Power of Community - Pedernales Electric Cooperative

Safety in your yard

Before you grab your shovel and gardening gloves, take a spin through these guidelines so you can spruce up your yard in a way that keeps you, your family and our lineworkers safe.


Tree trimming

Trimming trees near electrical equipment is dangerous — it’s never a do-it-yourself job. Electricity can jump from the lines to your body, your tools or nearby branches, causing injury or even death.

If you see trees growing near our lines and facilities, request tree-care service online or call us at 1-888-554-4732, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. A service order will be issued, and a PEC forester will contact you and send a crew to safely clear the vegetation.


Landscaping and planting

Important: Do not allow trees, bushes or plants of any size to grow directly under electric lines.

When landscaping your property, remember that trees can grow into electric lines and become hazardous to your electric service, your safety and the safety of our crews and contractors. That’s why it’s crucial to plant the right tree in the right place. Before planting, consider the mature size of the species you’ve selected. For example, a four-foot-tall, two-foot-wide tree planted today could end up 60 feet tall and 30 feet across when fully grown.

Wise tree choices

Tree planting recommendations
Click graphic to enlarge.

Tree limbs and power lines are a dangerous combination, creating the risk of fires, outages and death from electric shock. To ensure safety and service reliability, our staff must routinely prune or remove trees planted too close to power lines. When placing new trees, use the guidelines to the right to keep yourself and your trees safe.

Below is a list of trees the Texas Forest Service recommends for Central Texas:

15 to 20 feet tall
  • American Smoke Tree
  • Texas or Mexican Redbud
  • Desert Willow
25 to 50 feet tall
  • Lacey Oak
  • Mexican Plum
  • Bigtooth Maple
60 to 100 feet tall
  • Cedar Elm
  • Bald Cypress
  • Bur Oak

Pad-mounted transformers

Clear access to PEC equipment

In areas with underground electric service, do not plant shrubs or other vegetation around pad-mounted transformers or otherwise hide or block access. Obstructions near this equipment will make maintenance work hazardous or difficult for crews and may increase outage restoration times.

Ten feet of clearance is needed in front of equipment so crews can safely open it, and five feet on each side allows easy access. Some large pad-mounted switchgears require 10 feet of clearance in the front and back.


Working, digging and construction

Whether you’re building up or digging into your property, here’s how to proceed safely and legally.

  • Be aware of the power lines and service drops on and around your job site, especially if you’re using long tools (such as rakes and ladders) or operating heavy equipment.

    Our hard-working lines carry a lot of electricity. Raised ladders, tools, dump truck beds, backhoe boom arms and front-end loader scoops can reach energized power lines and conduct electricity. Because power lines are not insulated, the contact can cause outages, serious injury and even electrocution.

    For your safety, call us if you’re unsure about the voltage on a line, especially if you plan to operate heavy equipment in the vicinity. We’ll work with you to make your job site is as safe as possible.

  • Avoid downed lines, flooded areas and other hazards. If you encounter a downed line, call our emergency report line immediately: 1-888-883-3379.
  • Be aware of the law.
    • If you plan to hire or use rented heavy equipment capable of vertical motion within 10 feet of electric lines, state law requires that you call us at least 48 hours in advance. We will show you how to avoid contact with power lines.
    • When planning to dig 16 inches or deeper, state law requires that you call 811 or sign in to the Texas811 Portal and submit your location at least 48 hours in advance to locate underground electric lines.
    • If these laws are not followed, you may be fined, sentenced to jail for up to one year or both.
    • You are liable for damages to PEC facilities and all the liability the cooperative incurs as a result of any contact.

Rights-of-way

If you receive service from us, you have granted easement rights to the cooperative. This allows us to access and maintain our electric lines and equipment on private property. Properly cleared and accessible rights-of-way help us quickly respond to service issues and provide you with reliable electric service.

Rights-of-way for distribution lines — those that carry power to homes and businesses — are typically a minimum of 10 feet on each side of the lines, while rights-of-way to either side of our transmission lines range from 30 to 50 feet. We need this clearance to safely maneuver our large utility vehicles as we or our contractors work to install, repair or maintain electrical equipment.

When attached, pole trailers and utility trucks can be more than 85 feet long. It’s easy to see why we need plenty of room.

A properly cleared right-of-way provides plenty of space for our vehicles, employees and contractors to access the lines.

An improperly cleared right-of-way makes it difficult for us to and our contractors to install, maintain and repair electrical equipment.

Resources


Texas 811 online

Texas 811

Learn more about the Texas utility locating service or submit your request online.