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What is a Right of Way?

The green trees that thrive throughout our service area in the Carolinas are a source of tremendous pride.

A right of way is a type of easement or agreement that grants a utility the right to use, access or transit a piece of property. An easement is typically granted by property owners to an electric utility for the purpose of constructing and maintaining power lines and other equipment. Before a power line is built, Duke Energy Progress acquires easements from property owners along the selected route.

Duke Energy Progress maintains more than 70,000 miles of line, including 40,000 miles of overhead lines. The utility has obtained easements and agreements with local communities and property owners that allow it to build and maintain its power lines. This right includes managing vegetation, including trees on or outside the easement that pose a threat to the reliability of the electric system.

Trees are part of the natural beauty of the Carolinas, but trees and other vegetation are also one of the leading causes of outages for utilities in the Southeast. We must constantly work to balance aesthetic concerns with our responsibility to provide a reliable electric system for the 1.5 million households and businesses that depend on us.

Rights of way and other easements vary in size and have different usage and maintenance guidelines, based on the voltage and type of line.