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Summitt Energy plants 18,000 trees in honour of EverGreen Program Homeowners’ Commitment to Energy

TORONTO, June 24, 2014 /CNW/ – Trees offer homeowners more than landscaping aesthetics. In addition to beautifying our communities, trees reduce local air pollution, have the potential to mitigate storm water damage, and reduce homeowners’ electricity costs, according to a May 2013 study by Ryerson University entitled, “Growing Summer Energy Conservation through Residential Tree Planting”.

Summitt Energy is contributing to the planting of 18,000 trees this spring across the province in partnership with Trees Ontario. The initiative is a result of Summitt Energy’s EverGreen Program, which offers customers electricity price protection as well as the opportunity to make the electricity they use carbon neutral, eliminating each homeowners’ electricity carbon footprint.

“There are so many benefits to planting trees – from reducing the cost of heating and helping cool your home, to the health benefits they offer area residents when planted in local communities,” explains Rob Keen, CEO, Trees Ontario. “Summitt Energy’s EverGreen Program is really about recognizing the homeowners for whom these 18,000 trees are planted. Through their dedication and conservation, they have not only reduced their carbon footprint but also contributed to an increase of forest cover across the province.”

According to Summitt Energy, the average Ontario home annually emits 2.2 tonnes of carbon simply from electricity consumption. Energy conservation tied with greening initiatives, such as tree planting decreases homeowner costs and increases benefits to the local area.

“We applaud Trees Ontario for its commitment to re-greening our province and are proud to be a partner in this campaign. What’s unique about this initiative is that the benefactor is not only the customer, but all Ontarians” says Gerry Haggarty, President of Summitt Energy. “Protecting the environment remains a key priority for Summitt Energy and we will continue to work with our customers and our partners to implement solutions that will benefit the communities where we operate. The trees we plant on behalf of our customers will benefit our local communities for years to come.”

How do trees benefit homeowners?

  • Trees reflect the beauty of nature and enhance our neighbourhoods with their presence.
  • Trees, as they grow, produce oxygen and soak up carbon dioxide (CO2), thus, the planting of trees is an essential tool to help mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gases in the air.
  • Planting trees helps alleviate soil erosion, cleanse the air of pollutants and provide shade and windbreaks, as well as a habitat for wildlife.
  • Trees increase property value. According to a September 2013 article by MoneySense magazine entitled, “Grow your property value by planting a tree”, trees can raise the average home’s value by more than $19,000.
  • Trees are vital to urban neighbours for instance Toronto’s urban forest is an essential city asset with an estimated replacement value of $7.1 billion (based on the City of Toronto’s 2013 report Every Tree Counts).
  • Contact with trees and forest environments are known to reduce the body’s response to stress and have a therapeutic effect on the body and mind.
  • People who have exposure to trees and forested environments show a decrease in cortisol levels, lowered pulse rate, lowered blood pressure and overall improvement in well-being.