Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. (BGE) has launched the BGE Energy-Saving Trees Program, through the Arbor Day Foundation and Davey Institute, as an effort to help customers reduce energy consumption and meet energy efficiency goals, while reducing carbon footprints and improving the environment. BGE has committed US$300,000 to the program, providing 9,000 free trees to customers through an online tool, while supplies last.

Customers must agree to plant the trees in an energy-saving location, away from overhead power lines and underground utilities. Customers are reminded to always call Miss Utility at 811 to have underground utilities marked before any digging or planting project. Customers are also reminded to never plant near overhead power lines. For more guidance on BGE's Right Tree, Right Place program, visit bge.com.

“Heating and cooling typically account for nearly half of a home's annual energy use and studies have shown that planting the right tree, in the right place, can help customers save up to 30% on their energy use throughout the year,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “Properly placed trees help keep homes cool by providing shade from the harsh, summer sun and by slowing cold, winter winds.”

Trees offered through the program include: Serviceberry, American Hornbeam, Flowering Dogwood, American Hophornbeam, Willow Oak, Basswood and Eastern Redbud, which is native to Maryland. To reserve a tree, go to www.arborday.org/BGE. The website will walk customers through a map of their home, choosing the right tree, and will provide guidance on where to plant the trees. Once the trees are reserved, the 2-4-foot trees will be shipped directly to customer homes, ready for planting. Basic tree planting educational materials, a map of the designated planting site and information about contacting Miss Utility at 811 prior to planting, will accompany the tree order.

“In addition to supporting efforts to improve the quality of the environment and promote energy efficiency, this program also provides the added benefits of storm water runoff reduction, improved air quality and neighborhood beautification,” said Mills.

The Energy Saving Trees online tool was created by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Davey Institute, a division of Davey Tree Expert Co., and uses peer-reviewed scientific research from the USDA Forest Service's i-Tree software to calculate estimated benefits.

For more information on BGE's Energy Saving Trees Program, visit www.arborday.org/BGE. To learn more about BGE's commitment to the environment, visit bge.com/ourcommitments/environment.

For more information on BGE's Right Tree, Right Place program, visit bge.com. For more information on Miss Utility and calling 811 before any digging or planting project, visit bge.com/811. For more ways to save energy, visit bge.smartenergy.com to view BGE's suite of energy efficiency programs.

As part of its commitment to building strong communities in central Maryland, BGE supports environmental enhancement initiatives like the BGE Energy-Saving Trees Program. Since its founding nearly 200 years ago, BGE has played an integral role in working with Maryland communities to address economic development, public safety, civic issues and other initiatives that help enhance our neighborhoods. Through the use of shareholder dollars, BGE supports programs that deliver measurable and sustainable impact in areas of energy efficiency and assistance, the environment, education, economic and community development, and emergency response and safety.

BGE's corporate citizenship aligns with that of its parent company, Exelon Corporation. As part of Exelon's merger in March 2012, Exelon and its subsidiaries have committed to maintain charitable giving of an average of $7 million per year in Maryland, including BGE's service area, for the next 10 years. BGE's $300,000 commitment to the Energy Saving Trees Program fulfills part of that commitment.