It has been a hot and smoky summer here in the Greater Sacramento Area. Both of these make everyone close their windows and run their air conditioning all day long. This leads to a very expensive summer. There is a solution to both the bad air quality and the hot summer that is free! Let’s dive in and see how you can lower your electric bill and help absorb CO2 in the air.

Keep Your Home Cool

During the summer heat, the shade trees provide to your home can help reduce the need for air conditioning by up to 30%! Shade that covers your roof can decrease house temperatures up to 10°F. This helps your wallet and the environment.

Not only do trees provide shade for your home, but they can actually cool the temperature around themselves from 2° to 9°F cooler. This is a process called evapotranspiration which absorbs water through the roots and evaporates it into the leafs pores, cooling the air around them.

Tree lined sidewalks

Keep Air Quality Clean and Fresh

According to the American Lung Association, Sacramento’s grade of particle pollution and ozone grade is an F. More trees can help in the effort to change this report card from failing to excelling. By planting a tree, more oxygen can be produced and more carbon pulled out of the air. 

Trees also provide beauty to the neighborhood and great smells to the air. No one wants to be smelling the exhaust of a truck in a cement-ridden neighborhood when they could be walking on tree lined sidewalks bringing in fresh air.

Family planting a tree through the free tree program.

Free Shade Tree Program

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the Sacramento Tree Foundation have been partnering together since 1990 to help plant over 600,000 trees in the Sacramento area. Even with so many trees Sacramento ranks as the 6th most polluted city by ozone in the United States.

Here is the biggest kicker… San Francisco is ranked lower at #10! In order to change this more people need to join the Free Shade Tree Program.

This program allows SMUD customers to receive up to 10 free trees depending on land availability. With over 40 species of trees available, your options won’t be limited. 

Want free wood chips as well? SMUD offers residential customers an opportunity to pick up wood chips and spread them around their property. This helps keep soil more fertile and protects trees during the summer months.

We are proud supporters of this program and encourage everyone to take part in it!

Join the movement!