If you answered this question by saying trees or tree limbs coming into contact with power lines, you would be right about the leading cause of outages! In fact, trees contribute 65 percent of our outage time.
That’s why your cooperative has a dedicated, year-round vegetation management program to ensure your electricity reliability by protecting over 8,300 miles of power lines on the Blue Ridge Energy system. Balancing the need for reliability with the beauty of scenic western North Carolina is also important. That’s why we employ a certified arborist to oversee the program.
Keeping trees away from power lines is an important safety precaution. Trees and other objects that come into contact with power lines can become energized, leading to shock or electrocution. Even fallen power lines can still be energized, which is why no one but our line technicians should ever go near a downed power line.
A clear path for power lines creates a safer working environment for line technicians, whether they’re performing routine maintenance or power restoration.
Members can help by avoiding planting trees near power lines. For existing trees that are directly in the cooperative’s rights of way, Blue Ridge Energy helps with replacement by offering a voucher for a low-growing species at local, approved nurseries. Vouchers may also apply to a larger tree that is planted farther from rights of way.