Installing A Private Power Pole For Your Home
Power poles are an integral part of your property’s electricity infrastructure. They support the network lines and service lines to your main switch box and private power lines to your property. They also have several safety mechanisms to ensure safe, adequate, and convenient access to electricity, even as you practice responsible electricity best practices.
That’s why it’s vital that the power pole always be in top-notch condition and properly maintained. But whose responsibility is it to ensure these power poles and power lines – private or otherwise – are maintained to ensure a safe and adequate electricity supply?
Private Poles Explained
A private power pole is any electricity transmission line within your private premises installed upon your request. It has several components, including the pole, overhead or underground power cables, cross arms, and other accessories found within your premise after the connection point – where the network operator joins your power installation.
Private poles and power lines are usually a step down from the network operator’s high-voltage transmission lines.
Apart from private lines and power lines being within your private premises, you can quickly identify them by locating a plaque with the letters PP and an asset number engraved on it. However, if you need help identifying your private poles and power lines, seek assistance from a knowledgeable Level 2 electrician.
Responsibility for Private Poles and Powerlines
The home or property owner is responsible for maintaining any private poles and power lines within their private premises. So, if you identify any private poles and power lines within your home or property, it’s your duty to always ensure they are in proper condition.
Your responsibilities include
- Ensuring the private poles and power lines don’t become a safety or bushfire hazard if they fall over or fail.
- Regularly inspect their general condition to ensure they are working and there aren’t any defects. Watch out for low-hanging or damaged power lines, leaning poles, corrosion in steel poles, or large cracks or termite damage if you have wooden poles.
- Ensure that everybody on the premises maintains a safe distance from the power poles.
- Ensure there aren’t any trees or branches near the poles or power lines or are far enough not to touch the power lines when they sway due to strong winds or if they fall.
- Calling the network operators and allowing them to access the power poles and lines for a thorough inspection. If they notice any damages, you are also responsible for handling them.
- Seeking assistance from a knowledgeable and expert Level 2 electrician or vegetation manager, such as an arborist/tree trimmer, to handle any defects or damages the network operators identify.
- Using a qualified and licensed contractor with any power-related issues.
Private Pole Regulations
Several regulations surround the responsibilities of private poles and power lines
- The home or property owner must inspect and maintain by repairing or replacing private power poles and power lines.
- Australian Energy Regulator’s Ring-Fencing Guidelines label maintaining and rectifying private poles as contestable work. This prioritises the local businesses and contractors to provide competitive prices to bid for specific power-related duties.
This means that Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy cannot usually maintain or repair private poles; that’s where Accredited Service Providers (ASP), such as Everest Electrical, come in.
- The Electricity Supply Act 1995, the Electricity Supply (Safety and Network Management) Regulation 2014, and the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2006. These Acts contain the provisions under which the network operators inspect your private poles and power lines without charge.
These Acts mandate the network operator to notify you if they are coming for an inspection on your property. If they identify any defects on your private poles, they’ll advise you in writing, recommending a solution and time frame. Should you fail to act within the detailed timeline, the Acts permit the network operator to do the repairs at your expense or disconnect your home or property from the power grid.
The legal provisions permit the network operator to take legal action if you fail to rectify the damage within the stipulated time frame. Nevertheless, you can always request more time, especially if multiple poles require rectification.
Why Should You Maintain Private Poles and Powerlines?
There are several reasons why you should handle the responsibility of inspecting and maintaining your private power poles and power lines, including
- Reduce or eliminate structural damage – power poles and power lines are usually exposed to the elements. Maintaining them ensures you reduce the risk of structural damage.
- Maintain safety – structurally sound power poles and power lines rarely pose a safety or security risk. Also, trimming any trees and branches near your power lines reduces the risk of electronic shock or bushfires.
- Ensure proper functionality – power poles and power lines are crucial in ensuring you have electricity on your premises at all times. Regular inspection and maintenance ensure that they perform this functionality optimally.
- Avoid hefty charges and penalties – if you fail to inspect and maintain your private poles and power lines after the defection of damage identification, the network operator will do it for you, and you’ll pay out of pocket.
- Promote the local economy – you might be unable to inspect your private poles and power lines thoroughly. Calling a local ASP to inspect and maintain them is an economic benefit to the local business infrastructure.
- Obey the law – the law is clear; it’s your duty to inspect, maintain, and handle any damages or defects on the private power and power lines. Failure to comply will land you in trouble with the law.
Inspect and Maintain Your Private Poles and Power Lines the Right Way
You must regularly inspect and maintain your private poles and power lines to ensure they are always functioning optimally. There are no complex procedures to handle these duties unless you require to rectify a defect or defect or replace the power pole. In such a case, you require an expert and qualified contractor; Everest Electrical can help. If you are unable or unsure how to inspect or maintain your private power poles and power lines or require any other power-related work done, contact us today.