Maintaining safe clearances

Endeavour Energy invests significant resources in maintaining suitable clearances between vegetation and our network to keep our customers, employees and the broader community safe.

Pruning protocols

Because of the inherent risks of dealing with live electricity, safety must always be the first priority when considering the clearance between trees and overhead powerlines. To keep the community safe and the lights on, a safe distance between vegetation and powerlines needs to be established and maintained.

If branches are within the minimum safety clearance of Endeavour Energy’s network, they are pruned back to the nearest growth point or branch collar to protect the health of the tree and prevent poorly attached regrowth that would create future safety hazards.

Endeavour Energy prunes trees in accordance with the Australian Standard Pruning of Amenity Trees. This Australian Standard provides uniform tree pruning procedures that minimise the risk of developing further hazards such as falling branches, infection and premature tree death.

 

Private powerlines

Under current practices, home owners and occupiers are required to keep trees on their property a safe distance from powerlines all year round.

As part of our routine inspections, we will notify of defects that are found during inspections carried out on powerlines.

This process involves a written notification of the defect to the customer, appropriate follow up correspondence and re-inspection on an audit basis on advice from the customer that the defect has been remedied.

If the defect is not remedied in accordance with the notice, Endeavour Energy has procedures in place that can ultimately lead to your disconnection from our network.

 

What is a safe distance?

Trees that are in close proximity to Endeavour Energy’s network are pruned according to obligations under the relevant legislation, regulation and environmental planning instruments.

The minimum accepted distance between vegetation and overhead lines - designed to accommodate both safety clearances and regrowth - has been defined by NSW Industry Safety Steering Committee Guideline 3 Guideline for Managing Vegetation near Power Lines.

The minimum trimming clearance is strongly influenced by the voltage of the overhead cables, with higher voltages requiring greater clearances. Other considerations include the type of overhead cable and the distance between the poles or towers (span length).

These are the ‘minimum trimming clearances’ guidelines we work to (in metres):

An additional 0.5 metres should be added to all clearances in the table above in bushfire prone areas

You can read more about our approach to vegetation management here:

Safety from the Ground Up

Vegetation clearance from powerlines