Posted: Oct 23, 2013 9:55 PM by Caroline Hecker, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Oct 23, 2013 11:07 PM
COLUMBIA - Lowering monthly utility bills can be as easy as well-designed landscaping.
Columbia Water and Light offers the Tree Power program, aiming to help conserve energy by encouraging homeowners to use energy-efficient landscaping.
Recent studies show proper landscaping can lower energy costs by as much as 30 percent as well as add 7 to 15 percent to a home's resale value.
Columbia resident Terry Freeman is participant in the Tree Power program.
In 2004, Freeman planted an Oak tree in his side yard to shade his home from the sun.
In addition to saving money on energy bills every month, Freeman said the tree provides more than just shade.
"Trees are aesthetically pleasing so I think they can have multiple effects," Freeman said. "They're nice to look at, help save money, and provide excellent shade, it's a great combination."
Homeowners who wish to participate in the program can begin the process by requesting an audit at gocolumbiamo.com.
An auditor is then sent to the home to survey the existing yard and to help the homeowner decide where the tree should be planted as well as what kind of tree best serves the homeowners needs.
Once decided upon, the homeowner will be given a coupon for a free shade tree redeemable at Superior Garden Center in Columbia.
The program gives homeowners the choice between River Birch, Red Maple, Crab Apple and Pin Oak trees.
Additionally, Tree Power warns residents to avoid certain trees that are susceptible to problems in our area. Silver Maple, Silver Poplar, Weeping Willow, Sycamore and Cottonwood trees are a few trees to avoid.
By and large, the program is designed to lessen energy costs year round. During the summer, when air conditioning use is at its highest, shade trees can be used in several ways.
Trees can be strategically planted to shade an air conditioning unit, utility meter or to shade a home itself. To achieve the most shade, it is best to plant trees on the west and south sides of the home, blocking the hot summer afternoon sun.
The program suggests homeowners use deciduous trees, those that shed their leaves at the end of the growing season, to conserve energy in the summer. These trees will not only block sunlight during summer months but will allow sunlight and warmth to penetrate a home during the winter.
Conversely, during the winter, blocking cold winter winds can help reduce costs.
Evergreen trees as well as other shrubs planted in the north and northwest corners of a property can create a windbreak, therefore reducing energy costs.
Ryan Williams, of Columbia Water and Light, says planting small shrubs can help conserve energy as well.
"If you plant small shrubs and other plants right next to the house, it creates a small dead air space that helps insulate your home," said Williams.
The city has given out over 2,600 vouchers for shade trees since the beginning of the program in the nineties.
Posted 6:14 PM 11/25/2015 by Taylor Stevens, KOMU 8 Reporter
JEFFERSON CITY - The developers of a proposed shopping center off of Mission Drive asked the Cole County Commission for $800,000 to extend the road to the site. The Harvard Company, LLC is working to develop a site near Highway 179 that would include restaurants and retail stores among other (More)
Posted 1:08 PM 11/3/2015 by Collin Ruane & Emma Nicolas, KOMU 8 Reporters
BOONVILLE - It's almost that time of year again. Students across mid-Missouri will anxiously wait to see if they get any snow days this school year. But are students getting more days off for less snow?
To find the answer to that question, KOMU 8 News went through more than a decade worth (More)
Posted 12:02 PM 11/25/2015 by Steve Dawson, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - Cooking grease can cost homeowners money if it's improperly disposed of.
This holiday season, Missouri American Water is launching a state-wide campaign to "can the grease."
Instead of pouring cooking grease down the drain, the organization urged residents to put used (More)
Posted 3:49 PM 11/25/2015 by Ashton Day, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
MOBERLY - A Moberly clothing store held its grand reopening Wednesday night, two weeks after a fire damaged its previous building.
The Nov. 7 arson fire caused extensive smoke damage to Encore, a women's clothing shop.
Two other businesses closed due to the fire. Duval (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 1:53 PM 11/25/2015 by Ashton Day, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
COLUMBIA – The Columbia Daily Tribune announced on its website Wednesday that it’s Black Friday edition was too big.
The large amount of Black Friday ads prevented the Tribune from being able to package through its inserting equipment. Staff members had to package the paper by (More)
Posted 1:51 PM 11/25/2015 by The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge heard testimony as he considers lifting the St. Louis Zoo policy that prohibits patrons from entering the zoo with guns.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty issued a temporary order on June 12 upholding the ban (More)
Posted 1:48 PM 11/25/2015 by Annisa Budiman, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA – Mizzou students in support for Planned Parenthood are struggling to start a conversation with MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley on the decision for Planned Parenthood to stop providing safe abortions.
Jordan Hoyt, a member of the group, said their effort to schedule (More)
Posted 1:11 PM 11/25/2015 by Kolbie Satterfield, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - MU Health Care’s new Low-Intervention Birthing Program welcomed its first baby on Monday Nov. 23. Deacon Markijohn was born to the first family that to use the new program.
The rooms at University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital allow (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 10:32 AM 11/25/2015 by Matt Johnson, KOMU 8 Content Manager
COLUMBIA - In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri CEO Laura McQuade addressed the news late Tuesday the Columbia clinic would no longer perform medication induced abortions. McQuade said the organization is considering legal action in (More)
Posted 11:55 AM 11/25/2015 by Ashton Day, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri Police confirmed it gave documents regarding MU Assistant Professor Melissa Click to the Columbia City Prosecutor.
The Columbia City Prosecutor is reviewing the documents to determine if charges should be pressed against Click for actions during (More)