Mohave Electric Cooperative is once again helping members save on energy costs with Operation Cool Shade.
The program encourages the use of trees to help reduce the demand for energy by shading a residence from direct sunlight. Doing so reduces stress on an air-conditioning unit, lowering the need for energy, which saves members money.
Four different types of desert-adapted shade trees are available for $9 per tree: Chilean mesquite, willow acacia, desert willow, and rosewood. There are 1,800 trees available: 600 of the rosewood and four hundred each of the others.
MEC will be taking tree orders Sept. 11-24 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Member Services Office at 928 Hancock Rd. With each pre-order tree purchase, members will receive a free energy-saving LED light bulb to assist in year-round energy savings.
To maximize the benefit of having shade trees, plant on the sunny side of a home. Members should plan in advance of picking up the trees and landscape so they shade the walls, roof, and windows.
“The less energy needed to cool a home results in financial savings,” said Steve Bouman, energy management specialist at MEC. “Planting shade trees in the right location can reduce cooling costs by up to 20 percent.”
As with any digging activity, members should call Arizona 811 at (800) 782-5348 before digging or visit azbluestake.com to create a ticket. Arizona 811 will notify utility locators to mark the placement of underground utility wires and pipes.
Bouman said members planting trees need to account for growth of the tree and root system when selecting a location. Also, be careful not to plant the trees too close together.
Tree distribution is Nov. 9 at the Bullhead City Justice Complex parking lot located on Alona’s Way.