Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Reward Yourself This Holiday Season!

December and the holidays is the giving season. IDT Energy wants to remind you of all the great opportunities for our customers and we give back to our favorite people - YOU!

IDT Energy Rewards
IDT Energy customers can register online at www.IDTEnergyRewards.com today to start earning valuable reward points on every kWh of electricity and therm of natural gas we supply. Then redeem these points for popular retailer gift cards, electronics, appliances, jewelry, sporting goods and so much more! Save them up for next holiday season or treat yourself, but put your energy supply bill to work for you!

IDT Energy Refer-A-Friend
Take advantage of the holiday get togethers and parties to tell your family and friends about IDT Energy, and earn some extra spending money! Every customer that you refer, and stays active with us for 3 billing cycles, we will reward you with $25. If your friend/family signs up with both electric and natural gas supply we'll send you a check for $50. Make this holiday season work for you! Check out the details at www.IDTEnergyFriends.com

IDT Energy Home Services
Home is where the heart is. We understand the need to make sure your home and everything in it is protected. We are teaming up with the best home protection companies in the business to offer our customers home warranty plans at a discounted price. Find out more at www.IDTEnergyHomeServices.com.

LifeLock Discount
With all of the recent credit card hacks and trouble with personal security, you are probably concerned. IDT Energy has teamed up with LIfeLock, Inc to provide our customers with a free trial and discount on their services. LifeLock is the leader in identity theft protection. They work relentlessly to protect their members from identity theft so they can live freely with confidence in an always-connected world.  Take advantage today!

Of course our work is not done! Stay tuned as we have some exciting new programs and discounts for our customers coming in 2015!

Saving Energy in the Winter Can be Easier, and Cheaper, Than You Think

New York in Winter:Photo by  GK tramrunner
Of course you would like to save energy and money this winter, but the budget for installing new energy efficient windows or insulating the attic, is just not there. Don’t worry. Here are some free and easy ways to save on your energy bill this winter. Perhaps with the money you save heating your home this winter you can afford the more expensive energy savings ideas for next winter.

1. Let the sun heat your house. When the sun is shining, even during the winter, those powerful rays can warm the inside of your home. Give it a try. Don’t forget to close the drapes when the sun goes down to keep all that nice warm air inside where it belongs.

2. A little smart room design can help save energy. Place the furniture closer to interior walls. Family members will feel much warmer if they are not sitting adjacent to outer walls or drafty windows.

3. Fireplaces can be a real waste of energy. When in use much of the warmed air just goes right up and out the chimney. When not in use be sure to keep the damper completely shut. Before closing the damper make 100 percent certain there are no smoldering embers left. If you do decide to stop using your fireplace entirely, block off the chimney with a bit of rigid insulation which fits tightly into the space. Dampers simply do not completely shut off air leakage.

4. Check around the house for places you can save energy. Are the lights on in empty rooms? Is your spare fridge in the basement not really needed? Then unplug it. After they do their job turn off kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans.

5. Speed up shower time.  Heating water for showers accounts for about 67 percent of your water heating bill. Reducing the amount of water you use in the shower can be a huge money saver.

6. Use appliances in a more efficient way. Don’t run the dishwasher until it’s full. Don’t do a load of wash unless it’s also full. Most laundry can be successfully washed in cold water. Only use the hot water cycle when absolutely necessary. Always take out the lint when loading up the dryer. Use the automatic setting to shut off the dryer when it senses the clothes are dry.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

IDT Energy SmartBudget Program is Expanding!

IDT Energy is excited to announce that we are expanding our SmartBudget program into three new utility territories! In Pennsylvania we have added PennPower and PECO to the line up which now includes all of the electric utilities that we cover in PA. And we have added our first utility to New Jersey: PSEG!

What does this mean for our customers?
The SmartBudget rate guarantees your electric supply rate for 12 months. That means there are NO rate spikes or surprises.

Am I locked in to a contract for a year?
NO. There are no long-term commitments or termination fees. Unlike other fixed rate options with contracts and termination fees, IDT Energy allows you to cancel without penalty.

Is there an enrollment fee?
Just like our variable, SmartFlex rate there are no enrollments fees, up-front costs or deposits.

What is the rate for my utility?
Check out the rate available in your area here!

I looked at my utility and only the SmartFlex rate was offered.
We are working to add more utilities to the SmartBudget program. Take advantage of the flexibility that the SmartFlex offers plus all of the added benefits that IDT Energy offers all of it's customers.

