Shake, Rattle, and Roll with this Low-Cal Elvis Sandwich!

Besides being an all-time rock n’ roll legend, Elvis Presley was also an aficionado of peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches. So what better way to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day on January 24 than with The King’s favorite sandwich?

We know what you’re thinking: How can an Elvis Sandwich be healthy? To be honest, we had “Suspicious Minds” about it too. But the magicians at Eat This, Not That! have a recipe that’s only 330 calories and 12 grams of fat!

Want a treat your kiddos will scarf down like a “Hound Dog?” 

“Don’t Be Cruel” and try to make these sandwiches yourself!

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread, lightly toasted
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (two slices are all you need for the smoky, savory flavor)

Directions

  1. Spread a generous layer of peanut butter on 4 pieces of the toast.
  2. Pave with the banana slices, drizzle with a light stream of honey, and scatter with the crumbled bacon pieces.
  3. Top with the remaining toast.

Sounds delish? Make a few of your own and your kids will be saying: “Thank ya, thank ya very much!” 

Don’t Get Burned By Energy Loss—Follow These Five Fireplace Steps Instead!

There’s nothing quite like sitting beside a roaring fireplace in the winter, especially if you have a warm blanket and a good book to go with it. 

While our ancestors may have had nothing but fireplaces, be grateful that your home’s heating system is way more energy efficient today—an open fireplace lets 85% of heat escape through your chimney. Yikes!

We won’t tell you to not use your fireplace (we love their warmth and ambience too). Instead, try these five simple tips to make your fireplace more energy efficient.

1.) Pick the right wood.

Buying fresh is a good idea for 99% of the things you buy—but not firewood. Fresh wood has more moisture and creates more smoke than dry wood, leaving behind a nasty coat of resin in your chimney, which hurts efficiency. Choose wood that has been seasoned or dried in the sun for at least six months.

2.) Glass doors are clearly better.

If you only use a mesh screen for your fireplace, your home is losing a lot of energy, even when your fireplace damper is closed. Installing glass doors reduces radiant heat loss by about 50%, makes it easier to light up the fireplace, and (most importantly) is much safer in a home with small children or pets. 

3.) Top off your chimney with a damper.

You most likely have a throat damper, the most common type of damper, which you should definitely close when your fireplace isn’t in use. But the most energy-efficient thing you can do is install a top-sealing damper, which seals the chimney at the top. This keeps outside air from entering the house (and vice versa), and preventing unwanted debris, birds, or animals from entering the flue.

4.) Install a cast-iron fireback.

Cast-iron firebacks are old-school technology that still make a big difference today. As the name suggests, the fireback sits behind the fire to absorb the fire’s heat and return it back into the room, getting more heat from the fireplace without turning it up. It also protects the back wall of the fireplace, and let’s be honest, it also just looks really cool.

5.) Stay sealed in the summer.

Once outdoor temps go up, properly seal your fireplace so your A/C’s cool air doesn’t escape your home. Check your chimney to see if there’s a lock at the bottom for sealing your fireplace. If not, inflatable plugs are super easy to install and inexpensive too, especially when you consider how much energy you’re saving.

Stay warm in the winter. Save energy and money all year long. Get fired up about saving energy, and find more heating and cooling tips from your pals at PSO.

Make 2021 Your Most Energy-Efficient Year Ever

Ready to make 2021 your most energy-efficient year ever? Great, us too!

Now we’ll admit, some electricity-saving tips take more, well, energy, than others. So while we’re super grateful if you want to go above and beyond to save electricity, we’re including simple tips, because saving anything helps tremendously. Plus, simple resolutions are much easier to stick with throughout the year. If you want to go the extra mile, we’ve included ways to save even more.

Check out these easy, energy-saving resolutions:

Resolution #1: Turn off the lights. Our first resolution is the easiest—turn off the lights when you’re not in the room. Your furniture won’t mind sitting in the dark, so flip the switch when you exit a room. Save even more: Switch to LED lights, which use up to 90% less energy than conventional lights (get rebates up to $2/bulb!)

