Operation Cool Shade

Economic Development and Quality of Life for People and Communities
Research Year: 

Studies show that proper shading of the home can reduce energy consumption by as much as 20 percent. The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Pima County joined with Trico Electric Cooperative to distribute shade trees to residents for energy conservation.

Description of Action: 

Trico Electric Cooperative and Pima County Extension distributed 1,885 shade trees to 675 residents. A requirement of the program was that trees be planted in locations around the house to ensure maximum shading. The residents received training from Extension on correct placement, planting and care of trees. Master Gardeners were trained to conduct training for program participants on the correct selection, placement, planting and care of shade trees. Four programs were conducted with 446 participants, by the Master Gardener volunteers. In addition, Master Gardeners staffed a tree planting and care answer booth at the tree distribution day conducted by Trico Electric Cooperative's headquarters in Tucson. Trico employees conducted follow-up inspections to ensure that trees were planted in the pre-determined locations and that the trees remained in good health. Follow-up information and assistance with tree care is provided by the Pima County Cooperative Extension.


As a result of "Operation Cool Shade," in 2000 and 2001, a total of 3,612 trees were distributed to 1,281 electric cooperative customers. Given the average peak consumption rate for July, August and September in 2001, the average projected savings for all "Operation Cool Shade" participants for the three month period amounted to $177,379.

Funding Agencies: 

Trico Electric Cooperative

Conact Name: 
John Begeman
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Address: 

Pima County Cooperative Extension

The University of Arizona

4210 N. Campbell Avenue

Tucson, AZ 85719

Tel: 520-626-5161 FAX 520-626-5849