I signed up for IDT Energy - can I take advantage of the added benefits?
Yes! Signup for the IDT Energy Rewards Program and earn points to redeem for all different things including games and gift cards! PLUS IDT Energy offers discounts on home warranty and LifeLock. Our energy experts are working diligently to add more partner programs that offer more discounts and added value to our customers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Energy Saving Tips


After spending money on the Turkey and all of side dishes, who isn't looking to save a few dollars before the holiday season? Here are 10 energy saving tips for cooking your Thanksgiving meal:
  1. Use an ice chest or cooler for drinks if you're hosting a large group to cut down on wasting electricity when the refrigerator door is open.
  2. Use LED lighting if you're decorating with holiday lights already. It's more energy efficient
  3. Turn down your house thermostat! You’ll likely be pumping plenty of extra heat out of the kitchen to make up for the difference.
  4. The sides: choose sides that you can cook with the turkey in the oven simultaneously so you don’t have to add extra time to the oven’s use.
  5. Don’t worry about pre-heating the oven, it’s not necessary for a long, slow cook like a turkey.
  6. Use ceramic or glass pans, you can turn down your oven by up to 25 degrees and your food will still cook just as quickly.
  7. Check to see if your oven has a convection feature; it will cook more quickly and it is more energy efficient.
  8. Cook on a gas grill instead of the oven. They are clean burning and energy efficient. 
  9. Let your leftovers cool before you store them, so your refrigerator doesn't have to work as hard to cool the items. 
  10. Cook more efficiently by using lids. When cooking with pots and pans, make sure to use lids whenever possible to retain heat. Doing so will allow you to save energy by cooking on lower heat settings over shorter cooking times.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ten Amazing Things to Make Using Duct Tape

Duct tape is one of the most useful and versatile household items commonly found in home-hardware closets. Here are some great ideas to turn duct tape into some clever creations guaranteed to last.
  • 1.      Hammock- Using several colors of duct tape and two wooden dowels, make your own colorful hammock.
  • 2.      Duct Tape Typhoon Pants- Stay dry this rainy season with homemade waterproof pants.
  • 3.      Kayak- In case you were wondering just how waterproof duct tape really is, here is a kayak made with the tape and PVC pipe to keep you afloat.
  • 4.      Tool box- Be the first on your block (or in your city, state, maybe even country) with a tool tote made from what is usually found INSIDE the box.
  • 5.      Batman Mask- Sorry its already too late for this Halloween, but you can create a wonderful Batman mask and be ready for next year.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pinching Your Pennies? Make a Battery Out of Them!

So this type of project might not give you free energy, power up your TV or light up your house, it may give some extra juice to a calculator or LED.  Plus, its a fun way to teach your children about energy.


  • 10 Pennies (1983 or older)
  • Paper towels, cardboard or other absorbent material
  • Lemon juice (salt or vinegar works too)
  • Sand paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • LED
How To:
  1. Sand down one side the pennies to remove the copper outer core and reveal the inner zinc.
  2. Cut the paper towels to be the same size and shape of the pennies.
  3. Soak the paper towel in the lemon juice and blot dry so liquid is not dripping. 
  4. On top of the aluminum foil layer the pennies and pieces of paper towels like a sandwich.  It should be in this order: Copper side down, paper towel, copper side down, paper towel... The cooper side will be the positive and the zinc or sanded side will be the negative. 
  5. Wrap your new battery cell in electrical tape. Make sure it is air tight to prevent the paper towels from drying to quickly. 
  6. Connect an LED light bulb (around 6 volts) to the pennies. 
  7. Light it up! It should stay lite for about 2 weeks. Add more pennies and it should stay lite longer.
Want some history on batteries to go along with? Check this out!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Weather-stripping: A Great Solution to a Common Problem

Adding weather stripping is a great solution for those pesky drafts
Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest. For example, what could be simpler than weather stripping? Used properly, this easy to install, inexpensive material can save a homeowner or apartment owner who pays his own utility bills, quite a bit of money over the course of a cold winter or hot summer.

Here’s the idea. Since it is inevitable that the moveable components of a home, such as its windows and doors, will have small spaces at the meeting points between movable and fixed, weather stripping is introduced to seal those spaces. This seal keeps in the expensive hot or cold air produced with your hard earned dollars, and keeps out the hot summer or cool winter air that is trying to neutralize your efforts at staying comfortable.

