For Immediate Release: July 13, 2017

With above-average temperatures this summer, the power of shade trees is clear

Tomorrow only, reporters can pick up a free handheld infrared thermometer at SMUD

For more than 26 years, SMUD and the Sacramento Tree Foundation have been providing free shade trees to homes and businesses in the Sacramento region. The results of that long-term commitment to our urban forest are never clearer than after a run of 100-degree days. The difference in the exterior temperature of homes and businesses in the sun compared to those in the shade is significant, and can be as high as 50 degrees or more.

Tomorrow only, SMUD will provide free handheld infrared thermometers to reporters who would like to compare the exterior temperatures of structures in the shade with those in direct sun. Neighborhoods near SMUD’s Customer Service Center such as East Sacramento, River Park and Elmhurst all provide plentiful examples of the cooling ability of shade trees.

Date: TOMORROW, Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location: SMUD’s Customer Service Center
6301 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95817
(Please reserve your thermometer by calling SMUD News Media Services at 916-732-5111.)

The Sacramento Shade program helps SMUD customers save energy and money by providing them with up to ten free shade trees, stakes and ties. The program provides a number of important community benefits, including:

  • Strategically sited, mature shade trees can reduce home cooling costs up to 40 percent.
  • Shade trees help reduce our community’s peak electricity demand. This allows SMUD to purchase less power on the open market, helping keep rates affordable and improving grid reliability.
  • The cumulative effect of the more than 550,000 shade trees planted by SMUD since 1990 has reduced Sacramento’s annual electricity use by about 16 gigawatt-hours. That’s enough energy to power approximately 21,000 homes.
  • Shade trees reduce atmospheric carbon by capturing and sequestering it in their trunks, roots and branches. They also help reduce the urban heat island effect.

SMUD was the first utility in the nation to establish a large-scale, utility-funded tree planting program. SMUD has also won the Tree Line USA award 15 years in a row. Tree Line USA is a national program of the National Arbor Day Foundation that recognizes utilities for practices that protect and enhance America’s urban forests.

For more information about SMUD’s shade tree program, visit