One of the things I love best about our community is the natural beauty that surrounds us. We are fortunate to have so many trees that offer beauty, shade and a habitat for all sorts of wildlife. We know that you appreciate our community for many of the same reasons.
At Dixie Electric, we strive to balance maintaining beautiful surroundings and ensuring a reliable power supply by keeping the rights of way clear around power lines.
A right of way is the property used to construct, maintain, replace or repair underground and overhead power lines. Rights of way enable the co-op to provide clearance from trees and other obstructions that could hinder power line installation, maintenance or operation. Right-of-way areas are typically on public lands or located near a business or home. Regardless, we must be able to maintain the areas around and below the power lines.
The overall goal of our right of way clearing program is to provide reliable power to our members. Proactive vegetation management benefits co-op members in three ways: safety, reliability, and affordability.
First and foremost, we care about our members and put their safety and that of our employees above all else. Overgrown vegetation and trees pose a risk. For example, if trees are touching power lines in our members’ yards, they can pose a grave danger to families. If children can access those trees, they can potentially climb into a danger zone. Tree trimming and clearing make power lines easier to see and prevent contact with them.
Tree trimming or clearing also diminishes the chances of fallen branches or trees during severe weather events that make it more complicated and dangerous for line workers to restore power. Power outages are shorter and are even prevented when trees are removed from the area around power lines.
As you know, Dixie Electric is a not-for-profit cooperative striving to keep costs in check in order to keep our rates affordable. This extends to our approach to vegetation management. If trees grow too close to power lines, the potential for expensive repairs also increases. Effective tree trimming and other vegetation management efforts are preventative maintenance, keeping costs down for everyone.
Our community is a special place. We appreciate the beauty trees afford, but we also know our community depends on us to provide reliable energy. Through vegetation management, we are better able to keep the power lines clear, prepare for future weather events and secure the reliability of the grid.