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May 9, 2022 | Energy Efficiency | 2 comments

Save energy and money with simple landscaping tips

Four tips to save all summer long.
Tip 1: Plant shade trees to cool your home 

The summer sun hits your home’s walls, windows and roof. This heats up your house, causing your A/C to work overtime. Planting trees around your home can provide shade, giving your air conditioning unit a much-needed break.  

Tip for tip 1:  

To the south and west of your home, plant trees that shade your walls, windows and at least 20% of your roof. Plant deciduous trees that grow 25‒40 feet tall when mature for the best results. Plant the trees with their trunks at least 15‒20 feet away from your walls, and make sure there are no power lines or other obstructions nearby. 


Tip 2: Use ground cover in place of grass or turf 

Adding plants to your yard can help keep it cool. Replace part of your lawn with lush ground cover. Water will evaporate off the leaves of the plants, cooling the air around your home. 

Tip for tip 2:   

Choose low, slow-growing plants that do not require much water or fertilizer to grow. Keep plants 1‒2 feet away from house foundations to avoid a buildup of moisture or pests.  

Tip 3: Plant shrubs to better shade your air conditioner’s condenser 

Creating shade for your air conditioner can cool down the air around it. The result? Your A/C unit doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your air before sending it into your house. 

Tip for tip 3:  

Plant tall, narrow shrubs (with a height of around 5‒8 feet). Leave 3‒5 feet of space between the shrubs and the A/C unit for better airflow. And don’t forget to leave room for airflow around the A/C heat exhaust vent. 

Tip 4: Plant a windbreak 

Planting a windbreak near your home will create an area of still air next to your house. This will prevent drafts and increase your home’s energy efficiency. 

Tip for tip 4: 

Decide which direction the wind blows most frequently on your home. On that side, plant an unbroken row of evergreen trees that won’t lose their foliage in the winter while blocking the wind year-round. Make sure the edge of the trees is about 5 feet away from your exterior walls. The row of trees should also extend beyond your walls on both sides. 


For more energy efficiency tips and ways to save, visit 








  1. Carl T Kemmerer

    From an energy consumption and cost view, with a heat pump and all electric home, cooling is far more efficient than heating. Thus a southern exposure with windows or solar cells and insulated shades or drapes are desired rather than trees. Trees are great for shade in the summer but trees grow and limbs break . PPL does “nothing” to help the home owner cut down or remove limbs
    and in fact claims it is the home owners problem and you only respond to power out ages. Now the problem with dead ash trees under, near or close to power lines, poles and transformers on said customer poles are a result of ppl not taking care of such trees while smaller. Go now pay later…later is here.

    Want to save customers energy and money—prevent power outages and tell me why the default rate for ppl is not even competitive with other power companies???

  2. Paula Steere

    As a keen gardener I read this article with interest. What a great idea to give plant advice to help with energy efficiency. Very forward-thinking. Thank you.


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