BGE Provides 360 Energy Saving Trees to Baltimore City through the Arbor Day Foundation to Promote Energy Efficiency and Make a Positive Impact on the Environment and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
BGE’s donation is in addition to the company’s Energy Savings Trees Program, through which the company provided 21,000 free trees to customers throughout central Maryland over the past two years
BALTIMORE (December 15, 2014) – Many times the importance of trees during the winter time is overlooked, however, trees provide energy savings for customers year-round and are essential for the health of the local ecosystem and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Through the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s (BGE) annual BGE Energy Saving Trees Program the company is helping the City of Baltimore and its customers throughout central Maryland reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprints, while also making a positive impact on the environment. Through a commitment of $100,000, the company has teamed up with the Arbor Day Foundation and Davey Institute to provide 360 trees that have been planted throughout Baltimore City in neighborhoods where the City has plans to increase the tree canopy.
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.
“BGE is pleased to team up with Baltimore City to enhance and improve the communities we serve,” said Valencia McClure, director of communications and corporate relations for BGE. “In addition to supporting efforts to improve energy efficiency, this tree planting project will have a positive impact on the environmental and aesthetic qualities in communities that suffer from excessive vacancy and bare lots.”
The Baltimore City neighborhoods of Harlem Park and Sandtown received 150 trees each, which were planted during community tree planting events on November 15 and December 6, respectively. In addition, 60 additional trees were planted along streets within McElderry Park, along E. Monument Street and throughout the downtown and South Baltimore City. The greening of these areas will help to reduce a heat island effect in the summer, improve air quality, and mitigate storm water runoff year-round, helping to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The trees that were planted are all native species that have been shown to thrive as street trees in Baltimore. The species planted include Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Scarlet Oak, Honey Locust, Eastern Redbud, Hornbeam, Sweetgum, Zelkova, London Plane and the flowering Dogwood. The neighborhoods targeted were selected with Baltimore City Division of Forestry due to their low tree canopies. The tree planting projects were completed with volunteer support from BGE, Baltimore City, the Baltimore Tree Trust and the Downtown Partnership.
“Baltimore City is committed to increasing the tree canopy throughout the City, but especially in the neighborhoods that currently have fewer trees, to improve the air quality, shield homes from harsh winter winds and provide shade in the hot summer months,” said Erik Dihle, Baltimore City Arborist. “We thank BGE for supporting the City in our efforts by providing 360 trees, which have been planted in several neighborhoods, all of which will benefit from the improved aesthetics and environmental enhancements. We look forward to continuing to work with BGE in the future as they provide meaningful investments in communities across Baltimore City.”
BGE’s donation of 360 trees to Baltimore City is part of its larger annual BGE Energy Saving Trees Program. Over the past two years, through a commitment of $600,000, BGE has provided more than 20,600 free trees to nearly 12,000 customers throughout central Maryland.
BGE will launch the 2015 BGE Energy Saving Tree Program in the spring and customers will be able to register for up to two free trees. To protect the safety of customers and the reliability and integrity of BGE’s infrastructure, the BGE Energy Saving Trees program features a website with an interactive tool that will provide 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.
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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.
For more information on BGE’s Right Tree, Right Place program, visit bge.com. Customers are reminded to contact Miss Utility by calling 811 before any digging or planting project. Customers may also visit bge.com/811. For more ways to save energy, visit bge.smartenergy.com to view BGE’s suite of energy efficiency programs.
Since its founding nearly 200 years ago, BGE has played an integral role in working with Maryland communities to address economic development, public safety, civic issues and other initiatives that help enhance our neighborhoods. Through the use of shareholder dollars, BGE supports programs that deliver measurable and sustainable impact in areas of education, environment, community development and arts and culture.
BGE’s corporate citizenship aligns with that of its parent company, Exelon Corporation. As part of Exelon’s merger in March 2012, Exelon and its subsidiaries have committed to maintain charitable giving of an average of $7 million per year in Maryland, including BGE’s service area, for the next 10 years. BGE’s $600,000 commitment to the Energy Saving Trees Program fulfills part of that commitment.