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Since the beginning of COVID-19, Blue Ridge Energy made the decision to suspend disconnects, waive late fees and offer special payment plans to assist our members and customers during this difficult time. While the decision had already been made to extend these special circumstances, Gov. Cooper also issued a new Executive Order 142 on May 30. We encourage everyone (including Flexpay members) to continue paying your energy bill to avoid a large balance at the end of this crisis. Call us at 1-800-451-5474 to set up a special payment plan or ask us about crisis assistance from the In This Together Relief Fund.
A well-designed landscape not only adds beauty to your home but it can also reduce your heating and cooling costs. On average, landscaping for energy efficiency provides enough energy savings to return an initial investment in less than 8 years. If you were already planning to landscape, these tips provide an ideal way to beautify your home while saving on your monthly energy bill.
- Landscaping your home for energy efficiency can reduce your heating and cooling bills, the largest component of your home's energy use. Your overall landscaping strategy will depend on your regional climate.
- Plant trees to shade your home, reducing your cooling costs in the summer months. Typically, newly planted trees will begin shading windows in their first year and will reach your roof in years 5-10.
- Planting shrubs, bushes, and vines next to your house creates dead air spaces that insulate your home in both winter and summer. Plant so there will be at least 1 foot (30 centimeters) of space between full-grown plants and your home's wall.
- During winter, dense, low-lying trees and shrubbery on the north and northeast sides of your home can help protect your home against wind chill.
Consider how you can invest in future energy savings by landscaping your yard. And, for more information, check out these websites:
- Department of Horticultural Science
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
- North Carolina State University
- Keep Your Cool and Save Money Too: Summer Energy-Saving Tips from the Department of Energy
- Save 10 to 50 Percent on Utility Bills This Summer While Staying Cool
Suggested Trees for Planting Under and Along Powerlines
The following lists are acceptable landscaping trees and shrubbery that can be located along Blue Ridge Energy Power Line right-of-ways (unless height exceeds 15' at maturity.)
Chinese Witch Hazel
Japanese Red Maple
Dwarf Fruit Trees
Cornus Florida Var Rubra
Acer Palmatum Var Atropurpureum
Forsythia X Intermedia
Juniperus Chinensis 'Pfitzeraiana'
Emerald Green Arorvitae