Choosing the correct weather stripping for the task it is needed for is crucial for good results. Take care to make sure the stripping under a door does not overly drag on the floor or carpet, which can cause it to erode and become ineffective. Window stripping must be able to withstand the sliding movement of the panes.

There is a large selection of weather stripping types to choose from:

Tension seal
Reinforced foam
Rolled or reinforced vinyl
Door sweep
Tubular rubber and vinyl
Reinforced silicone
Door shoe
Bulb threshold
“Frost-brake” threshold
Fin seal
Interlocking metal channels

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

6 Unusual DIY Lamps

The weather has cooled off and and it might be time to move your DIY skills inside.  As energy nerds, we like projects that involve energy and lamps were right up our alley.  Plus we like saving money, so DIY projects are kinda our thing.  We found 6 cool and unusual lamps that you can create at home. Would you take on a project like this? Or have you already?

Auto Part Lamp 
This lamp is made from a car air filter and other auto parts. 
Find it here!

 Combo Lamp
Plug in or charge up with this lamp. It's both and outlet and a lamp!

Find it here!

Lego Lamp
If you have a little boy or girl that loves to build with legos this lamp is a fun activity to do together!

Find it here!

Teacup Lamp
Have some old china you aren't quite sure what to do with? Or a dainty room that needs some light?

Find it here!

Toy Lamp
The below picture has it with different action figurines and toy soldiers, but we thought it would also be cute with trucks & cars or ponies!

Find it here!

Colander Chandelier
 Looking for some rustic charm in the kitchen? Something useful and decorative? We think you could even take of the kitchen utensils if you have an over crowded dinner party. 

Find it here!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Favorite Fall Crock Pot Recipes

Fall is a great time to break out the crock pot. We have pinned some of our favorite recipes but check out our top 5 foods below!

1. Buffalo Chicken Wing Soup

One word - Yum! Buffalo Chicken Wing dip is a staple at many football parties, but have you tried the soup version? If not you are in for a delight. There are a number of different versions so we pinned a few on our Energy Efficient Foodie board. But the key ingredients are Franks Red Hot Sauce, chicken, mozzarella cheese and milk. We also really enjoy this in a bread bowl!

2. Candied Sweet Potatoes

This is great for Thanksgiving, easing up some of that precious oven space. It's sweet and yummy, plus who doesn't like marshmallows in their dinner?  Plus with around 3 main ingredients and a few kitchen staples, it doesn't require a huge chuck of your budget.

3. Chili - Chicken Style

Fall and chili almost go together. Ground meat and tomatoes all stewed together with some great spices and maybe beans... our tummies are doing grumbling. But least we forget traditional chili's favorite sibling - White Chicken Chili. A bit different take, but oh so satisfying.

4. Hot Apple Cider

It's apple season. Apple pies, apple crisp, apple sauce and one yummy beverage - apple cider. Your crockpot isn't just for food, but beverages too! Sure you can just heat up some apple cider and call it a day, but if you want to add a little extra yum to it, try it in a crockpot. Apple cider + cinnamon + whole cloves = amazing.

5.  Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Yet another shout out to our Buffalo foodie customers, but we couldn't pass up this pasta recipe with our favorite hot sauce. We haven't tried it ourselves yet, but it just looks to good not to! Check it out.

Happy Friday!

Monday, October 06, 2014

10 Energy Saving Tips for Fall

The nights are cool, and the days are warm - Fall is here!  While the leaves change and the trees prepare for cooler temperatures, it's time to prepare your house to keep the heat in and cool air out.

Here are 10 tips to make your house more energy efficient for the winter:

  1. Schedule a tune up for your heating system. Not only will this help your furnace run more efficiently, but it may help prevent a break down in the cold winter months. 
  2. Replace your furnace filter. Continue to replace it once a month while in use. 
  3. Find and seal any air leaks caused by pipes or lines entering your house. 
  4. Add caulk or weather stripping to leaky doors and windows. 
  5. Check your fireplace damper to ensure it is closed when not in use. 
  6. If you never use your fireplace seal the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible. 
  7. Add caulking to the fireplace hearth.
  8. Take advantage of the heat from the sun - open the drapes during the day to allow the sun to come in and close them at night to keep the warmth in. 
  9. Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. 
  10. Your water heater can account for 14%-25% of your heating costs. Turn down the setting on your hot water heater to warm - or 120 degrees. 
For more ways to save check out www.IDTEnergy.com

