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Trees and Shrubs

Landscaping and tree planting can be eye pleasing to a homeowner's property, and knowing where to properly plant trees, shrubs, vines and hedges can be cost effective, lowering your energy bills, while maintaining your comfort.

By following the tips offered by Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo), landscaping may be one of the best long-term investments for a homeowner for reducing heating and cooling costs, while also bringing other improvements to their home and community.

A well-oriented and well-designed home admits low-angle winter sun, rejects overhead summer sun, and minimizes the cooling effect of winter winds. So ultimately, a well-designed landscape will:

  • Cut your summer and winter energy costs dramatically.
  • Protect your home from winter wind and summer sun.
  • Help control noise and air pollution.

Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25 percent of a household's energy consumption for heating and cooling. Computer models devised by the U.S. Department of Energy predict the proper placement of only three trees save an average household between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually.

On average, a well-designed landscape provides enough energy savings to return your initial investment in less than eight years. An 8-foot, leaf-shedding tree, for example, costs about as much as an awning for one large window, and yet, can ultimately save your household hundreds of dollars in reduced cooling costs, while still admitting some winter sunshine to reduce heating and lighting costs, saving homeowners money in the summer and winter.

For more information, view our "Trees and Shrubs for Your Community" (PDF:553KB) booklet, which is a great resource to help you with your landscaping plans and identifying which trees and shrubs are least likely to interfere with your overhead electric service.

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