Columbia Water and Light Offers Free Trees to Lower Utility Bills

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COLUMBIA - Electric customers in Columbia can save money with a free shade tree. Columbia Water and Light's Tree Power program helps educate people on energy efficient landscaping. This means that a well-placed tree in your yard could save you money on your energy bill.

"If you plant the right tree in the right place, along the south side and western corner of your house, you can save up to 30 percent on your cooling costs which can really add up," Connie Kacprowicz said. She's the utility services specialist for Columbia Water and Light.

When you sign up for the program, Columbia Water and Light will visit your property and suggest the best places for shade trees. Customers will receive a packet with the planting diagram and a coupon for a free tree from the Superior Garden Center.

"You can go out to Superior, pick it out, take it home and be ready to save some money," Kacprowicz said.

Customers eligible for the Tree Power program can choose from a variety of trees.

"The great thing is these aren't just little twigs that you get, it's a six to ten foot tree. I know at my house I was surprised at how fast it grew and how quickly it was able to start shading my house," Kacprowicz said.

The average residential electric bill in 2013 for June through September was $116 per month. The Tree Power program could have saved them up to $34.80 on those bills.

"It's a great way of getting some landscaping done and making sure you can save some money on electricity at the same time," Kacprowicz said.

Any Columbia Water and Light electric customer is eligible. To sign up for the Tree Power program, click here or call 573- 874-7325.