Every month the electric bill comes showing how much energy you're using--and paying for--to heat and cool your home. Perhaps you're resigned to the situation, but for many homeowners there may be a way to reduce energy consumption. The answer may lie in your landscaping. Government studies have concluded that using energy saving landscape methods can reduce winter heating bills by as much as 15 percent, while summer cooling energy needs may be cut by as much as 50 percent, and the payback can be as little as eight years.
It has long been known that well thought-out placement of certain landscape elements can reduce energy usage not only in summer but winter also, and new ways of approaching landscape design can magnify those savings. New Garden's Chad Spease completed ESL certification training in the summer of 2011 and is eager to incorporate what he's learned into energy-saving landscape designs for our clients. Chad has been with New Garden for over a decade and is currently a designer and is one of New Garden's Customer Relationship Managers for northern Guilford County. Chad believes that the additional knowledge and information that he has gained from this certification will allow him to design functional landscapes that are not only aesthetically pleasing to our customers, but in the long run can give them a return on their investment beyond the obvious increase in curb appeal and an increase in home value.
While the greatest savings are achieved when Energy Saving Landscape approaches are applied during the planning stages of new construction, significant savings can be had even for homes with existing landscapes. Chad observed "All of the techniques we learned about are fluid in nature and can be reconfigured to work with any existing landscape...there is always an opportunity to increase the value of a home and reduce energy consumption with a well thought out design!" Asked to describe some methods that can produce energy savings for existing homes he had this to say: "With proper siting of plant material it is possible to shade the home to reduce cooling costs in the summer, and by utilizing properly-sited evergreen windbreaks you can reduce heating costs in the winter." Plant selection plays an important part in energy savings also. In addition, extra energy savings can be realized by designing reduced water use into the landscape at the same time.
New Garden Landscaping & Nursery is always looking to increase the value of our services to our customers, and we think Energy Saving Landscape techniques can bring added value to your home-and maybe leave a little more in your wallet.