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OPPD Arboretum thermometers

June 11, 2015 | Jodi Baker | arboretum, energy efficiency, trees
Outdoor thermometer at the OPPD Arboretum


Air conditioners tend to run constantly in the heat of the summer, which can become costly. But we can take some steps to reduce our energy use while still keeping cool.

When we’re inside, keeping window shades and curtains closed keeps the house cooler by keeping direct sunlight out. But did you know strategically planting trees and shrubs can have the same effect?

Omaha Public Power District set up an experiment of sorts at its 26-acre arboretum at 108th & Blondo streets. The arboretum is home to more than 1,000 trees and shrubs, featuring 200 different species. But it also educates customers about the importance of planting the right tree in the right location in terms of both energy reliability and energy savings.

OPPD installed three outdoor thermometers at various locations throughout the arboretum to demonstrate how strategically planting trees around your property can make your home feel cooler.

  • The thermometer in the full sun and heat of the parking lot reads the hottest, as you might imagine.
  • A second, positioned under a locust tree that provides intermittent shade, reads up to 20 degrees cooler.
  • A third thermometer, under full shade timber, reads up to 30 degrees cooler.
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About Jodi Baker

Jodi Baker contributes stories to The Wire in addition to serving as a media liaison for OPPD. She was a reporter, working for news stations from her hometown of Omaha to San Diego, prior to joining the utility in 2013. Jodi has a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, with a minor in Criminal Justice. She’s married with two older children and two younger dogs – Shi Tzu mixes. She loves watching her daughter’s track meets, going to concerts with her husband Dave, who used to co-host a local music video program, and traveling whenever possible.

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