Friday, October 03, 2014

Fall Tailgating Tips - Energy Nerd Style

Football season is in full swing! Are you planning on tailgating with your favorite team this year? Here are some tips to put your tailgate yards head of your neighbors - energy nerd style:
  • Freeze water bottles instead of dumping ice into your cooler. It will keep things cold, plus it's a refreshing beverage after it melts!
  • Amplify the sound. Forgot the speakers? Use a toilet paper roll and two cups
  • Use your cooler to cook the corn on the cob in larger quantities
  • Turn your cooler into a food warmer. Keep your food warm for hours!
    • How to: 
      • Wrap 4 bricks (the kind used to build walls) with aluminum foil. 
      • Heat the bricks in a 350° oven for an hour. 
      • Using potholders, carefully place them on pieces of cardboard in the bottom of a cooler. 
      • Cover with more cardboard and use cloth towels for stability. Pans of food, straight from the oven will stay hot for hours.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The NYC Energy Marketing Conference Honors IDT Energy, Inc. with its Industry Leadership and Integrity Award

We are proud to announce that our CEO has accepted the "Industry Leadership and Integrity Award presented by the NYC Energy Marketing Conference.

"Most CEO’s of REPs saw the crisis of 2014 as dangerous and catastrophic. Yet the CEO of IDT Energy saw it as an opportunity: a chance to separate his company from the industry, to grow as a business, to improve the customer offerings, to show his integrity and to lead by example,” said Jack Doueck, EMC Founder. “IDT voluntarily suffered economically, but they did the right things, the painful things, and in so doing, they overcame and grew from the adversity and became a better, stronger, and more responsive business.” 

Read more about the award and how honor IDT Energy received.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Air Leaks: Checking and Sealing

Fall is here! And it's time to start prepping your house for the colder weather. Did you know that even if you  have insulated your walls and updated your window there could still be small leaks sucking out the heat and costing you money? Small spaces, like your light sockets and outlets, could lack insulation and be the source.


How to check for energy loss: Turn off the furnace and any fans, also shut the doors and windows in your house. Light an incense stick and hold it near the outlets and light switches. Any movement? There's a leak!


How to correct a leak: At a home improvement store, like Home Depot, they have foam electrical outlet and wall covering insulation. By removing your outlet or wall plate, placing the insulation over the outlet and reattaching the plate, you can prevent these leaks. Not an expensive task, this minimally time consuming change could make your house a little cozier this winter!

Have questions on your energy bill? Contact an IDT Energy Customer Service Rep today!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

IDT Energy: Energy Saving Ideas for Your Home

We all love our new LED lamps, but seriously, the light these wonderfully energy efficient bulbs emit is not too aesthetically pleasing. The answer is not to get rid of them since they save huge amounts of energy, and they have about a 50,000-hour lifetime. So what is the answer? How about a new device from a company called Cree.

Dimmable LED Lamp with Warm Incandescent Light
Cree developed a dimmable LED downlight. Known as the LR6, it uses a combination of red and yellow LEDs to get the lovely, warm incandescent look that most of us prefer. Best of all, the LR6 gets the effect without upping the energy consumption.

Using only 12 watts of electricity this clever light still can produce 650 lumens of light. That is the same as a 75-watt incandescent bulb. The light is even dimmable, a great advantage for use all over the home. The light also actively manages the output of the LEDs to insure that the light intensity and color does not change during the entire 25-year life expectancy of the light. They are a bit expensive, but if you divide by their lifetimes the deal is pretty good.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Energy Efficient Remodeling: Part 2 - Bathroom

Bathrooms can be one of the smallest rooms in your house, however, they can also be one of the most expensive (next to a kitchen!). So it's important to make it work hard for you and save you money on energy!

The IDT Energy geeks have identified four areas that you can make improvements to and save on energy.

  1. Windows
  2. Faucets
  3. Walls/Floors
  4. Lighting
The windows provide light and ventilation for a bathroom. However, if it is not energy efficient it might provide to much ventilation - a draft! A new, updated window can both make the room cozier and more aesthetically pleasing. By installing a window with the Energy Star insignia, it will help prevent the room from becoming too hot or too cold. 

One of the largest energy wasters in a bathroom are the faucets; 50-75% of your water usage is in the bathroom. Leave the sink or shower faucets running and gallons of water, and $$, can disappear down the drain. By installing Energy Star rated faucets, you can reduce the flow of water and limit the amount of wasted water. Additionally, by upgrading your toilet to a dual flush, it can use a fraction of the water every time you flush.

