USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Southwest Research Station

 

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

(510) 559-6300

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Urban Ecosystems and Social Dynamics

Urban Ecosystems and Processes

Potential energy savings in buildings by an urban tree planting programme in California

Summary

California's urban forests are often taken for granted, but they are quietly working full-time to make cities more livable. Approximately 177.3 million trees in energy conserving locations shelter buildings and moderate urban climates. As a result, utilities save $485.8 million annually in wholesale electricity purchases and gereration costs (6,408 GWh, $3/tree), while ratepayers save about twice this much in retail expenditures for air conditioning. Annual cooling reductions are equivalent to power produced by 7.3 100 MW plants, enough power for 730,000 homes. These same trees reduce the summer peak demand by 10% (5,190 MW) and provide a host of other benefits that make them an invaluable component of every community's green infrastructure.


Years of Research:  2003

Funded by:  USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, California, USA

Cooperators:  We appreciate staff at the California Energy Commission who provided information and advice including Todd Peterson, Richard Roher, Michael Messenger, David, Vidaver, and Ray Darby. Drs. Gordon Heisler and Misha Sarkovich, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sylvia Mori, Sabrina Mathis, Steve Lennartz, and Qingfu Xiao

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USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.