Urban Trees Save Billions of Dollars Through Reduced Energy Costs
Urban trees and forests alter building energy use and associated emissions from power plants by shading buildings, cooling air temperatures, and altering wind speeds around buildings. Understanding how trees affect energy use and other benefits associated with trees can lead to better policies and management to sustain tree health and values across the nation. Research investigating tree effects on residential building energy use reveals that trees in urban areas of the conterminous United States annually reduce electricity use by 38.8 million megawatt hours for a savings of $4.7 billion, heating use by 246 million British thermal units, saving $3.1 billion, and avoid thousands of tons of emissions of several pollutants valued at $3.9 billion per year. Average reduction in national residential energy use due to trees is 7.2 percent. Specific designs to reduce energy use using urban trees could increase these values and further reduce energy use and improve air quality in the United States.
Forest Service Partners