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Private electric lines

Private Electric Lines (PEL), also known as private powerlines, help customers to connect their property to our distribution network. These lines can be overhead or underground. 


Identifying a Private Electric Line 

PELs begin from the first pole on your property and include the lines, poles and electrical equipment. Below you'll find one example of a PEL. You can find more examples in our handbook Private Electrical Lines - Your Responsibilities (PDF, 4.6 MB). 


Your responsibilities 

As the owner of a PEL, you are responsible for ensuring it is always in safe working condition. Under the Electrical Safety Act 1998 this includes: 

Regular maintenance 

At least once a year, you should inspect your PEL and the insulated service line that runs to your property. Our maintenance checklist (PDF, 721 KB) can help you to identify repairs and potential safety issues. Using binoculars or a telescope can help you to get a clear view of lines, cross arms and poles. 

To keep yourself safe, we recommend that you engage a registered electrician to perform any repairs. 

Tree and vegetation clearing 

It is important to keep your PEL clear of overgrown trees, shrubs and grass  Also consider the future impact before adding new plants near your PEL. Our guide to planting near electric lines (PDF, 2,026 KB) can help you to reduce the impact on your PEL. 


Working safely near powerlines 

It's important to take care when working near powerlines. To find out more, visit our working near lines page. 


What we do 

We also have an important role to play. We have a year-round schedule of vegetation management to ensure the minimum clearances for trees near powerlines. This work may include: 


  • Clearing near our powerlines that cross your property,
  • Managing trees on your property that impact powerlines in your street. 

In some cases where we need to clear trees from your property on your behalf, we may pass on costs. 

Underground replacement 

Some customers may be able to request replacement of an overhead PEL. Underground alternatives can include a private or low voltage powerline, or a substation. Where approved, underground replacement costs are shared. 

Your contribution may include: 

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


Our contribution may include: 

One of the following: 

  • Substation establishment, including the transformer for high voltage extension (if required),
  • All underground low-voltage service cables in the road reserve. 


To speak to someone about replacing your PEL with an underground line, please contact us on 1300 360 795.

Government contribution 

Customers in some Local Government Areas may be eligible for funding to replace their overhead PEL with an underground connection. Those Local Government Areas are currently Alpine, Baw Baw, Benalla, East Gippsland, Indigo, Mansfield, Murrindindi, Strathbogie, Towong, Wangaratta, Wellington, Wodonga or Yarra Ranges, 

To learn more, visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website or contact the DELWP project team at or on 03 9918 7315.