April 25, 2008

ComEd Offers Tips for Planting the Right Type of Tree Near Power Lines

In celebration of National Arbor Day, ComEd is offering its customers helpful tips for planting the right tree in the right place. ComEd will participate in more than a dozen Arbor Day programs this year, and spend nearly $40,000 for tree planting and related general grants.

"Arbor Day tree planting is a great way to demonstrate concern for the earth," said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd executive vice president of Customer Operations and Regulatory & External Affairs. "ComEd is committed to assisting customers make decisions that can help the environment. Appropriate tree planting does that, while improving safety, and helping reduce a home's energy usage."

Three percent of ComEd's residential service outages are caused by vegetation contact with power lines. ComEd urges tree planters to place new trees away from power lines to prevent tree-contact with electrical lines that can cause outages.

Plant flowering trees that grow less than 20 feet tall, such as dogwoods or crabapples, near the street and under power lines.

Trees that grow taller than 30 feet should never be planted near power lines. At full height, these trees can contact lines and cause a power outage or even pose a public danger.

Planting the right tree in the right place also can improve a home's energy efficiency.

Evergreens along the northern side of a property can serve as a "windbreaker," making it easier to heat the home during the winter months.

Large trees that shed leaves in the fall, such as maple or oak, should be planted on the south and west sides of a building to allow winter sunshine and summer shade.

Thick shrubbery planted around an air conditioner will shade the unit from summer sun. However, care should be exercised to avoid impeding operation of the unit's compressor.

In 2007, ComEd received the Tree Line USA® award for the ninth consecutive year. The Tree Line USA® program is sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and recognizes public and private utilities across the nation that demonstrate practices that protect and enhance America's urban forest.

ComEd also is a past recipient of the Illinois Arborist Association Gold Leaf Award and received the BASF Corp® QVM (Quality Vegetation Management) Award in 2006 for the cooperative program with Pheasants Forever® in converting ComEd right-of-way land from grass to native prairie planting. ComEd maintains more than 3.5 million trees along 38,000 miles of power line right-of-ways and trims between 800,000 and 1 million trees every year.

For more information regarding ComEd's various energy efficiency and environmental programs, please visit www.ComEdCARE.com

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC), one of the nation's largest electric utilities with approximately 5.4 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across Northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.