Resolution #2: Turn off your computer. If you’re going to be away from your computer for two or more hours, simply turn it off. Your computer uses more energy when it’s “asleep” or with a screensaver than it does powering back on, so simply turn it off when you’re away or done for the day. Save even more: Switch to a laptop, which uses up to 90% less energy than a desktop.

Resolution #3: Unplug when you’re done charging. Want to give 110%? Stop charging after 100%! Sure, it’s easy to leave your phone or laptop charging, but once it hits 100% it doesn’t fill the battery up anymore, it just uses more electricity. So unplug at 100%! Save even more: Unplugging your electronics (TVs, Blu-Ray players, video game systems) will save a lot, but it’s not always feasible. So switch to an ADVANCED Power Strip, which keeps your electronics from draining power when they’re turned off. Plus we’ll help you pay for one!

Resolution #4: Clean up your laundry routine. Wash wisely with these easy (and free) tips: Wash full loads of laundry in cold water; go old-school and dry your clothes on a clothesline when it’s warm outside; and always clean your dryer’s lint filter, as it not only saves energy, it could prevent a fire! Save even more: Switch to an ENERGY STAR®-certified washer and dryer, and get a $50 rebate for each

Resolution #5: Don’t touch that dial. You know which one we’re talking about—your thermostat. Here are some helpful rules-of-thumb to follow instead: During the winter, set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you’re at home, and lower it at night or when you’re away; in the summer, set it to a minimum 78 degrees and use ceiling fans to keep you cool. Save even more: Sign up for PSO Power Hours and get $110 off an eligible Wi-Fi thermostat. 

Thank you for making these easy, energy-saving resolutions (it makes a big difference). This year let’s make our community a better, more energy-efficient place for us all to live!

Congrats to Our 2021 Art Contest Winners!

For National Energy Awareness month in October, we asked K-12 students to answer an important question: “what does energy efficiency mean to me?” But they didn’t answer with words – they answered with art!

These creative kiddos busted out their crayons, popped open their marker boxes, brushed off their paint brushes, and let their imaginations run wild. These results are absolutely inspiring!

Every entry made us smile ear to ear, but here are the 12 winning entries that will be featured in our 2021 PSO Energy Efficiency calendar.

Winners

Additional Participants

Congrats to our 12 winners, and thank you to everyone who participated. You continue to remind us that the greatest source of energy is the communities we serve.

You’ll Have a “Blast” Making These Delicious Hot Chocolate Bombs

When it comes to “warm weather essentials,” hot chocolate is right up there with comfy sweaters and cozy blankets. You’ll be thrilled to discover there’s a way to make hot chocolate even more fun—hot chocolate bombs!

These creative concoctions are like a bath bomb for your taste buds, with a sweet candy surprise inside a chocolate “bomb” that melts in your hot milk. Sounds like a 10 on the “yum” scale, right?

Your family will have a blast making them, and even more fun drinking them. Try out this recipe from allrecipes.

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Chocolate chips (milk, dark, white, etc.)
  • Hot cocoa mix
  • Add-ins, like mini marshmallows, sprinkles, or toffee piece
  • Spherical silicone mold (available at many retailers)

Directions

  1. Melt your chocolate chips by microwaving them in a bowl for 30 seconds, stirring, then continuing to heat at 15-second intervals, and stir until the chips are all melted.
  2. Use a spoon to dollop the melted chocolate into your molds, smoothing it around the edges until everything is covered. 
  3. Set in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm.
  4. Fill your mold three-fourths full with your hot cocoa mix and optional add-ins.
  5. Pour the remaining chocolate over top to seal the “back” of the bombs. Place mold in the fridge until the chocolate sets.
  6. Serve in a mug, pouring hot milk over the bomb and stirring until completely melted.

For a tasty treat that’s sure to become a new holiday tradition, try these hot chocolate bombs out for yourself.