Private powerlines and poles

There are around 1000 privately-owned power poles with associated powerlines in the ACT. If you have a private pole on your property, you are legally responsible for its maintenance and safety.

ActewAGL inspects all poles up to the metering point. It is the responsibility of the lessee or property occupier to ensure that poles beyond the metering point are inspected and kept in serviceable condition, unless there is a contractual arrangement between ActewAGL and the property owner that states otherwise.

Learn more about your responsibility in maintaining a private power pole below.

Avoid disconnection

Proper maintenance ensures a reliable power supply and reduces the risk of electrocution and bushfires. If ActewAGL becomes aware that safety standards of private power poles are not being maintained, we have a responsibility and legal right to disconnect the electricity supply.

Is my power pole private?

A private power pole will generally have a yellow Private Pole tag attached and/or be marked with a number starting with "P". Each pole will also have an identifying number that must not be removed.

However, a pole may be a private pole even if it is not marked and they can be difficult for non-professionals to identify. The vast majority of unmarked poles in urban areas are owned by organisations such as the ACT government or universities. ActewAGL attaches yellow private pole signs to those private poles not currently marked to assist in their identification, as they become aware of them. This marking does not include private poles owned by organisations.

If you are uncertain if your pole is privately owned, ring ActewAGL on 13 10 93 for help.

In the meantime, please seek advice from a qualified electrical contractor if you need assistance.

How do I maintain a private power pole?

  • Have your poles regularly inspected and maintained by qualified electrical contractors (check the Yellow Pages as a starting point). This will prolong the period before a pole requires more substantive maintenance
  • Keep the base of your poles clear of vegetation and clutter. This will contribute to the life of the pole and assist in the inspection process
  • Ensure trees on your property are well clear of powerlines
  • Check for obvious line defects such as broken crossarms, leaning poles, missing nuts and bolts, wires too close to the ground, strands of wire, loose or damaged insulators, broken or damaged pole stay-wires, and arrange repairs immediately with a qualified electrical contractor
  • We recommend that you check the extent to which your insurance covers pole replacement, or loss or damage caused by defective private poles or lines.

DO NOT

  • Do not use a whipper-snipper or similar device around underground cables terminating on a pole. Using these devices around the base of the pole can also remove the galvanising, which may significantly reduce the life of the pole.
  • Do not attempt to repair private powerlines or poles yourself. ALWAYS use a qualified electrical contractor

How ActewAGL can help you

ActewAGL offers fee-for-service line inspection, testing and maintenance services for private powerlines and poles.

ActewAGL is not responsible for testing or maintaining private poles or powerlines past the metering point. This is your responsibility. However, if, in the process of inspecting ActewAGL-owned assets, we become aware of a defective private powerline or pole on your property we will notify you.

ActewAGL power pole and powerline inspections

ActewAGL, when maintaining the electricity network, adheres to the procedures provided in our Pole and line inspection process (PDF, 1.2MB) and Inspection process flow chart (PDF, 45KB). This information is provided to the public as an information source only. No responsibility is accepted for the accuracy, completeness or relevance to the user's purpose of the information and those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify it with the appropriate source and to obtain professional advice if necessary. ActewAGL disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs incurred as a result of reliance upon the information and any action taken by any individual following these procedures.

Safety of private electricity lines is not ActewAGL's responsibility; this remains the responsibility of the owner of the lines. Appropriately qualified persons should undertake all work and inspection of the lines.

This material is protected by the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 (CTH) (the Act). Apart from any use permitted by the Act, ActewAGL grants users of this site a licence (within the meaning of the Act) to download, print and otherwise reproduce the information for non-commercial purposes only.

Please note that the documents given here are provided as a general guide only. These documents contain links and references to other internal ActewAGL documents which are not available to the public.

For more information contact ActewAGL on the technical enquiries number 6248 3555 (8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday).

Need more information?

Further information on private powerlines and poles is available by calling ActewAGL on 13 10 93.