Is your electric bill made in the shade?
We all love trees for their beauty, but few realize that they can also help reduce energy costs. Trees that are strategically planted next to a dwelling can reduce residential heating and cooling costs by as much as 20 percent – protecting a home from cold winds in the winter, and providing cooling shade in the summer.
Trees are good for our communities too. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, trees clean air and water, slow climate change, prevent species loss and even ease poverty and hunger. But according to the World Wildlife Fund, deforestation is annually destroying up to 58,000 square miles of forest across the world.
For the last six years, we have partnered with the Foundation to give away young trees to residential customers in Maryland and Delaware on a first-come, first-serve basis. In 2017, we gave away and delivered 1,150 free trees to program participants who reserved a tree. Beyond helping customers save money, these giveaways help beautify our communities and create a better, more sustainable world.
This year’s giveaway began in March, offering customers the choice of American Beech, Baldcypress, River Birch and White Dogwood trees while supplies lasted. More than 1,100 trees were delivered to customers free of charge – enough to produce nearly $250,000 in energy savings over 20 years.
Over 80 percent of customers surveyed were “extremely satisfied” with this year’s trees. One even went on to say that the program is “ideal because it adds to the aesthetics of my home while helping to save energy.” And many hope to take advantage of the program again next year as we work to solidify another year of involvement and continue its commitment to the environment.
Learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation at www.arborday.org. And if you’re interested in planting your own residential trees, remember to call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked before digging. One free call to 811 connects to Miss Utility, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811.