News Brief

New Tool Quantifies Shade Tree Benefits

A new online tool from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) allows users to calculate the energy and financial benefits of shade trees in most U.S. climates; the tool supports SMUD’s efforts to provide free trees. Homeowners can enter their location, house type, and electricity rates; number of trees, their species, and their age or diameter; and the trees’ position in relation to the house. The system then calculates the amount of shading those trees provide in summer and winter and offers projected energy savings for the current tree and for a mature tree in both kilowatt-hours and dollars. The tool also projects the carbon dioxide sequestration provided by the tree as well as reductions in electricity demand generated by new trees planted by homeowners.

Although SMUD also offers assistance for photovoltaic and solar hot water installation, the tool does not take into account the potentially negative consequences of shading of these systems. More information is available at

Published October 29, 2008

Wendt, A. (2008, October 29). New Tool Quantifies Shade Tree Benefits. Retrieved from

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