USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

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Our research demonstrates new ways that trees add value to communities, converting results into financial terms to stimulate more investment in trees.

Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
West Annex Building
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

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Center for Urban Forest Research

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Computer simulations of annual cooling savings for an energy efficient home in the Southwest show that a typical household spends about $250 each year for air conditioning. Shade from two 25-foot tall trees on the west and one on the east saves $57 a year, or 23%. Reduced energy use results in lower utility bills, less consumption of non-renewable resources, and fewer emissions released into the atmosphere.

Diagram: More trees = less Power Plants

California Energy Study
A recent study at the Center found that planting shade trees could reduce the need for power plants. Data from California shows that 50 million shade trees planted in strategic, energy-saving locations could eliminate the need for seven 100-megawatt power plants. "Shade tree programs can be a very cost effective measure for conserving energy, especially peak load demand," says Dr. Greg McPherson. "Strategically locating trees to shade west walls and windows in climate regions where the benefits are highest will save energy dollars and postpone, if not eliminate, the need for some power plants."

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Last Modified: Mar 28, 2013 02:57:01 PM