- In California, peak load reduction by existing trees saves utilities 10%, valued at approximately $778.5 million annually, or $4.39/tree. McPherson, E.G.; Simpson, J.R. 2003. Potential energy savings in buildings by an urban tree planting programme in California. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 2: 73-86.
Home Energy Savings
- On the south side of a building, a medium size deciduous tree can reduce irradiance by 80% with leaves on it and 40% if it is leafless, generating energy savings of 2% – 7%. Winter shade can increase heat costs and associated pollutant emissions but the overall impact is a reduction in energy costs. Abdel-Aziz D.M. 2014. Effects of Tree Shading on Building’s Energy Consumption. J Archit Eng Tech 3:135. doi: 10.4172/2168-9717.1000135
- The best place to plant a tree to reduce cooling costs is on the west side of a building. Trees located within 12.2 meters of east and west sides of buildings are in “positive sites” for energy savings. Abdel-Aziz D.M. 2014. Effects of Tree Shading on Building’s Energy Consumption. J Archit Eng Tech 3:135. doi: 10.4172/2168-9717.1000135
- See Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program video for more information:
Shade Trees vs. Forest Trees
- One shade tree in Los Angeles is equivalent to three to five forest trees because of its impact on energy-use. This is because it avoids the combustion of 18 kg of carbon annually, or just less than two gallons of gasoline, even though it sequesters only 4.5–11 kg (as it would if growing in a forest). Akbari, H. 2002. Shade trees reduce building energy use and CO2 emissions from power plants. Environmental Pollution. 116 Suppl 1: S119-26.
- An average of four shade trees per house would lead to an annual reduction in carbon emissions from power plants of 16,000 tons in Baton Rouge, 41,000 tons in Sacramento, and 9,000 tons in Salt Lake City. Per-tree reduction in carbon emissions is about 10–11 kg per year. Akbari, H. 2002. Shade trees reduce building energy use and CO2 emissions from power plants. Environmental Pollution. 116 Suppl 1: S119-26.