Trees and Your Power Supply
An Introduction to the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003
Purpose of the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003
The purpose of these Regulations is to protect the safety of the public and the security of electricity supply by:
- Prescribing minimum distances between power lines and trees;
- Establishing rules for who is responsible for cutting or trimming trees close
to power lines;
- Outlining liability if the rules and Regulations are not complied with; and
- Providing an arbitration system for disputes between electricity lines
companies and tree owners over the operation of the regulations.
Buller Electricity relies on the common sense of its customers to “do the right thing” and ensure that trees on their property are not allowed to grow in close proximity to power lines. However on occasion, Buller Electricity will be left with no alternative but to use the regulations to ensure that safety and security of supply are maintained. The regulations provide Buller Electricity with the ability to issue a range of notices to support these objectives.
Danger of Trees Near Power Lines
Safety of the public is paramount to Buller Electricity Limited. Trees in contact with power lines are a safety hazard, with the potential for causing injury or even death by electrocution if someone touches a tree made “live” by a power line.
Trees in windy or stormy conditions can cause power cuts. Your power supply may be disrupted when trees or branches break damaging poles, power lines or other structures. Similarly, when conditions are dry trees near power lines can cause serious fires.
Remember - you don’t have to touch a live line to receive a shock!
Dangers of Cutting Trees Near Power Lines
Cutting and trimming trees in the vicinity of power lines is dangerous. Touching the live power line or a tree close to the line, can result in serious injury or even death by electrocution.
You can contact Buller Electricity to either disconnect your power before starting work or Buller Electricity can refer you to specialised contractors fully qualified and experienced in tree trimming around live power lines.
Planting Trees Near Power lines
Serious consideration should be given to the species and placement of trees on your property to ensure they do not interfere with the power lines now and in the future. (Refer to Tree “A” in the diagram).
Remember - that lovely little shrub you planted may become a 5 metre monster in a few years.
The Electricity (Hazards From Trees) Regulations 2003 state exactly how close trees may come to power lines before cutting or trimming is required. These measurements or Zones are known as the Growth Limit Zone and the Notice Zone.
The Growth Limit Zone is the space around the power line where trees must not encroach even in windy or stormy conditions. The Notice Zone is one metre beyond the Growth Limit Zone (Refer to Diagram).
Click here to download a pdf with this information and more.
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