energy efficiency | iowa

Plant Trees, Save Energyarrows

While planting trees can add beauty to your home, trees also can reduce your heating and cooling costs when incorporated into an energy-efficient landscape design that provides ample shade for summer and windbreaks for winter. Planting trees also improves air quality and helps protect and replenish the soil.

MidAmerican Energy offers several tree-related programs that promote the planting of trees for their energy efficiency potential. Download our Tree Information Booklet for tips on how to select the right tree location, the right tree for your yard, recommended trees for the Midwest region, how to prepare the site and proper tree care.

Plant Some Shade®
As a MidAmerican Energy customer and homeowner, you can purchase high-quality landscape trees at discounted prices. These trees, ranging from 3 to 8 feet in height and selected by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, are offered for $30 each during spring and fall Plant Some Shade events. The trees, which normally retail for $65 or more, are sold on a preordered, first-come, first-served basis at locations throughout our Iowa service territory.

There is a maximum of two trees per customer; preordering and prepayment are required.

Date City Location Time
Sept. 26 Oskaloosa Southern Iowa Fairgrounds 9 - 11 a.m.
Oct. 1 Sioux City Sioux City Explorers Baseball Park parking lot 4 - 6 p.m.
Oct. 7 Waukee Waukee Parks and Recreation 5 - 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 Des Moines Hoover State Office Building/South Parking Lot 8:30 - 11 a.m.
Email or call 800-434-4017.

Trees Please!
Put the power of shade to work in your community by applying for tree-planting grants. Our Trees Please! program promotes energy efficiency by providing windbreaks and shade while beautifying city-owned parks, roadways and other common areas within communities both large and small. Matching funds from other sources must equal the grant amount; this includes in-kind services, as well as donated labor and/or materials.

Each September, MidAmerican Energy sends tree grant applications to communities requesting them. The amount of each award is determined after all applications are received. Awards are evaluated on the basis of project merit, benefit to the community and ability to obtain matching funds. Completed applications are due the third Friday in October, and communities are notified if they have received an award, and if so, the dollar amount of the award.

Program Requirements
  • Grant money must be used for the purchase of trees only.
  • This program is not a residential customer tree-planting program. Trees must be planted in common areas such as parks, trails and city-owned rights of way.
  • Matching funds from other sources that equal MidAmerican Energy's grant amount must be secured. This requirement can be met by in-kind services, donated labor and/or materials.
Email or call 800-434-4017.

Trees for Kids/Trees for Teens
Trees improve the landscaping of school grounds and, when planted with proper consideration, can improve the energy efficiency of the building itself. The Trees for Kids/Trees for Teens program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Bureau of Forestry, and offers Iowa schools the opportunity to apply for tree-planting project grants every spring and fall. Educational experiences are coupled with the planting of trees. The goals are to educate students about the importance of energy efficiency and encourage tree-planting projects at schools.

The IDNR contacts schools regarding educational materials and grant applications for plantings. Materials include lesson plans, bulletin board displays, learning centers and resource lists. All of the educational materials, as well as grant applications, can be found at

Tree-Planting Safety Tips
Examine the area where your tree will be planted, and be aware of the space that roots need when planting around foundations, sidewalks, tiles and underground utilities. Then look up to make sure you’re planting the tree where it can grow without interfering with overhead utility lines. Fallen branches or debris from nearby trees may cause power outages and create dangerous situations by knocking down power lines, and trees near electric lines pose a danger to children who might climb them.
  • Plant tall-growing trees at least 20 feet away from power lines.
  • Plant low-growing trees (mature height less than 18 feet) at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • Plant low-growing shrubs, bushes and flowers nearest to utility poles.
Call before you dig – it’s the law!
Digging without knowing what’s below is incredibly dangerous, so get the scoop before you dig. Call Iowa One Call, Iowa’s underground utility notification service, at 800-292-8989, or call 811. It’s free and it’s the law!

Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, smart digging means calling 811 at least 48 hours before digging. Calling 811 before every digging job gets your underground utility lines marked for free and helps prevent undesired consequences.


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