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MidAmerican Energy News

MidAmerican Energy Celebrates Arbor Day with Tree Line USA Award

DES MOINES, Iowa – (April 24, 2015) – Just in time for Arbor Day, MidAmerican Energy Company has once again been honored as a Tree Line USA Utility in recognition of its efforts to preserve and protect trees in the communities it serves.

Presented by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Forestry Bureau, the Tree Line USA award recognizes public and private utilities across the nation for demonstrating practices that protect and enhance America's urban forests while maintaining dependable utility service. This is the 14th year in a row MidAmerican Energy has been honored with the Tree Line USA designation.

To receive the award, a utility must demonstrate leadership for quality tree care, tree planting, public education, worker training, and a tree-based energy conservation program.

“We know trees play an important role in enhancing the quality of life in a community, and that’s why we take such care to maintain healthy trees compatible with safe, reliable electric service,” said Jason Ewers, manager, forestry services for MidAmerican Energy. “In addition to their aesthetic beauty, trees have environmental benefits such as cleaning the air and replenishing the soil, and they improve energy efficiency. When planted in the right location, trees can provide wind breaks in the winter and shade in the summer, which can help customers reduce their energy costs.”

Ewers said that seven to 10 percent of electric outages are caused by the failure of trees or their branches due to high winds. Trimming tree branches away from electric lines can help to reduce tree failure, protect property and ensure a safe, reliable and consistent power supply. MidAmerican Energy’s vegetation management program follows a three-year tree-trimming cycle. Its 35 arborists and contractors, certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, utilize natural, scientific-based tree-trimming techniques to direct branches away from power lines and to preserve the health of trees. These efforts alleviate safety hazards and prevent electrical outages. Also, trees near power lines pose a danger to anyone who might climb them and to linemen, especially those working to restore power during severe weather events.

In addition to proper tree care, MidAmerican Energy offers several tree-related programs designed to promote the planting of trees for their energy efficiency potential. Programs such as Trees Please! provided 68 Iowa cities with grants totaling $203,000 to purchase trees in 2015. In addition, the company’s Plant Some Shade program allows customers to purchase high-quality landscape trees at discounted prices. MidAmerican Energy also supports the Trees for Kids and Trees for Teens programs that are administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and help children learn about the value of trees.

For more information on MidAmerican Energy’s tree-related programs or for planting safety tips, visit: http://www.midamericanenergy.com/ee/ia_res_trees.aspx

MidAmerican Energy Company provides electric service to 746,000 customers and natural gas service to 726,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via MidAmerican Energy Company's website.