Save Your Zappy Volts

So our annual budget includes $650 million towards “energy programs” geared at helping Pennsylvania reduce its dependence on foreign oil.  The exact nature of the programs hasn’t yet been made clear, but any chance to bring energy conservation to the forefront can’t be all bad.

Right now we’re in a sweet spot for home-efficiency improvements.  Utility costs are rising, and both PPL and Met Ed have announced their intention to spike the hell out of your prices by 2011.  But the cost of many inexpensive improvements either has not risen, or better yet, continues to fall.  Compact flourescent lights, for example:  They can now be bought in bulk for about $1 each, and they use about 65% less electricity than an incandescent or halogen bulb.  Now is the probably the best time in history to look around your home and save some cash.  Here’s what I’ve done so far:

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Buying a Security System – Part 2

A few days ago I wrote a post as a very rough primer on home security systems.  Crime is steadily creeping up locally, and a decent security system provides peace of mind (not to mention a degree of protection) for not much money.  I’m a big advocate of security systems partly because they’re fun to design and program, but also because they’re such an effective crime deterrent.

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Bruce Bond Indicted

I guess things didn’t pan out so well after his departure from Wink 104:

The 65-count indictment charges Bruce Bond with forgery, attempted grand larceny, identity theft and other charges that allege he worked the scheme over the past 15 months with accomplices in Nigeria and Europe.  The former afternoon drive-time talker for WNNK radio in Harrisburg was arrested at his apartment on Wall Street on May 20. Bond’s lawyer, Patrick Megaro, said his client “is absolutely not the ring leader. He is merely a cog in the wheel.”

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Buying A Security System – Part 1

Newsflash: home burglaries are on the rise.  This happens every summer and is pretty much usually best attributed to bored kids + warm weather.  It is not easily dismissed as a “midtown problem” or a “hilltop problem”; it happens everywhere.  Everyone knows the general tips on protecting your home — lock your windows & doors, install security lighting, keep valuables out of sight — so I’m not going to rehash those here.  Sara published a pretty good list a few weeks ago if you need a refresher.  One footnote: if you get security lighting, get the kind with flourescent or LED lights.  Especially with dusk-to-dawn lights and the forthcoming massive utility rate hikes, the energy savings will pay for the added cost in a matter of months.

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Regal Beagle Raid

ABC27 and WHP are reporting that everybody’s favorite not-even-trying-to-hide-it illegal bar was raided yesterday.  The Regal Beagle, right across Second Street from the parking garage, was busted for selling alcohol without a license.  Generally speaking, that’s not something you want to do to an undercover state trooper.

I was never at the RB, but judging by the crowd / fights usually visible at street level, I don’t think I missed anything.  I’ll stick to ABC and Fresco, thanks.