re serious about changing your habits, the best way to do it is to keep track of your energy usage and watch the savings stack up in real time. PSO makes this easy with online energy analysis broken down by year, month, week and day. Visit My Energy Advisor , then login or register to see your energy usage.

 

Looking for more ways to save? Check out more energy-saving tips and tricks from PSO here.

Get Plugged In: Four things to know about electric cars

As the auto industry ramps up its renewable efforts, electric vehicles are quickly becoming more popular—and more affordable. But what does that mean for your personal energy usage? Here are four things to know when deciding whether an electric vehicle is right for you.

1. The most energy-efficient way to recharge your vehicle is also the most convenient.

Most people charge their electric vehicles at home in their garage, overnight. Electric costs are lower, and with the lights and electronics off and everyone asleep, it’s also when you’re using the least amount of electricity.

2. Alternative fueling stations are more prominent than ever.

In the past, the relative lack of alternative fueling stations—that is, public spaces equipped with electric vehicle chargers—made the idea of purchasing an electric car prohibitive and inconvenient for those who often drive long distances. But there are now more than 26,000 public charging stations across the U.S., and you can use the Department of Energy’s handy fueling station locator to plan your trip and assure that you always know where you’ll be charging next.

3. The electric batteries are getting cheaper.

Like the electric vehicle as a whole, the battery is quickly becoming more affordable. According to the Department of Energy, before 2009, a 100-mile range electric battery cost $33,000. Today, prices still vary greatly, but some 40kw replacement batteries for certain EV models run as low as $5,499 before installation costs, and battery prices continue to fall across the industry as manufacturing costs drop.

4. Electric vehicles emit zero tailpipe pollutants.

This might sound obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing: When you switch to an electric vehicle, you put an immediate stop to the carbon emissions and pollutants that come from traditional cars—with almost no effort.

Learn more about electric vehicles by visiting the Department of Energy’s website.