Trees and vegetation growing too close to powerlines and other utility infrastructure can cause blackouts, create safety hazards such as grass fires and bushfires, and increase the risk of electrocution. Trees, vegetation and other obstructions can also restrict access to utility infrastructure, preventing essential maintenance from being carried out.
Overhead infrastructure includes powerlines, power poles, overhead cables, and so on.
Minimum distances of trees from powerlines
In most cases, the minimum clearance of trees from powerlines is 1.5 metres. For higher voltage powerlines the minimum clearance increases. If you are not sure of the voltage of powerlines call Evoenergy's general enquiries number on 13 23 86.
When trimming trees you should allow for a three-year regrowth. To keep the costs of repeat trimming down you should trim trees to at least 2.5 metres from powerlines. The space vertically above the powerlines should also be kept clear of trees at all times. In bushfire-prone areas the minimum distance should be increased by at least 0.5 metres.
In most cases the minimum clearance of trees from powerlines is 1.5 metres. For higher voltage powerlines the minimum clearance increases.
1. Trees and vegetation need to be at least of 1.5 metres away from powerlines.
2. If trees and vegetation are within 1.5 metres, only Evoenergy-accredited tree surgeons are authorised to cut them back from powerlines.
3. Do not try and cut trees and vegetation back yourself if they are within 1.5 metres from powerlines – it’s extremely dangerous, and penalties may apply.
Be aware that you may still have legal obligations regarding building and access requirements even if the relevant infrastructure is located adjacent to your block and not within your property’s boundaries. Read more in our clearance around powerlines brochure. Minimum distances still apply.
Evoenergy has a list of suitable shrubs that can be planted near utility infrastructure.
Clearing around power poles and utility infrastructure
Evoenergy regularly inspects and replaces power poles and other utility infrastructure, so they must be easy to access with suitable equipment. In most cases, land owners and occupiers must maintain a 1.5-metre clearance around Evoenergy power poles and utility 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 utility infrastructure. If there is a hard surface too close to poles and utility infrastructure, you must be able 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 utility equipment to make sure they are free from leaf litter, shrubs and hedges as specified by the ACT and NSW Rural Fire Services.
For more information call Evoenergy's general enquiries number on 13 23 86.