Some things are just a given. Water is wet, the sky is blue and summer in Pennsylvania can be pretty

This week is a perfect example of the latter. While not all that unusual, the heat wave we've endured

this week is a perfect opportunity to talk about ways to save on your electric bill.

When Mother Nature cranks up the thermostat, there are several no-cost or low-cost ways to save and

still stay comfortable. They include:

ß Make sure drapes and shades are pulled during the day to block the hot sun.

ß In the summer, most people can be comfortable wearing light clothing and a thermostat

temperature setting between 72 and 78 degrees. You will save energy for every degree higher

you can set your thermostat.

ß Minimize the use of heat-generating appliances like the dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer

during the warmest hours of the day.

ß Ceiling fans are wonderful to have for air movement, and they are economical to operate at

pennies a day. It costs much less to move air than to cool it. But use ceiling fans only in the

rooms that will be occupied. Using a ceiling fan often lets you raise the temperature setting on

your thermostat by one to three degrees.

Other things can also help you save, too. Keeping your air conditioner in a shaded spot helps it operate

more efficiently. Planting the right trees in the right places can provide valuable shade and help cool

your home. However, make sure whatever you plant is not going to interfere with nearby power lines

in the future. And always call 811 at least three business days before you start any project involving

Heat waves mean we're all using more power to help stay cool. Bills sometimes can rise sharply during

hot weather. And for some folks, that can present a financial challenge.

Please remember that PPL Electric Utilities has a variety of programs to help if you find yourself in

tough financial straits. Our goal is to help everyone maintain uninterrupted service. If you're behind

on your bill and meet income guidelines, the OnTrack program could be one option. It offers reduced

monthly electric bill payments and a chance to erase any debt you owe. We work with a variety of local

community agencies to offer the program.

More information on OnTrack and other programs that can help can be found at

billhelp. You can also call us at 1-800-342-5775.

We all know how fast time flies. Before you know it, we'll be talking about heating season.

For now, enjoy the summer and stay safe.