Increasing the energy efficiency of the walls and floors of the bathroom may be a larger renovation, but can make a vast difference in the overall energy efficiency of the room. People are most sensitive to temperatures in the bathroom and proper insulation helps maintain the correct temperature - preventing additional adjustments to the whole house thermometer.   If you are removing walls, one of the most important steps is to increase the insulation if it is below a R19 ( R30 for ceilings) value. Also, by insulating your pipes with in the wall, you can prevent heat loss in water, reducing the energy your water heater uses. While your walls are open, this is a good time to check and seal any leaks in the framing. 

Lighting in bathrooms is important - especially if you are applying makeup! There are a number of ways to increase the energy efficiency with the lighting. A couple simple changes you can make: clean the window(s) - a clean window lets in more light; and change the light bulbs - update to energy efficient light bulbs. A large renovation can increase the lighting overall in your room, depending on where your bathroom is located in the house, add a skylight or for smaller spaces, a solar tube. Either of these options will bring in daylight, decreasing your need for artificial lighting. 

Of course you can always check our Pinterest for more energy efficient tips and ideas. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

In the Kitchen: Energy Efficient Appliances

As a follow up to our last post, here are some more ideas to get the most out of your kitchen appliances, energy-wise.

Here are a few simple tips from IDT Energy to help you get started making your kitchen as energy efficient as possible:

Measure the space you have set aside for your new appliance. Then measure the appliance to make sure it will fit and that there is enough space to open doors or lid, and that there is enough room for proper ventilation.

It is not enough to only consider the price of the appliance. Check how much the appliance costs to run, and be sure to purchase the most energy efficient that you can.

Check with the sales person if there are any special offers such as cash rebates, low-interest loans or other incentives to purchase a more energy efficient model.

Be sure to read the Energy Guide, the black and yellow sticker that the FTC requires be placed on all new appliances, (with the exception of kitchen ranges, microwave ovens and dryers.) Reading this guide helps consumers to compare the different models and make the most informed choices about the energy they will be using and the money they will be spending when they bring the new appliance into their home.

Becoming an informed consumer will help you save money and save energy.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Energy Efficient Remodeling: Part 1 - Kitchen

Are you using this beautiful weather to fix up or remodel some areas of your home? Are you looking to update the cosmetics or perhaps lower your energy bills? There are a number of ways you can make your house work harder for you and spend less on your monthly bills.

The geeks at IDT Energy are always looking for ways to improve their own homes and as total energy geeks we look for ways to lower our energy bills. For the first part of this series we are looking at the kitchen - the heart and hub of many homes.

  1. The first and the most obvious way to improve the efficiency in the kitchen is to replace and upgrade the appliances.  Older appliances tend to use a lot of energy, by upgrading to energy star rated appliances you will reduce energy usage and save money.
  2. Lighting can account for 15% of your home's energy usage and because your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house, it uses the majority of that 15%. If you are not replacing the lighting fixtures, simply change your light bulbs from the old style to CFL (compact florescent lights). If you are replacing the light fixtures themselves, upgrade to Energy Star light fixtures. These light fixtures can use 75% less energy, generate 75% less heat and last up to 10 times longer.
  3. Increase the natural lighting in the room. By removing any unneeded walls, increasing the window or door size and even adding a light tube you can increase the natural light in the room.
  4. Add insulation to both the walls and the pipes. Additional insulation around the pipes will prevent the heat escaping from the water. For the outside walls add blown-in insulation if you are not opening the walls and spray foam if you are. Spray foam can be expensive so if you are looking save money, batt and roll works as well. Make sure you have an R value of at least R-30 for outside walls, but the higher the R value the better. 
  5. Change out your faucet for a low flow faucet that can reduce water usage by 60%.
  6. Check for any air leaks around electrical outlets, windows, doors and recessed lighting An easy way to look for leaks - use a stick of incense, use it around any possible leaks, if the smoke moves or shift there is a leak. Seal or insulate any leaks that you find. 
Stay tuned as we explore different areas of the house!

Monday, July 14, 2014

IDT Energy Rewards FAQs

IDT Energy is proud to announce that our reward program is now live! Have questions? Here are a few FAQs to answer questions you may have about the program. Not finding an answer to your question? Leave a comment and we'll do our best to answer them for you - and add them to our FAQ list.

Who can earn Rewards?
Active IDT Energy customers that have registered for the rewards program.

