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Don’t let trees bring your street to its knees

Did you know more than 140 unplanned outages each year are caused by poor vegetation management? In the ACT, landholders are responsible for ensuring all trees and vegetation on their property are kept clear from poles, powerlines and all other network infrastructure. Not only do trees and vegetation growing too close to poles and powerlines cause power outages, but they also create safety hazards such as grass fires and bushfires, increase the risk of electrocution, and can restrict access to the network and prevent essential maintenance from being carried out.

If you’ve noticed a tree in your area that is too close to poles or powerlines, report it to us. Or if you’ve recently trimmed trees and vegetation following a notification we sent you, let us know.

Maintaining minimum distances of trees and vegetation from powerlines

In most cases, trees and vegetation must be kept at least 1.0m from service lines and 1.5m from powerlines. For higher voltage powerlines or bushfire prone areas, the minimum clearance increases to 2.0m. If you are not sure of the voltage of powerlines on your property call Evoenergy's general enquiries number on 13 23 86.

Trees and vegetation too close to powerlines must be trimmed by an Evoenergy accredited arborist. To keep costs down, we recommend you allow for three years of regrowth and keep trees and vegetation at least 2.5m from powerlines.

To safely maintain the trees and vegetation in your backyard, remember:

1. Trees and vegetation need to be at least of 1.0m away from service lines and 1.5m away from powerlines.

2. If trees and vegetation are within 1.5m, only Evoenergy accredited arborists are authorised to trim them. 

3. Do not try and cut trees and vegetation back yourself if they are too close—it’s extremely dangerous, and penalties may apply.

Be aware, even if the poles or powerlines are located outside your property boundary or on an adjacent block, you may still have legal obligations regarding clearing, building and access requirements. Read more in our clearance around powerlines brochure

Looking for ideas on what to plant near network infrastructure? See Evoenergy’s list of suitable shrubs.

Clearing around power poles and other network infrastructure

To ensure Evoenergy can conduct regular inspections and maintenance work, landholders must maintain a 1.5m clearance around all network infrastructure on their property.

Apart from boundary fences, all obstructions such as trees, vegetation, garden sheds, compost heaps and chicken pens must be kept away from power poles and network infrastructure. If there is a hard surface too close to poles or network infrastructure, you will be required to temporarily remove it for routine inspections. Normal masonry pavers are an ideal hard surface to have near a power pole as you can easily remove and replace them.

You should also regularly check your meters and other network equipment to make sure they are free from leaf litter, shrubs and hedges as specified by the ACT and NSW Rural Fire Services.

Aerial inspection program

Inspecting our powerlines is a critical part of keeping our electricity network safe. Our priority is to complete our inspection as quickly and thoroughly as possible while minimising any disruption to the community.

For the last four years, our inspection program has been managed through a combination of foot patrols and helicopter inspections using LiDAR (light detection and ranging) scans of our network and aerial photography. However, we are constantly evaluating new technology as it becomes available to ensure we manage the network efficiently ad cheaply.

In 2018, we trialled LiDAR-enabled drones to fly multiple sections of powerlines capturing data on vegetation, conductors, poles and structures. The results from the trial were successful and we were able to more quickly identify safety issues such as trees that posed bushfire risk and defects in the network that needed replacing on the network.

Due to the success of the trial, we will continue to use drones across more parts of our network as part of our normal inspection program. Visit our aerial inspection program page for more information.

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