Help ensure safety and reliability with proper planting practices

Maintain clearance around pad-mounted transformers

If your home has underground electric service, you have an important role to play in ensuring the safety and reliability of your power. Homes with underground service have a dedicated pad-mounted transformer that PEC may need to access at any time to maintain or restore power.

If a transformer does not have the proper clearance, lineworkers may have no choice but to quickly remove any plants or landscaping elements that are in the way during an outage or emergency. Ten feet of clearance in front of equipment and five feet on each side of equipment allows proper access.

URD planting guide

By following this planting guide, you can help ensure PEC workers are able to safely and quickly access equipment when necessary and minimize any impact on your vegetation. By doing so, you will be able to maintain control of the look of your landscaping.

“We understand trees and landscaping are important to homeowners,” said PEC Vegetation Maintenance Supervisor Penny Whisenant. “We only alter vegetation when necessary, and work with members to reach agreeable solutions when time allows.”

PEC will notify you in advance of any vegetation maintenance activity in your area by phone, mail, and/or door hangers. Our first responsibility is the safety of our members and employees, and that is the primary reason for these important practices.

Recently, in advance of system maintenance in Horseshoe Bay, PEC’s Vegetation Maintenance Team made the rounds to ensure proper access to transformers was available. The work provided some valuable real-world examples of sound planting practices, and others that had to be altered.

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Above is an example of a pad-mounted transformer that allows PEC lineworkers proper clearance. You can see the hot stick tool they are required to use has ample room in front of the transformer. Plants could block their access even if they are not planted directly next to the box.

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This transformer is completely surrounded by the bush, and doesn’t provide access to PEC workers on any side. As a result, crews will have to remove the vegetation.

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These before (left) and after (right) photos show the importance of implementing proper clearance when designing landscaping.