Be cool and save with Operation Cool Shade

Published by The Bee News

August 22, 2019

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BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. – The largest energy consumer throughout a desert summer is the air conditioner. And there really isn’t a close second.

Mohave Electric Cooperative will be accepting member orders for shade trees from Sept. 11-24 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays. Pickup will be 7 a.m.-noon on Nov. 9.

The cost is $9 per tree with a limit of four trees, which includes a free energy-saving LED bulb with each member pre-order purchase. Orders are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Orders are in-person only at the MEC Member Services Office at 928 Hancock Rd. in Bullhead City. Tree pickup will be at the Justice Complex parking lot on Alona’s Way.

“Air conditioners can run almost continuously when the sun is beating on a house in the summer,” said Steve Bouman, energy management specialist at MEC. “Well placed shade trees can cut cooling costs by up to 20 percent as trees reach maturity.”

The four types of trees available are Chilean mesquite, desert willow, rosewood, and willow acacia. All four types sold out before the deadline in 2018.

Before planting, consider the best locations for the trees. The most efficient plan will consider shade on the roof as well as the east, west, and south walls.

“But,” Bouman warned, “be careful not to plant too close to power lines. The tree, at maturity, should remain at least 15 feet from overhead lines.”

It is important to call Arizona 811 at (800) 782-5348 or visit prior to digging. Utility locators will be notified, and the location of underground utility wires and pipes will be marked.

“It’s also important to consider the distance from driveways, patios, sidewalks, and block walls,” Bouman said. “Trees and their roots will grow, so plant effectively and wisely.”

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