It is your responsibility to regularly inspect your private overhead power lines, ensuring they are well maintained and clear of trees and branches. Careful maintenance will assist a constant electricity supply, as well as reduce safety risks and the possibility of bushfires.
You can find out more by reading the private overhead electric lines brochure, or contact us.
Which are your powerlines? Which are ours?
- Private powerlines begin at the point of supply
- After the point of supply all the wires, poles and any other electrical equipment on your property are your responsibility
- High voltage lines are Jemena's responsibility, even if they cross your property. We will keep them well-maintained and free from vegetation
Why should you keep private powerlines well maintained?
- To ensure the safety of you and your family
- To ensure continuity of electricity supply to your property
- If a fault in your electrical installation causes injury or property damage, you could be involved in costly litigation
Regularly inspect power lines
Inspect your private powerlines annually or ask a registered electrical contractor to do it for you. Use binoculars or a telescope to inspect cable installation from the ground.
Warning – Under no circumstances climb a pole or approach the wires yourself. Contact with live wires can kill. Tree branches touching lines may also be live. Repairs should always be carried out by a registered electrical contractor.
Keep trees and vegetation clear of powerlines
Private overhead electric lines can be damaged by contact with trees and overhead limbs. Falling branches may cause the lines to clash or fall to the ground. This could start a bushfire or result in someone being electrocuted.
In general, the minimum clearance space for vegetation is one metre for private overhead electric insulated wires and two metres for bare. The exact minimum clearance space required for vegetation is as per the current Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2010.
If tree pruning is necessary, but your property is in an area where a council planning permit is required before you cut a tree, such a permit must first be obtained, unless we serve written notice that the pruning is a matter of urgency.
On days of total fire ban, we may disconnect defective private overhead lines from its supply mains. This will further reduce the risk of fire. Reconnection will occur only after the severe weather conditions have subsided and charges may apply.
Underground powerlines are a better choice
An underground cable is safer than an overhead line. It virtually eliminates the risk of starting a bushfire and the danger of electrocution through contact with tractors and other farm equipment is minimised.
Underground cables are more reliable as they cannot be damaged by storms or severe weather. Overhead powerlines continually need maintenance, whereas underground cables require very little commitment and no vegetation clearance.
Should your overhead powerlines be in a bushfire risk area and need substantial repair, we may direct you to replace them with an underground cable.