Distribution lines carry electricity throughout a town or community to the homes and businesses that we serve. They can be located underground or overhead on utility poles. Overhead distribution lines are the lines that most commonly experience outages caused by trees or other vegetation.
Duke Energy maintains more than 30,000 miles of overhead power lines. Trees and other vegetation can pose a potential reliability and safety hazard to these lines if they are not managed proactively.
Crews use a combination of vegetation management methods to help ensure system reliability. We use an industry-approved technique called directional pruning to maintain tree health while establishing acceptable clearance between energized wires and tree branches. In certain circumstances, Duke Energy may contact the customer to discuss the removal of trees to eliminate reliability issues due to re-growth during the vegetation maintenance cycle period.
The easements obtained by Duke Energy grant us the right to clear any tree that poses a threat to the safety of the public and the reliable operation of the line. Trees that are dead, diseased or damaged, and leaning toward the conductors, are considered "danger trees." Danger trees can be located inside or outside of the Duke Energy right of way.
Duke Energy works proactively with customers, homeowner associations and community leaders to keep them informed of vegetation and right-of-way management activities in their area. Customers are typically notified in advance of any planned vegetation maintenance activities on their property.