How do I register for the IDT Energy® Rewards program?
It's easy! Just go to www.IDTEnergyRewards.com and have your utility bill handy. Select your utility and enter your account or POD ID #. Verify your basic information is correct, or make any necessary corrections (these corrections will not effect your IDT Energy or utility account, just your rewards information). And we will deposit 1,000 points just for registering.

How do I earn rewards?
After you register your account, we will give you 1,000 points. Then, earn more points every month based on your energy usage. We will also award you points when you hit certain benchmarks, like you 1 year anniversary with IDT Energy (who doesn't like anniversary presents?!).

How many points do I need until I can redeem something?
There are rewards for as low as 1,250 points.  The Rewards catalog has THOUSANDS of items to choose from, so as you earn more you will have a LOT of options.

Do I need a special code to sign up?
No specials codes needed. Just go to www.IDTEnergyRewards.com and have your utility information handy to register your accounts.

I have multiple accounts with IDT Energy, can I earn Rewards on all of them?Absolutely! You can earn rewards on both natural gas and electricity, if you receive your energy supply from IDT Energy. If you have multiple houses, you can earn rewards for each of them as well.

Will all of my points go into one pool if I have multiple accounts with IDT Energy? 
Once you register your first account, any accounts that are connected in our system will be registered. If you do not see all of your accounts, please select "Add/Link Accounts" and follow the steps.

I just signed up with IDT Energy, I am trying to register with Rewards and it is not allowing me to register for rewards - why?
If you just enrolled with IDT Energy we do not have your account information processed and in our system yet. Please check back at a later date. If you have any questions regarding your enrollment, please contact customer service at 877-887-6866.

I am not an active IDT Energy customer, how do I enroll?
Go to www.IDTEnergy.com or call 1-888-474-2339 to enroll your utility account.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

TBT: Electric Insulators Re-Purposed

Glass insulators were first produced in the 1850's for use with telegraph lines. Technology developed and insulators were needed for more things like telephone lines, electric power lines, etc. Now, they are often collectors items. Here are a few neat examples of how people have re-purposed them. For more ideas, check out the IDT Energy Pinterest





Friday, June 27, 2014

DIY Air Conditioner - Cool Your House with 5 Items

It's summer. It's hot. And your house doesn't have Air Conditioning. The fan just isn't cutting it anymore and you just want to cool down. It's time to make your own air conditioner and CHEAP!


Materials List:

  • 5 gallon Bucket
  • Styrofoam bucket liner (You can purchase this from a store like Home Depot)
  • PVC pipe - 3 pieces of 1.5" pipe 
  • Small Fan
  • Ice
How To:
  1. Cut three circular holes in the 5 gallon bucket the size of the PVC pipe. We recommend using 2 1/4" hole saw.
  2. Insert the liner into the bucket.
  3. Use a 2 1/8" hole saw to cut holes in the liner where you previously cut holes in the bucket
  4. Insert the PVC pipe into the holes
  5. Cut a hole in both the lid of the buck and the liner slightly smaller than the fan.
  6. Place ice in the bucket, place fan on top, and enjoy the cool air!
For the ice we recommend  freezing two 1 gallon jugs of water. Each jug should last 5-6 hours. Once one jug melts, re-freeze, and replace the "Air Conditioner" with the alternate.

If you would like a visual, check out this video: Homemade Air Conditioner

We have also pinned a few other ideas on how to make your own Air Conditioner, check out IDT Energy on Pinterest!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

No Need to Break the Bank to Keep Cool this Summer

Here are a few easy-to-do tips to save some money on your electric bill this summer:
  • Save money and energy on your electric bill by turning off the air conditioner when you leave the house for a long time. If you don’t want to turn the whole unit off,  at least raise the temperature on the thermostat. Also, clean the ac’s filter. When the filter is dirty it forces the ac to work harder, wasting precious energy. 
  • Try not to leave the doors to your fridge open too long. All the cool air that escapes means just more cool air the refrigerator must create. Cool hot food down to room temperature before putting them in the fridge.
  • Use a microwave to heat food whenever possible. This wonderful appliance is much more efficient at heating food than an oven, and it has the added benefit of not heating up your house along with your food. And if the air conditioner is on, it just means less work for that other wonderful appliance.
  • Do up the windows with curtains. Keeping the sun’s rays out of your house can do a lot towards maintaining a bearable room temperature during the hot, summer months. If you can arrange it, plant some deciduous trees on the South and West sides of your abode. During the summer you get some beautiful, natural shade, and during the winter, when the leaves fall, the sun can shine in on your home. What a great, natural solution to keeping your home comfortable.
  • Take advantage of the warm sun’s rays to dry your clothes outside all summer. The sun is completely free when you use its energy directly. Watch out for rainy days, though.
Keeping cool during the summer without spending a fortune is possible with just a little bit of thoughtful energy-saving practices.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Rainy Day Summer Projects

Is the rain ruining your planned summer projects? Need something to keep the kids busy inside? IDT Energy has put together some fun projects!

