April 26, 2019 – For the 13th consecutive year, the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Duke Energy Florida as a Tree Line USA utility, highlighting its efforts in tree care.
The Tree Line USA Program demonstrates how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens by highlighting best management practices in public and private utility arboriculture.
Trees and vegetation are part of Florida’s natural landscape, but they are also one of the leading causes of power outages for utilities. In order to keep electricity reliable, Duke Energy has a responsibility to protect the lines that deliver power to homes and businesses across the region.
“Receiving this award for the 13th straight year is a testament to the work our employees do to protect the environment and serve our customers,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida president. “Trees are beautiful additions to yards, providing benefits of shade and helping conserve energy, which is why we work to educate customers about planting the right tree in the right place so we can continue to provide safe and reliable energy.”
Tree Line USA evaluates applicants based on several criteria including adherence to industry best practices for tree care, training of employees and contractors, implementation of public education and tree planting projects, and participation in annual Arbor Day events.
For the last two years, Duke Energy Florida, in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program, provided nearly 6,000 trees in 1-gallon pots to customers – for free – in honor of Florida Arbor Day in January.
Important points to remember when planting or caring for trees:
- Customers, property owners and untrained contractors should not prune or cut trees and plants near power lines.
- When planting trees near power lines, be sure to select a low-growing variety in order to minimize impact to the lines.
- Contact Florida 811 prior to digging to locate any underground utilities which are often located in utility easements.