For Immediate Release
202-872-2680 (media hotline)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 24, 2020) – Pepco is giving away more than 1,000 free trees to residential customers through the Arbor Day Foundation's Energy-Saving Trees program. Coming off the heels of Earth Day's 50th Anniversary, this Earth-friendly and environmentally focused initiative helps customers conserve energy and reduce household energy use through strategic tree planting. As an added benefit, according to the National Wildlife Federation research demonstrates that exposure to trees has a relaxing effect on humans, reducing stress and impacting a sense of well-being, benefits we know many customers could take advantage of as the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic continue.
Starting on Arbor Day, Pepco customers can reserve one free tree per household by visiting arborday.org/pepco. Customers will be able to choose one-gallon trees in various selections, including River Birch, Eastern Redbud, Cape Myrtle and Red Maple. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and Stay at Home Orders in the District of Columbia and Maryland, all trees will be delivered to each customer's home between four and six weeks from when an online reservation is completed. Trees will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
"Joining with the Arbor Day Foundation, we are able to provide our customers with a great opportunity to save energy and make a difference in the environment," said Donna Cooper, Pepco region president. "As we recognize the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, while also managing the health and well-being of our families, we are pleased to offer customers a special way to show their support for the future of our planet and promote sustainability in their neighborhood without leaving their homes."
In addition, Pepco is also offering 250 trees on a first-come, first-served basis to District of Columbia homeowners through the "Right Tree, Right Place" tree planting program in partnership with Casey Trees, a D.C.-based nonprofit committed to restoring and protecting the nation's capital's tree canopy. District residents can request up to two trees by calling Casey Trees at 202-833-4010 ext.118. Casey Trees will send out a professional arborist to evaluate the landscape and recommend a suitable tree for the area. Once the appropriate tree is chosen, Casey Trees will come to the home and plant the tree for free, an estimated value of $450.
Trees provide benefits to a community by improving air and water quality, reducing stormwater runoff and adding to the visual appeal of a neighborhood. Since 2012, Pepco has provided more than 18,650 trees for customers to plant, providing the opportunity for saving nearly 20.9 million kilowatt hours of energy and removing close to 398,000 lbs. of air pollutants from the atmosphere, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. The benefits from these trees are projected to provide more than $7.6 million in environmental benefits.
Through the Arbor Day Foundation's website, customers will have the power to explore interactive tools that can help them determine the best location on their property to plant their tree for energy savings benefits. Properly planted trees can provide a homeowner many benefits, such as reducing energy use through summer shading and by slowing winter winds.
As always, and especially with so many people at home due to COVID-19, anyone planning to plant energy saving trees must call 811 at least a few days before beginning to learn the approximate location of underground utility equipment. Taking the right steps before digging will help avoid accidental damage to underground lines that could disrupt services to surrounding neighbors and prevent potential injury from striking an underground electric, natural gas or other utility line. One free call to 811 connects you to Miss Utility, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811.
Customers unable to reserve a free tree through the internet are encouraged to call 855-670-2771 to secure a tree.
To learn more, readers are encouraged to visit The Source, Pepco's online news room. Find additional information about Pepco by visiting pepco.com. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/pepcoconnect and on Twitter at twitter.com/pepcoconnect. Our mobile app is available at pepco.com/mobileapp.