Energy savings from tree shade
Trees cast shade on homes and buildings, lowering the inside temperatures and thus reducing demand for power to cool these buildings during hot times of the year. Drawing from a large sample of residences in Auburn, Alabama, we develop a statistical model that produces specific estimates of the electricity savings generated by shade-producing trees in a suburban environment. This empirical model links residential energy consumption during peak summer (winter) months to average energy consumption during non-summer/non-winter months, behaviors of the occupants, and the extent, density, and timing of shade cast on the structures. Our estimates reveal that tree shade generally is associated with reduced (increased) electricity consumption in the summertime (wintertime). In summertime, energy savings are maximized by having dense shade. In wintertime, energy consumption increases as shade percentage in the morning, when outdoor temperatures are at their lowest, increases.
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