Strategic Landscaping to Save Energy

Selecting the right trees and shrubs can cut cooling costs and increase safety.

Is landscaping on your to-do list this spring? Planting trees and shrubs is a great way to add some curb appeal and may help cut your cooling costs in the summer.

Before you start digging holes or take a trip to the garden center, investigate the options and make a plan. Smart landscaping can save up to 25% of the energy a typical household uses during a hot summer, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

So what should I plant for energy efficiency?

Strategic Landscaping

Before you plant, choose trees and shrubs that enhance energy savings and safety.

Take precautions

Be aware of planting locations that can cause electric service interruptions or other dangerous situations.

Strategic Landscaping

Landscaping can help hide transformers in your yard while maintaining a safe distance of three feet on the sides and back and 10 feet in front.

You may be tempted to use plants to conceal the green electric transformer in your yard, but use caution. For safety and electric reliability:

It's also important to plant trees away from overhead power lines. Trees that grow too close to power lines can cause outages. Remember that the short tree you plant today could grow tall enough to reach power lines in the future.

Use MGE's Tree Choice and Care database to search for trees and shrubs that can be safely planted under or near power lines. This easy-to-use tool provides suggestions based on the location you will plant and type of soil, as well as the mature height and growth rate you specify. You also can specify native trees and shrubs.

Dig smart - Call 811 first

Planting a shrub? Adding a fence? Building an addition? Remember to call 811 before any digging project.

Diggers Hotline

Diggers Hotline is a free service that works with MGE and other utilities to identify buried lines on your property so you can dig freely and safely. Call 811 at least three business days before you start digging. This simple step will help you stay safe, prevent equipment damage and avoid costly fines.

I'm only using hand tools. Do I still have to call?

Play it safe and call 811. Wisconsin law requires notifying Diggers Hotline before projects that require steps such as excavating, grading, trenching, digging and drilling. Visit Diggers Hotline for more information.

Visit often to find additional features to save energy under Our Energy Use.

published: 04-27-2017