ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Duke Energy for its tree care practices in Florida by naming the company a Tree Line USA utility for the 15th year in a row.
The Tree Line USA Program demonstrates how trees and utilities can coexist for the benefit of communities and citizens by highlighting best management practices in public and private utility arboriculture. The program promotes the dual goals of safe, reliable electric service and abundant, healthy trees.
Trees and vegetation are part of Florida's natural landscape and also one of the leading causes of power outages for utilities. Duke Energy has a responsibility to protect the lines that deliver power to homes and businesses across the region to ensure reliable electric service. Keeping vegetation away from lines is important to providing service.
"Receiving this award for the 15th straight year is a testament to the work our employees do to protect the environment and serve our customers," said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. "Planting the right tree in the right place helps conserve energy, enables us to provide safe and reliable energy, and beautifies our communities."
Duke Energy achieved Tree Line USA status by meeting certain criteria. Utilities must follow industry standards for quality tree care, including proper trimming, pruning and planting; provide annual employee and contractor training in best practices; sponsor tree plantings and public education programs; and participate in annual Arbor Day events.
One such event is Duke Energy's annual tree giveaway in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation's Energy-Saving Trees program. Customers have the opportunity to order a free tree in honor of Florida Arbor Day each January. The program helps customers conserve energy and reduce energy bills through strategic tree planting.
The trees are shipped in 1-gallon buckets directly to customers' homes with planting and care instructions in time for National Arbor Day, which this year falls on April 30. Customers ordered about 1,100 crape myrtle, dahoon holly, little gem magnolia, red bottlebrush and sweetbay magnolia. Since 2017, the company has given away 9,851 trees to customers throughout the state.
It is important to remember that customers, property owners and untrained contractors should not prune or cut trees and plants near power lines. In addition, when planting trees near power lines, be sure to select a low-growing variety to minimize impact to the lines. Also, contact Florida 811 before digging to locate any underground utilities, which are often located in utility easements.
For more information about planning and planting vegetation around electrical facilities, please visit Duke Energy's Right Tree Right Place website.
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.9 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit's regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2020 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Media contact: Allison Barker
Media line: 800.559.3853
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SOURCE Duke Energy