By participating in the SRP Shade Tree Program™, SRP customers can save money on their electricity bill while adding beauty to their homes. After attending an SRP Shade Tree workshop, customers can receive up to two free desert-adapted trees that will grow to shade their homes, which can help reduce cooling costs.
The workshops also provide customers with a wealth of knowledge about tree placement and maintenance, available tree species, water and energy conservation, and more.
Program participant stories
With thousands of participants each year, SRP customers continue to benefit from SRP’s Shade Tree Program. SRP employees who are SRP customers as well are also eligible to participate in the program.
Ashton Weinberger, an SRP employee since 2017 and customer since 2018, enjoyed the great shade canopy provided by a thornless mesquite shade tree that had been planted by the previous owners in the backyard of her home. Unfortunately, after a few years of energy savings and nice shade, an incident occurred resulting in the removal of the tree.
“The most noticeable thing about not having the tree was our dogs could no longer go out on the artificial grass in the summer because it was so hot from the sun. It was making our house warmer and our electricity bill higher because we had to run the AC more,” said Weinberger. “There were so many benefits to the tree, so much so that if you plant it and care for it correctly, it will grow higher than a two-story home and create an amazing shade canopy. But you do need to be mindful of the rules when it comes to the proximity of planting the tree near your home.”
Scott Lorent, a customer for 31 years and an SRP employee for almost 25 years, received a tree five years ago from SRP’s Shade Tree Program. He enjoys it not only for the shade it provides, but also for the beauty it adds to his home.
“I signed up to get just one tree, a thornless palo verde. It’s a hybrid tree with orange flowers that blossom in the spring. It’s really pretty,” said Lorent. “It took probably five years to get almost 20 feet tall. It finally looped over the house right where I wanted it to, and I had this amazing shade. One day, my grandson and I put a thermometer in the shade provided by the tree and we put one out in the sun. The thermometer in the sun was 90-something degrees and the one by the shade tree was 82 degrees. There was a big difference with the shade. It’s important to have those trees around.”
More than just the trees
Dulce Martinez, an SRP employee since 2018 and an SRP customer for over 20 years, shared the benefits she received from attending the workshop beyond receiving the trees.
“You gain so much knowledge. They literally teach you everything you need to know such as the location of where to plant the trees, how to plant them and how to water them. After participating in the webinar, you’re given PowerPoints and further information on how to maintain your trees. Other than the trees themselves, I gained knowledge that I use every day.” Martinez added, “I think this is one of the best programs SRP offers.”
Now Martinez’s thornless mesquite and desert willow trees are growing strong, slowly providing her home with shade.
Lori Gonzales, a customer for 16 years and an SRP employee for 17 years, also shared her experience.
“I only had space for one tree so I got the willow acacia. It is a fast-growing tree. I would say by the second year, we had a little bit of shade already. I planted it on the southwest corner of my lot. It shaded my downstairs bedroom, which was noticeably cooler by not having the direct south sun coming in the window,” said Gonzales. “Because the willow acacia has flowers, we actually got some hummingbirds and other little critters that we wouldn’t have had if we didn’t have the tree,” added Gonzales.
The Shade Tree Program is a great opportunity for SRP customers to save energy and beautify their homes, which helps the Valley continue to thrive.