Grow energy savings and reliability through strategic tree planting. Learn how and get a free tree with the Omaha Public Power District’s Energy-Saving Trees program. The company is now giving away 2,000 trees in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. The program is in its third year and trees are available on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.
The goal of the program is to educate customers on proper tree-planting practices. By planting the right species in the right location, a tree won’t grow into power lines, which can disrupt electric service. Strategic planting also has the benefit of reducing energy costs by as much as 30 percent, providing shade during the summer and windbreaks during the winter.
“Trees bring many added benefits beyond energy management,” said OPPD Chief Operating Officer Tim Burke. “They improve air quality; they reduce the carbon footprint; and they reduce storm water runoff. This program better educates customers, and it helps us fulfill our mission of providing affordable, reliable, environmentally sensitive energy services."
Customers can find the best planting locations on their property by using an online tool. We've included the link in our related links section on this story.
To get started, go to the website to reserve a tree. Enter your address to pull up an aerial view of your planting location. Select one of five tree varieties. Mouse around the green space to determine how the placement of that tree would impact your energy efficiency. The program calculates anticipated monthly savings as the tree matures. It also reminds customers of the importance of planting the tree the proper distance from overhead power lines. A three-to-four-foot bare-root seedling will be delivered right to your door, at no charge.
OPPD will have a booth Saturday, April 18 at Earth Day Omaha in Elmwood Park. They’ll walk customers through the process of ordering. Of course, they are welcome to order from the comfort of their own homes, as well, as long as supplies last.
The “Energy-Saving Trees” online tool was created by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Davey Institute, a division of Davey Tree Expert Co. It uses peer-reviewed scientific research from the USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree software to calculate estimated benefits from energy savings to environmental impacts.
Remember, the online tool is not a replacement for the Digger’s Hotline. Customers must contact the hotline to locate underground utilities before planting. They can do so by visiting www.ne1call.com or by dialing 811.