Safety & Security

The power of plants

How PEC employees with a passion for trees are using new technology to create a more reliable electric system

Tending to the trees and plants that could potentially impact electrical equipment and cause an outage is one of the most powerful tools we have in ensuring your electric service is as reliable as possible. During a storm, the majority of outages are typically caused by falling trees and limbs. Being proactive about trimming can make a huge impact on the reliability of your service. Plus, these maintenance practices make our system safer for our members and line crews.

“Trees are a vital part of what makes the Texas Hill Country special, particularly the live oaks,” said PEC Vegetation Maintenance Manager George Leader. “We love trees! Our job is to help them coexist with the equipment that is necessary to bring our members electricity.”

PEC invests in vegetation maintenance and employs high-tech solutions to make the work as efficient and unobtrusive as possible. We know our members value their trees and plants. That’s why we have six certified arborists on staff, including Master Arborist and PEC Vegetation Maintenance Specialist Josh Mann. He is one of fewer than 2,000 certified Master Arborists in the world!

“Our work prevents fires, it prevents members from experiencing outages, and it clears the way for our line crews to do their job,” Mann said. “Tree maintenance can be concerning for our members, but my goal is to make sure they’re happy with the results.”

Leader explained that the cooperative has become more efficient than ever at maintaining this balance by moving from a cyclical trimming schedule to targeted trimming that focuses efforts on the trees that pose the greatest risk of causing outages. New software can remotely measure — to within a few centimeters — how close a tree is to a line using a combination of satellite and enhanced laser technology. That means we can now focus our trimming efforts on anything that is within 3 feet of, or overhanging, a power line. This targeting should help reduce the impact of weather events on our members’ electricity.

With this forward-thinking maintenance program, PEC is making a positive impact on reliability while minimizing the impact to members, and to the trees we all want to protect.

Find important planting guidelines that help protect your plants, and your power, at Need trees trimmed near power lines? Don’t attempt yourself. Call us at 888-554-4732 and we’ll trim them for free.