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BGE launches Annual Energy Saving Trees Program

BGE will again provide free trees to customers in an effort to promote energy-efficiency

4/10/2015, noon
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) kicked off its annual Energy Saving Trees Program on Monday, April 6, 2015, as ...
Volunteers with the Baltimore Tree Trust plant trees in Baltimore City provided by BGE through the BGE Energy Saving Trees Program. (Courtesy Photo)

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) kicked off its annual Energy Saving Trees Program on Monday, April 6, 2015, as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance and promote environmental stewardship and natural resource responsibility in communities throughout its central Maryland service area. In its third year, the BGE Energy Saving Trees Program is a joint effort between BGE, the Arbor Day Foundation and Davey Institute. To date, BGE has committed $750,000 to the program and provided more than 32,000 free trees to customers through an online tool. In addition, the company also donated 360 trees to Baltimore City in 2014 and will provide 150 trees to the City of Annapolis this year.

Customers who would like to receive up to two free trees from BGE are encouraged to visit www.arborday.org/BGE on April 6 to reserve their free trees, while supplies last.

To protect the integrity of BGE’s infrastructure, the interactive tool will feature an overlay of BGE overhead lines for safe planting and choosing the appropriate tree. Customers must agree to follow Right Tree, Right Place guidelines and plant the trees in an energy-saving location, away from overhead power lines and underground utilities. Customers are reminded to always call Miss Utility at 811 to have underground utilities marked before any digging or planting project.

“Heating and cooling typically account for nearly half of a home’s annual energy use and studies have shown that planting the right tree, in the right place, can help customers save up to 30 percent on their energy use throughout the year,” said Rob Biagiotti, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE.

“Properly placed trees help keep homes cool by providing shade from the harsh, summer sun and by slowing cold, winter winds. As part of the BGE Energy Saving Trees Program, BGE customers can reserve up to two free trees per customer through an online process, while supplies last.”

Trees offered through the program include: Shadblow Serviceberry, White Dogwood, Bald Cypress, Red Oak, Red Maple and Eastern Redbud, which is native to Maryland. To reserve a tree, go to www.arborday.org/BGE. The website will walk customers through a map of their home, choosing the right tree, and will provide guidance on where to plant the trees. Once the trees are reserved, the two to four foot trees will be shipped directly to customer homes, ready for planting. Basic tree planting educational materials, a map of the designated planting site and information about contacting Miss Utility at 811 prior to planting, will accompany the tree order.

“In addition to supporting efforts to improve the quality of the environment and promote energy efficiency, this program also provides the added benefits of storm water runoff reduction, improved air quality and neighborhood beautification,” said Biagiotti.

The Energy Saving Trees online tool was created by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Davey Institute, a division of Davey Tree Expert Co., and uses peer-reviewed scientific research from the USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree software to calculate estimated benefits.

Since the program’s inception in 2013, BGE and its customers have achieved the following environmental benefits from the BGE Energy Saving Trees Program: more than 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide sequestered or avoided; 189 million gallons of storm water filtered; more than 34,000 megawatt hours saved; and nearly 1.4 million therms saved

For more information on BGE’s Energy Saving Trees Program, visit www.arborday.org/BGE. To learn more about BGE’s commitment to the environment, visit bge.com/ourcommitments/environment.