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 underground or overheard - known as private overhead electric lines (POEL).

Identifying a POEL

POELs begin from the first pole on your property and include the lines, poles and electrical equipment. For more information, download Private electrical lines - your responsibilities (PDF, 3.5 MB). 

Your responsibilities 

As the owner of a POEL, you are responsible for ensuring it is always in safe working condition. Under the Electricity Safety Act 1998, this includes regular maintenance and tree and vegetation clearing.

Regular maintenance

At least once a year, you should inspect your POEL and the insulated service line that runs to your property. For help identifying any damage or potential safety issues, download our maintenance checklist (PDF, 721 KB).

Using binoculars or a telescope can help you get a clear view of lines, cross arms and poles. To keep safe, we recommend that you contact a registered electrician to do any repairs. 

Tree and vegetation clearing

It’s important to keep your POEL clear of overgrown trees, shrubs and grass. Before adding new plants or trees, consider whether these will impact your POEL in the future. To view our guidelines for planting near electric lines, visit Vegetation management.

Working safely near powerlines 

It’s important to be careful when working near powerlines. For more information, see Working near lines

What we do 

Vegetation management

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

  • clearing vegetation near our powerlines that cross your property
  • managing trees on your property that impact powerlines in your street.

If we need to clear trees from your property, we may pass on these costs to you.

Private overhead electric lines (POEL) inspection

Section 113F(1) of the Electricity Safety Act 1998 requires us to inspect all POELs to make sure they’re safe and working well. We inspect POELs every three years in high bushfire risk areas, and every five years in low bushfire risk areas. 

In accordance with section 113F(2) of the Electricity Safety Act 1998, we’re currently notifying all relevant customers that our asset inspectors will be inspecting all POELs – these are lines above the surface of the land on the property they occupy. We’re not inspecting any section of the POEL after it connects to a building or other structure (not including a pole). 

If we find any defects on a POEL on the property, we’ll send the owner a letter explaining what maintenance works need to be carried out.  

If you’d like more information about our inspections, please call us on 1300 360 795

Underground replacement 

You may be able to request replacing your POEL with an underground line. Underground alternatives can include a substation or private or low voltage powerline. If approved, underground replacement costs are shared.

Your cost may include:

  • high-voltage extension, including the substation pole (if required)
  • tree clearing
  • easements
  • low voltage underground mains on your property. 

We may cover costs:

  • to establish the substation, including the transformer for high voltage extension (if required), OR 
  • for all underground low voltage service cables in the road reserve. 

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