Money doesn't grow on trees, but Green Shade trees will save you plenty

Imagine an ideal spring time afternoon. The breeze calmly dancing its way around you as you sip on a glistening glass of cold iced tea. You’re outside your home laying back on the most comfortable hammock, that you expertly put together by the way, basking in the shade of your favorite tree. Well, guess what else is benefiting from that shade…your home!

While you enjoy the outdoors, your tree could be saving up to 25% of the energy your house would typically use. It’s not too late to take advantage of the Green Shade Tree Rebate. This program rewards customers for planting leafy trees that tend to hog the sun to benefit everyone—in turn increasing energy efficiency in homes and the city’s tree canopy.

CPS Energy offers a $50 rebate per qualifying tree planted when you apply and follow the guidelines to the program. The deadline to purchase your tree is April 30. There is a lifetime limit of five Green Shade rebates per CPS Energy customer address. This means that if you’ve received two Green Shade rebates in previous years, you are eligible for three more Green Shade rebates, which would then put you at the lifetime limit of five rebates.

Before you get too hyped and drive to your favorite garden center to get your trees, figure out where you plan to plant—making sure it’s within the guidelines outlined in the application. Keep in mind that you need to call 811 first to have electric, natural gas and other services located and marked. Digging and excavating in your yard without calling 811 is against the law. In addition, if you live within an HOA (Homeowner Association), be sure that your tree planting project is within any guidelines associated with tree planting.

As a Green Shade Tree Rebate participant, you also put a dent in what is called the urban heat island. No, that’s not the name of some awesome new dance club. When a metropolitan area is warmer than neighboring rural areas due to human activity, it is called an urban heat island. By contributing to the city’s tree canopy, you offset the presence of the heat island in your community.

Not only do trees provide oxygen, they also clean the air we breathe. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

Since the program was launched in 2010, the initiative has resulted in more than 10,800 trees finding a home in the soil that encompasses CPS Energy’s service area, totaling to nearly $545,000 returned to customers.

One last thing: when you purchase that hammock, consider a hammock stand so your tree is safe and sound from any accidental damage. Happy tree hunting and planting!

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