Operation Cool Shade

Hot sales power cool savings at MEC’s annual tree sale in November

From left, Mohave Electric CEO Tyler Carlson, Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady, MEC Board Director Joe Solar, MEC Chief Operating Officer Rick Campos and MEC Energy Management Specialist Steve Bouman at the Operation Cool Shade tree sale in November. Photos by Bo Hellams

Operation Cool Shade is one of those programs—funded by our energy efficiency/demand-side management billing surcharge—that members never want to miss. Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) has offered discounted shade trees for more than 10 years, and 2020 was the largest to date.

This year, MEC offered four types of trees: Chilean mesquite, desert willow, rosewood, and willow acacia.

An additional 300 rosewood trees were added this year, bringing our total available trees for purchase to 2,100.

At $9 a tree, these trees come at an attractive price and include a free LED lightbulb with each tree to kick off the energy savings.

New this year, MEC added a phone-in presale event to promote social distancing, which also benefited our more distant members from across our service areas. With only two phone order presale events, we sold almost half of the available trees before the event officially began.

MEC will evaluate the success of our presale event and work to create a more refined buying experience in the coming years.

A volunteer loads new trees ready to take home and plant at the annual Mohave Electric Cooperative tree sale.

MEC sold out of the 2,100 trees at our first pickup date November 14. Staff and volunteer clubs created a smooth-running machine for our members, so their tree purchases did not hinder weekend time.

By 12:30 p.m., all western service area trees were picked up, and the lot was empty. Social distancing was safely practiced, and the event continued smoothly with minimal contact between event staff and members.

To better serve our members, we added an eastern service area pickup day this year.

The additional pickup locations and phone orders streamlined the process and created more convenience.

Now that you have your trees, the next step is planting them. Consider growing them on the east, south, and west sides of your home to create the most shade for your home. Blocking your home from the sun maximizes the amount of energy savings provided by the trees.

Staff, MEC board members and volunteers help with Operation Cool Shade, selling 2,100 trees this year.

Members should never plant their trees under power lines, which could interfere with our service.

We thank everyone who participated and hope you will be back next year.

Thank you to Bullhead City and the Pinion Pine Fire Department for allowing us to hold our event at your locations. The accessibility these two pickup locations provide is a wonderful convenience to our members. And lastly, thank you to those members who participated in the program. We hope your trees create shade and save energy for many years to come.