As you may have heard or seen first hand, electricity costs are way, way up and we wanted to take a moment to explain what we're seeing and avenues to explore to further reduce your bill. Style of Home and Heat - most of our homes rely on electric baseboard heat to heat the home. Electric baseboard is very reliable, which is why it's so prevalent in the Poconos. However, it's incredibly inefficient. Think about it - it's a piece of metal that warms the air around it and continues to do so throughout a home. Usually these units are in every room, including rooms with vaulted ceilings, sit under windows (heat rises) and have tons of windows to enjoy the nature views. It's a recipe for a warm home but a high electric bill. This Winter In Particular - this winter's electricity bills have been considerably higher (20% or so) than previous winters. I'm seeing this in my own personal vacation home (I'm a client too!) as well as hearing it from our clients. It's being spoken about here and a large part of this has to do with the price hikes from the energy providers. Previous winters have hovered around $700 on the high side and we are hearing of $1,100 heating bills this winter. Turning Thermostats Down - We do manage the thermostat/s in your home. Often. We ask the renters to turn them down to 55 degrees at checkout and also have the cleaners turn them down after cleaning. However, by doing so we may be inviting some unintended consequences...

  • Un-heating to Re-heat - We don't have a way to test this, but having the home go from 70 to 55, back up to 70 may take more energy than keeping it at 70 degrees
  • Unhappy (and cold) Guests - this weekend we're going to be experiencing single degree weather. Many homes are unequipped for this, especially taking the home from 55 degrees back up to 70 degrees (namely, mini-split systems). For this reason, there are obvious benefits to keeping the homes warm when we know a guest is going to be arriving in the next day or so.

We try hard to walk this fine line, but it's a balancing act. We want guests to not have heating issues upon arrival but also want to be mindful of heating costs. Changing Electric Providers - Pennsylvania is a state where you get to choose your own energy provider (yay!) so while you are stuck with PPL being the "delivery company" of the electric (think: power lines) its origin is something you have control of! I know everyone thinks of PPL as being an altruistic and benevolent company (*he said sarcastically*) but the truth of the matter is if you don't select an energy provider they will choose one for you and are proooobably going to pick that one that favors their own business interests the most. Shop it! Get a cheaper (or more green) provider.

Here is a helpful link to help you navigate changing providers. It might take 10 minutes of your time and can save you 40%+ on your bill (seriously!) as we've had homeowners mention their rate went from 14 cents to 7.6 cents! Mini-Splits (Ductless Units) - this is what I did personally, and many other clients have as well. They are significantly more energy efficient and can reduce your bill greatly (although not as much as the salesperson told me...). I personally saw our bill go from $700 to $400 in the winter, which is helpful, but the units also cost a few thousand dollars (once again, ours cost $7,000 to install). Remote Monitoring - You can also purchase a MYSA unit that can help manage the baseboard heat remotely! I looked into this a few years ago and the downside is you had to buy one per room and there was no "master and slave" relationship with the units, which ended up making the units oppressively expensive. While we don't share in the expense, we do take your costs seriously! We know that if your bills are high then your margins shrink and something has to give, so we will continue to do what we can to keep these costs in check during some pretty unprecedented times. Thank you for your understanding, and please let us know what questions you have!