Keep ground level utility infrastructure clear

Keep 1.5 metre clearance around mini pillarsKeeping ground-mounted utility infrastructure clear of obstructions helps to ensure the safety and reliability of your electricity supply.

Ground level infrastructure includes any surface utility infrastructure such as substations, mini pillars, meters, manholes, the base of power poles, connections, regulators, and so on.

Three important things to remember

  1. Plants, shrubs and other obstructions must be kept away from network infrastructure, which includes substations, mini pillars and meters, among others.
  2. In most cases, the minimum clearance is 1.5 metres.
  3. Do not obstruct infrastructure with rubbish bins and clutter.ActewAGL inspectors will issue notices to land owners and occupiers if plants, shrubs and other obstructions are too close to, or interfere with, network infrastructure.

Why does ground-mounted infrastructure need to be kept clear?

  • To ensure safe operation, maintenance and replacement.
  • Provide access for personnel and specialised tools.
  • In the case of emergency switching or equipment failure.

Your surrounding neighbourhood may be severely disrupted for an extended period if there is not clear access to network infrastructure. Urgent access may require removal
of obstructions, which will not be replaced, or severe pruning of vegetation.

Be aware that you may still have legal obligations regarding building and access requirements even if Keep mini pillars clear of vegetation.the relevant infrastructure is located adjacent to your block and not within your property’s boundaries. Minimum distances still apply.

It is your responsibility

It is the responsibility of all landowners and occupiers to ensure there are no interferences to utility infrastructure. If you engage a draftsperson, builder, architect or landscaper, the landowner is still held responsible if they fail to comply with minimum clearance or damage ActewAGL's infrastructure. Make sure they include these checks in your project.

Keep 1.5 metres minimum distance from utility infrastructure.What is the clearance distance?

Generally, infrastructure requires at least 1.5-metres clearance.

Plants, shrubs and other obstructions that are too close to substations, mini pillars and meters may interfere with the safe and efficient operation of the electricity network, hinder access and may reduce the reliability of the network.

Clearing around power poles and utility infrastructure

ActewAGL regularly inspects and replaces power poles and other utility infrastructure, so they must be easy to access with suitable equipment. In most cases, land owners and occupiers must maintain a 1.5-metre clearance around ActewAGL power poles and utility infrastructure on their property.

Apart from boundary fences, all obstructions such as trees, vegetation, garden sheds, compost heaps and chicken pens must be kept away from power poles and utility infrastructure. If there is a hard surface too close to poles and utility infrastructure, you must be able to temporarily remove it for routine inspections. Normal masonry pavers are an ideal hard surface to have near a power pole as you can easily remove and replace them.

You should also regularly check your meters and other utility equipment to make sure they are free from leaf litter, shrubs and hedges as specified by the ACT and NSW Rural Fire Services.

For more information call ActewAGL's technical enquiries number on 6248 3555.