Columbia's Tree Power Program Helps Lower Utility Bills

4 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, October 23 2013 Oct 23, 2013 Wednesday, October 23, 2013 9:55:00 PM CDT October 23, 2013 in News
By: Caroline Hecker, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

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.

More News

Grid
List
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA (AP) — Wet and muddy from their trek across the Mexican border, immigrant children say they sat... More >>
32 minutes ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 10:50:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach who spent more than two weeks trapped... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:24:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri program aimed at connecting stroke, heart attack and trauma patients with the best care... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:17:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The owner of the Mandalay Bay hotel says it bears no liability in last year's Las Vegas concert... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A 61-year-old southwest Missouri woman has been sentenced to life in prison for an ambush-style shooting of... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:08:59 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An arrest for suspicion of filing a false report has been made in connection to a reported robbery... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:44:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - After four days of searching, Jerry Kinman has been found dead near Little Dixie Lake. Kinman,... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:19:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
STURGEON - The carnival rides at the Boone County Fair closed unexpectedly just hours after the fair opened because they... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:00:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A democratic candidate for Missouri's fourth congressional district criticized the Republican incumbent Tuesday for her lack of action... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:46:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce harshly criticized the city council at Monday night's meeting regarding projects being put... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hy-Vee recalled its Spring Pasta Salad from 244 stores on Tuesday. Company officials said 20 illnesses by... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:54:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Josh Hawley faced questions about President Donald Trump's summit with Russia as well as tariffs facing Missouri farmers... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:31:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Construction crews began adding a turn lane for an upcoming Columbia middle school on South Sinclair Road on... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY – Expecting mothers in Boone County will soon have more services at their disposal. The county received... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Grain Belt Express Clean Line, a proposed energy transmission project through northern Missouri, got new life... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:59:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - A child identification program wants to help parents be as prepared as possible in the event that a... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Nineteen agencies received more than $115,000 in grant money Tuesday from the United Way of Central Missouri.... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:56:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some people may notice their trash laying out on the curb for longer than usual on Tuesday. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 81°
12pm 83°
1pm 84°
2pm 85°
3pm 83°