Vegetation management near power lines, fiber optic equipment, and underground utilities is critical for BTES to deliver safe and reliable services. BTES’ goal is to reduce the number of outages and reduce the costs associated with restoring service while maintaining our area’s natural beauty and providing for the safety of our customers and employees.
While trees enhance our landscape, trees planted in the wrong place or not properly maintained can become a concern – causing safety hazards and disruption in services. In fact, trees growing into and near the power lines is our largest cause of electric outages each year. Additionally, BTES (and therefore our customers) spends over $1 million each year on vegetation management, and that’s not counting the expense to restore outages caused by trees – or our customer’s inconvenience from power outages.
We need your help in maintaining safe and healthy spaces between trees and power lines. When planting new trees, choose the right tree for the right place. When trimming trees, BTES uses the Lateral Pruning method. For more information on this method, click here.
During a power outage, our primary responsibility is to restore power as quickly as possible. We do not remove brush, debris or trees that are cut in order to safely restore service to our customers. BTES does not conduct vegetation management near low-voltage service lines to a customer’s residence or place of business. However, in the case of endangered low-voltage lines, BTES may, with prior arrangement, lower these lines to allow the customer to perform these vegetation management operations. Upon completion by the customer, BTES will reconnect the service conductors.
Per BTES' Rules and Regulations: BTES customers shall control new and existing trees and shrubbery, and placement of obstructions, to prevent interference with overhead and underground utility lines and other BTES facilities. In the event such facilities are interfered with, BTES reserves the right to trim or remove any vegetation and/or obstructions. In the event such facilities are interfered with, impaired in operation, or damaged by the customer or by any other person when the customer’s reasonable care and surveillance could have prevented such, the customer shall indemnify BTES or any other person against death, injury, loss, or damage resulting therefrom. The customer is financially responsible for BTES’ cost of trimming or removing vegetation and/or obstructions, as well as repairing, replacing, or relocating any facilities as determined by BTES that are necessary because of said vegetation or obstructions.