Planting season is right around the corner! While trees and shrubs make our yards and neighborhoods beautiful, they can also cause right-of-way issues and safety problems for you and your co-op. An important part of my job is to maintain a clear right-of-way, which helps reduce outages and blinks by keeping vegetation away from power lines. A clear right-of-way also provides our crews access to repair any issues or outages should they occur, but we need your help too! Be sure to plan ahead and account for hazards before planting near overhead and underground power lines.
Remember these three things when choosing where and what to plant before you start!
- Trees and shrubs can grow into overhead power lines
Choose the right tree for the right place. If the wrong species is planted, this could result in the tree growing into power lines or becoming too tall and falling onto power lines. Refer to the image above for help. If you are still not sure, call Piedmont Electric at 800.222.3107 to discuss.
- Root growth can affect underground power lines
Do you have a pad-mount transformer in your yard? That green metal box is a vital part of your electric service and there are high-voltage wires underground leading to the box! Before planting, follow the instructions on your transformer box for shrub distance specifications and always call 811 before you dig to avoid a potentially serious injury.
- Landscaping can help your home be more energy efficient
North Carolina summers can be hot! Trees and shrubs shade your home, patios, driveways and can even shade your air conditioner to help keep it cooler and running more efficiently. Even shading the area around your home can help reduce radiation and cool the air before it reaches your home’s walls and windows.
Consider calling an underground line locating service before you dig. There’s no charge for the service, and the call is toll-free. Calling before you dig will not only save you money from a damage claim, it can also save your life.