Ocala Electric Utility is providing 300 free trees to customers through Energy-Saving Trees, an Arbor Day Foundation program that helps conserve energy and reduce energy bills through strategic tree planting.
Customers can reserve their free trees at https://www.arborday.org/ocalaelectric. An online tool helps customers estimate the annual energy savings that will result from planting trees in the most strategic location near their homes or businesses.
Customers can reserve one tree and will be provided instructions for caring and planting them in the best location provided by the online tool. The types of trees offered include Dahoon Holly, Nuttall Oak and Red Maple.
The free trees are available through May 31. There are 300 trees available to order online and will be delivered directly to customers at an ideal time for planting.
“This program benefits the environment and can help customers save money on their energy bills,” said Eric Weaver, interim director of Ocala Electric Utility.
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. In addition to providing approximate energy savings, the tool also estimates the trees’ other benefits, including cleaner air, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved storm water management.
The 300 trees are estimated to produce more than $150,000 in combined energy and community benefits within 20 years.