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MidAmerican Energy News

MidAmerican Energy Named Tree Line USA Utility for 15th Time

DES MOINES, Iowa – (April 29, 2016) – MidAmerican Energy Company has been recognized as a Tree Line USA Utility for the 15th consecutive year. In celebration of the award and just in time for Arbor Day, the company encourages customers to think like an arborist when planting trees.

MidAmerican Energy employs and contracts 35 arborists, certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, who oversee tree trimming crews. MidAmerican Energy’s vegetation management program utilizes 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 power outages.

“We value trees in our communities and trim only what’s necessary to protect our customers’ service, keep them safe and preserve the health of the tree,” said Jason Ewers, MidAmerican Energy manager of vegetation management. “There are many things people should consider before selecting, siting and planting a tree.”

MidAmerican Energy arborists recommend the following before you plant.

Look Up

Trees that grow too close to power lines can cause power outages or create safety hazards. Falling trees or branches cause up to 10 percent of all electrical outages. Before planting, consider the tree’s height and canopy size at maturity. Trees under 25 feet may be planted next to overhead power lines. Trees over 25 feet should be planted at least 25 feet away from overhead lines, and trees that grow taller than 35 feet should be planted at least 50 feet away.

Look Down

Know what’s underground before planting. Call 811 at least 48 hours before digging to make sure there are no power, gas, fiber optic or other utility lines buried underground. Also, plant trees and shrubs at least 10 feet away from ground-mounted transformers.

Look Around

Trees provide an array of benefits, from cleaning the air and replenishing the soil to improving energy efficiency. According to the USDA Forest Service, trees strategically placed around your home can save you up to 56 percent on annual air-conditioning costs, while evergreens that block winter winds can save you three percent on heating costs. Plant deciduous trees on the west side of your house to provide summer shade but allow the winter rays to shine in when the trees lose their leaves. Plant evergreens on the north side of your home to shield winter winds and help you save on heating costs.

The Tree Line USA Utility award is presented by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Forestry Bureau. The award recognizes energy companies across the nation for their efforts to protect and enhance trees while maintaining safe and reliable energy service.

Visit MidAmerican Energy’s website to learn more about its vegetation management or tree-related programs.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company is an energy provider serving 752,000 electric customers and 733,000 natural gas 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.