Idaho Power is committed to providing customer programs that promote energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, well-placed shade trees can reduce energy used for summer cooling by about 15 percent or more by blocking the sun’s rays. In addition to energy savings, shade trees improve air and water quality and increase property values.
Participants must be an active residential customer of Idaho Power at the property where the tree is to be planted and living in one of the counties listed below. Participant must have the legal right to plant tree(s) on the property. Limit two trees per address for the life of the program.
For spring 2019, this project will be open to residential customers living in Twin Falls, Jerome, Gooding, Cassia, Lincoln and Minidoka counties.
- Enroll in the project using the online enrollment tool. Energy Saving Trees, developed by the Arbor Day Foundation, is a web-based tool designed to help you to choose a species of tree and evaluate the best location on your property for that tree. The tool will also help you select a preferred pickup date and location. Allow at least 10 minutes to complete the online enrollment. You must be pre-registered to receive your tree(s).
- Pick up your tree at a tree event. You can talk with an expert, attend a planting demonstration and learn how to properly plant and care for your new tree.
- Plant the tree. Shade trees work best on the west side of the property.
- Plant on the west side of your home.
- Plant close enough to your home so the mature canopy will provide the shade you need. However, to prevent branches from impacting your home, plant the tree about half the distance of the mature canopy width from your home.
- Ensure trees planted near streets comply with local ordinances, generally about 5 feet from streets and 40 feet from corners.
- Ensure trees will not interfere with overhead or underground utilities. Idaho Power recommends planting shade trees at least 35 feet from any overhead power lines. Learn more about Tree Safety.
- Consider how the tree might affect visibility, shade nearby flower gardens or impact a neighbor’s home.
At least two days before you plan to dig, call Dig Line at 811 or visit digline.com to make sure the selected tree location does not have any underground utility lines.
Plus, in the winter, branches from trees planted on the south side of a home can increase winter heating costs by blocking the sun which hovers low and to the south most of the day.
At pick up you will receive planting guides and other information to help you properly plant and care for your tree. Further planting and care are up to you. Some community resources that may be of assistance include the following:
- City urban forestry programs provide classes on tree planting and care.
- The International Society of Arborists and the Arbor Day Foundation have online tree care information.
- Landscaping companies and tree doctors are available for hire to help plant, prune and evaluate tree health. The Idaho Nursery and Landscape Association maintains a list of professionals serving Idaho.