Rain in a Jar

What better way to explain what is happening outside, then make it happen inside.

Supplies: Glass Jar, Hot Water, Plate, Ice Cubes and a Towel (clean up any accidental messes)
Time: 15 min

  1. Heat the water until it's almost boiling - pour it into the glass jar.
  2. Quick! Cover the jar with the plate.
  3. Place the ice cubes on the plate.
  4. Watch what happens!
The warm air from the hot water rises and mixes with the cool air created by the ice cubes. This causes condensation and then rain!

Crayon Rainbow

You're waiting for the rain to clear and the sun to come out, and a rainbow to appear. Make your own rainbow with crayons!

Via Pinterest

Supplies: Newspaper, canvas, hot glue gun (and glue stick), heat gun and lots of crayons. 
Time: 1 hour
  1. Lay the newspaper down to protect your craft space
  2. Sort out the crayons by color (likely avoiding greys, browns, and black)
  3. Line up the colors by shade next to the canvas. The crayons should fill the length of the canvas.
  4. Hot glue the crayons to the canvas, point down. Glue a small amount at a time. 
  5. Once all of the crayons are affixed, lean the canvas up against a support (with the newspaper underneath)
  6. Hold the heat gun about 12 inches from the canvas as the crayons begin to melt.
  7. Use the heat gun, as needed, to follow the melted crayon down the canvas to provide continuous lines. Work one section at a time. 
  8. After all of the crayons have melted, pick up the canvas and scrape off the bottom where there is excess crayon. 
  9. Hope a real rainbow comes out soon!
Check out more fun, energy related projects on IDT Energy's Pinterest

Thursday, June 12, 2014

5 Tips to Keep Your Body Cool in the Hot Summer

It's hot out. You want to keep cool, but you don't want to crank on/up the Air Conditioning. There is no pool in sight, but you need to cool down.

Here are 5 energy efficient tips to cooling down in the hot summer:

  1. Use cool water on  your pulse points (like your wrists). This can help bring your core temperature down as much as 3 degrees!
  2. Your body sweats to cool your down as the water vapor evaporates. Take advantage of your perspiration - stand in front of a cool breeze or a fan and cool down faster. 
  3. Go downstairs. It's simple - heat rises. If your home has a lower level or a basement the air will be less dense the further from the roof line.
  4. Mint refreshes the skin and leaves a cooling sensation. Use peppermint lotion or peppermint soap, but avoid your face and eyes.
  5. Take off your shoes and hat while indoors! Most of the body's heat is released through the palms of your hands, the scalp and the soles of the feet. If you have shoes or a hat on, there is no way for the heat to escape!
Check out IDT Energy for more ways to earn rewards and get cash back.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Beat the Humidity (On a Budget)

Spring is in the air and summer is almost here. Fun in the sun and outdoor activities are upon us. But with the heat comes the humidity.  Not everyone has air conditioning, or wants to spend the money of electric costs to keep it running. Here are a few tips on how to beat the humidity - on a budget.

  1. Skip the drying cycle on the dishwasher. Simply open the door and let it air dry.
  2. Wear light colored clothing with thinner fabrics - this will help sweat evaporate quickly, keeping you cooler. 
  3. Eating spicy food can help cool you. It contains a chemical called capsaicin, which helps us perspire more readily, and when the sweat evaporates we experience a moment of cool. 
  4. Drink water. Not only is it just plain good for you, it helps keep you cool. 
  5. Turn off the lights!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Energy Efficient Tips

Right now is a perfect time to save on energy! The heat is off and the AC hasn't been turned on yet.

It's also a great time to start preparing for the summer - keeping your energy bills low by conserving energy.

