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Private powerlines - tree clearing and vegetation

Customers with private powerlines on their property, have a responsibility to keep them clear of vegetation. This responsibility is outlined in the Electrical Safety Act 1998.

Private powerlines are the overhead and underground lines that begin at a point of supply outside a property. They include all other lines, poles or electrical equipment running from this supply.

Customers must keep private powerlines clear of trees and branches. You must also plant responsibly under and around them.

By working together we can reduce the risk of power outages, damage to our network and fire.


What we do

We keep the minimum clearances for trees near powerlines that cross your property boundary, except for your service line. We're also responsible for trees within your property near powerlines in your street.  


What you need to do

You need to regularly inspect your private electric powerline and the insulated service line that runs to your property. 

We recommend using binoculars or a telescope to view the powerline coverings once a year and check the poles for rot or damage. If you need help, contact a registered electrical contractor. 

In some cases, we may need to clear trees or branches from your property on your behalf. We may pass on costs in some cases.  


Underground replacement

In some cases, you can request replacement of an overhead private electric powerline. Underground alternatives can include a private or low voltage powerline, or a substation. Where approved, underground replacement costs are shared. 

You contribute

  • High-voltage extension, including the substation pole
  • Low-voltage underground mains on your property
  • Tree-clearing costs
  • Easement costs

We contribute:

One of the following:

  • Substation establishment, including the transformer

  • Low-voltage underground mains on your property in non-fire areas

  • Underground low-voltage service cables in the road reserve in fire areas, up to the equivalent of 50 metres of cable

  • All underground low-voltage service cables in the road reserve


Government contribution

If you own a Private Overhead Electric Line (POEL) in the Local Government Areas of Alpine, East Gippsland or Towong you may be eligible for Victorian Government funding to have it replaced with an underground connection. 

To learn more, visit Powerline replacement or contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning project team at safer.powerlines@delwp.vic.gov.au or on 03 9918 7315.