Seattle City Light was named a Tree Line USA Utility for 2013 by the Arbor Day Foundation for best practices in protecting and enhancing the urban forests in its service territory.
The award, presented in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters, promotes the dual goals of safe, reliable electric service and abundant, healthy trees across utility service areas.
“A healthy urban forest is one of the great parts of living in the greater Seattle area,” City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “City Light’s Vegetation Management Unit works diligently to support healthy trees and reduce conflicts between trees and our power lines. This is one more way we are demonstrating our commitment to delivering low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity to our customers.”
The Tree Line USA program seeks to promote best practices in utility arboriculture and public education through five core standards:
- Quality tree care
- Annual worker training
- Tree planting and public education
- Operating a formal tree-based energy conservation program that makes special consideration of the value of trees in conserving energy
- And hosting an Arbor Day celebration.
City Light’s achievement makes Seattle one of only three cities in Washington to be recognized with all three awards from the Arbor Day Foundation – Tree Line USA Utility, Tree City USA (City of Seattle) and Tree Campus USA (University of Washington). The others were Vancouver with Clark College and Tacoma with Pacific Lutheran University. Only 144 utilities in the United States earned Tree Line USA status. Other cities in Seattle City Light’s service territory that achieved the Tree City USA designation are Burien, Lake Forest Park, Renton, Shoreline and Tukwila.
“Urban trees increase property values, clean our air and water, and improve people’s overall health,” said State Forester Aaron Everett. “Balancing these benefits with the need for reliable electric service can be a tough job, but Seattle City Light consistently goes above and beyond in meeting nationally recognized standards.”
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.