According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a well-designed landscape can pay for itself in under 10 years while adding to the beauty, value and comfort of the home. It can also reduce maintenance and water use, help with heating and cooling costs and reduce air and noise pollution.
“Helping customers save energy and money is part of our mission of providing reliable, reasonably-priced electricity in a responsible manner,” said Becky Merritt, vice president of Customer Service at Dominion.
The trick with landscaping is to have the right information and know-how for the mid-Atlantic region, which has a temperate climate. Dominion’s Planting Guide can be found at www.dom.com, keyword “Trees.”
Here are some quick tips:
- Plant a 6-8 foot deciduous tree (one that loses its leaves in the winter) near your home and it will start shading your windows in the first year.
- Using the right trees as a windbreak can help lower heating bills by reducing wind chill and adding helpful dead air space near the home that provides insulation.
- When planting trees and shrubs consider how big the plant will be at maturity to assure proper spacing from overhead structures such as communications and power lines.
- Use shrubs to shade your air conditioning unit to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs.
- Techniques such as aerating lawns, watering in the early morning and mulching shrubs can lower water use and runoff.
- Consider high efficiency, low voltage lighting systems or solar voltaic outdoor lights for security and aesthetic value.
These are just a few of the tips provided at the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy.gov website on how to save energy. Check out these websites for more information: