International Journal of Horticulture and Floriculture ISSN 2167-0455 Vol. 5 (3), pp. 295-300, March, 2017. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper
 
Assessing the effect of tree canopy stocking on home energy use savings during peak cooling months in West Virginia USA
 
1Jared Manzo*, 2Gregory A. Dahle, 3Robert Hannah
 
1Nine Mile Run Watershed Association Pittsburgh, PA 15221, 2School of Natural Resources, Davis College West Virginia University Morgantown WV 26506,USA. 3West Virginia Division of Forestry, Farmington, WV 26571 USA.

*Corresponding author E-mail: jared.manzo@gmail.com

Accepted 24 October, 2016

Abstract
 
This study estimated the direct energy savings for homes in relation to tree cover. Specific site differences using actual electric usage for homes were identified. Four sites, ranging between thirty and forty houses per site, were selected at various canopy cover levels (15, 25, 39, and 54%). Tree attributes were measured for each parcel containing a house. Home energy use for cooling months (June-September) was obtained from Allegheny Power, for the years 2005-2008. A difference in tree height and crown area was observed, but these did not correlate with differences in energy use. The percentage of shrubs around the house was found to differ and a weak, but significant, relation was identified between percentage of shrubs and energy usage. Energy usage was lowest when canopy coverage was highest and state urban forest managers should concentrate efforts to increase the urban forest in cities and region that have low canopy coverage.
 
Keywords: Electrical usage, tree canopy, shrubs, crown area, tree height.