New research shows that urban and community forests bring huge savings in reduced energy costs associated with heating and cooling residential buildings.
According to the USDA Forest Service, energy used for heating and cooling homes in the U.S. would be more than 7% higher if not for urban trees – an energy cost savings calculated at $7.8 billion annually.
“Urban forests are investments for cities and homeowners that can directly reduce costs in urban areas and save homeowners money,” says lead author David Nowak of the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station. “This study provides state and national estimates on reduced energy use due to trees to help give decision-makers a better understanding of the benefits of trees and their value to communities.”
The study, Residential building energy conservation and avoided power plant emissions by urban and community trees in the United States, was recently published in the journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening and is available here.