Here are IDT Energy's top 5 energy efficiency tips to get ready for the summer:
  1. Change the filters once a month.  Don't make your A/C work harder than it has to. Pushing air through a dirty filter takes more energy; plus, who doesn't want clean air!
  2. Install a programmable thermostat.  You have heard this one time and time again. So why are you waiting? Your couch and favorite lazy chair don't need to stay cool while you are busy at work. And who has time to remember to adjust the temp when you are running out of the house barely remembering to put shoes on! Set the thermostat to automatically adjust.
  3. Clean the condensation lines.  Keeping this clean of sludge and debris is important to maintain the efficiency of the AC unit.
  4. Check that the condenser (unit outside) is level.  If the cement pad that the condenser sits on outside is not level the machine has to work harder.  That means you have to work harder to pay those energy bills!
  5. Clean the condenser.  While you are outside making sure that the condenser is level, make sure it's free of any debris. Debris blocks air flow, making the unit work harder.
Looking for more energy saving tips? Check out IDT Energy's Facebook and IDT Energy's Pinterest.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

IDT Energy Introduces SmartBudget

Over the past few months IDT Energy gave back close to $4 million dollars to customers faced with the Polar Vortex price spikes. In addition, we are introducing a new program to help better protect consumers from energy market volatility. The IDT Energy® SmartBudget promotion will lock your electricity supply rate for the next twelve months with no termination fees. This is especially important for utility customers in PA who will see significant rate increases on June 1 for electricity supplied by their utility.

For more information see the article in Yahoo! Finance and stay tuned to this blog and IDT Energy's Facebook!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DOE Helps Consumers Design Home Energy Savings Plan

The US Department of Energy encourages citizens to save money on their energy bill, and helps people to do just that.  Using the motto, “Save money, live better, help the earth!” the DOE has set up a website to point out tips, give advice, and help consumers create a custom-made energy-saving plan.

Visitors to the web site enter their zip code and then become a personal energy-use analysis. Users pick whether they are doing a hypothetical analysis, inspection of actual house, energy audit of actual house or designing a brand new home. Then the user’s home address, year the home was built, and number of people living in the home is entered. Energy prices are already added if an address was given.

The next page asks about building design, including how many stories, amount of heated or cooled floor area, type of foundation, floor insulation, attic or ceiling type, and other information. Window area and type are also questioned. There is a form to discuss appliances and equipment, including water heater, refrigerators, cooling and heating equipment, and more.

Another page allows users to calculate current yearly energy costs and compare to the cost of energy after upgrades are implemented. There is also a place to have all the upgrade recommendations summarized. For anyone interested in saving money on their home energy bills, this website from the DOE is highly useful.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Enjoy Learning About Energy with Your Kids this Spring

Here are a few great ideas to get your kids interested in energy issues and to learn something, too.
Potato Battery Time
• Did you know that you can create “lightning” on a small scale with simple materials that you have right at home? All you need is a balloon, a piece of wool fabric, like a sweater, and a darkened room. Just blow up the balloon, rub it about 10 times on the sweater to give the balloon a ‘charge’ and then discharge the balloon by placing it near something metal, like a door knob. You will see a spark of electricity jump from the balloon to the metal. Cool!

• Some older folks among us may remember making a battery from an uncooked potato. It’s a really awesome project sure to mesmerize your kids. For detailed instructions on how to get two potatoes to run a clock that usually uses batteries, go to this site: http://www.kidzworld.com/article/4726-how-potato-batteries-work 

• Now that spring is here and the summer sun is on its way, consider making a solar cooker. You can follow the directions here: http://www.txu.com/en/about/community/solar-academy.aspx and learn about alternative sources of energy while having a great time with your kids.

IDT Energy wishes our readers a great summer of learning about energy issues and having fun while doing it.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Brrrr.... Winter Energy Projects

It is cold out here in the Northeast! Are you looking for some projects to keep busy indoors? We have compiled some of our favorite energy projects (and a few others). Of course check out our IDT Energy Pinterest for more ideas.


Fact: Laughing warms you up! Here are some funny (not energy related) winter warm up project. This funny list includes a nod to the famous A Christmas Story.


You flick a switch and a light bulb lights up a room. Wouldn't it be neat to teach your kids exactly how it works, using only simple household projects? Check out this project that builds a simple light bulb using "circuit science".

One of the favorite, easy projects that you can do is to simply draw any design on a lightbulb and light up your room with some funk.


Are you a history buff or like vintage things?  Chances are you have seen these old insulators at garage sales or in an antique store. In a past post, we talked about some of the interesting different ways people are turning insulators into lamps. Also, make sure you read the post where we talked about the history of the insulators.

Turning food into power? Crazy but very possible. Here is a simple description of how you can turn simple household food into energy to light a bulb.