Somerset REC works in many ways to keep your power on. From repairing lines and poles after storms to clearing the way for electricity to flow to your home, our line crews strive to keep your lights on. How do we keep that electricity flowing? One way is through right-of-way (ROW) maintenance.

A key factor in any ROW maintenance is landowner cooperation. Before you, our member, make a commitment to ROW maintenance, you may be asking yourself why the cooperative, or any utility for that matter, needs to trim, cut or spray any vegetation on your land. The bottom line is that strict industry regulations mandate that power lines and the right-of-way surrounding them must be clear of possible hazards caused by trees or vegetation.

What can happen when vegetation overgrows around power lines? This major problem can lead to:

  • Trees and branches touching or falling on power lines, which is the most frequent reason for service interruptions;
  • Limited access to power lines for the crew that needs to routinely perform inspections, maintenance, and/or repairs; or
  • An unsafe environment for children and animals, increasing the risk of electrocution or shock.

In the big picture, this is a large order to fill for the cooperative. We service over 1,800 miles of line and that can be a lot of overgrown vegetation! Not only that, but there are many factors that affect our ability to service that line. We must consider line location (heavily wooded areas versus along roadways), the type and density of vegetation, manpower, techniques, and finances. In addition to what we plan to service, we also do our best to work with individual members who take the time to call us with information about a dangerous tree or potential problems.

Being proactive about ROW maintenance helps to keep power flowing and your lights on. We appreciate the phone calls we receive about potential issues and hope you continue to keep us informed. We cannot always get to all of the tree issues in one day but calls are documented and work is done as time permits.

ROW maintenance is all about helping us help you. By allowing and supporting us in ROW maintenance, we can work to better keep your power on and keep the area around your lines safe. With proper maintenance, outages and operating costs can be kept to a minimum. Without right-of-way maintenance, one thing is for certain – there would be more outages. So, let us help you and help us to keep the right-of-ways safe and clear!

If you have any questions about right-of-way maintenance, please call the cooperative office! You can also view the Right-of-Way Handout by clicking here.