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Published: Friday, April 18, 2014 2:18 a.m. CDT

Tree distribution

DES MOINES – MidAmerican Energy Company residential customers who live in Iowa can participate in the Plant Some ShadeŽ program this spring. The program offers customers discount-priced trees to reduce future energy use and green up their neighborhoods.

Strategically placed deciduous trees provide shade on hot summer days, easing the cooling load on air conditioners or heat pumps. Trees planted on the west side of a house provide the most benefit. Additionally, conifer trees planted as windbreaks help protect the home from blustery Iowa winter winds thus reducing the energy needed for heating.

Plant Some Shade is a partnership initiative to aid long-term energy and natural resource conservation. The program is funded by MidAmerican Energy and administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Bureau of Forestry, with eight local partners: City of Cedar Rapids, Johnson County Extension, Polk County Conservation, Pottawattamie County Conservation Board, Scott County Conservation Board, Warren County Conservation Board, City of Waterloo and Webster County Conservation Board.

Plant Some Shade offers MidAmerican Energy’s residential customers the ability to purchase up to two, 3- to 4-foot conifers and 5- to 8-foot landscaping trees for $30 each. A variety of trees are available, including two or three varieties of shade trees, a low-growing ornamental tree and a conifer.

“Encouraging residents to plant trees in their yard is an effective way to promote energy efficiency and environmental beautification,” said Tina Yoder, MidAmerican Energy’s manager, energy efficiency. “Strategically planted trees provide year-round protection of homes from the elements and that means energy savings. Plant Some Shade helps our customers save energy.”

Plant Some Shade events will be held in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Indianola, Iowa City and Waterloo. Prepayment and advance orders are required. Order forms can be obtained at www.midamericanenergy.com/iowa_plantsomeshade.

Orders will be accepted until all trees have been sold. Tree recipients are given instructions on how to plant and care for their trees, including safety information regarding the need to call 811 before digging to check for underground power lines. In addition, it is important to choose a tree that fits the site characteristics so that it will not grow into overhead power lines.

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