ROW refers to the corridor or pathway an electric line follows, whether it’s along the road or through the woods. ROW provides utility crews with access to lines for improvements, maintenance, and repairs. It also provides an operational safety zone between the electric lines and trees, buildings, etc. On the majority of its lines, York Electric holds easements that give it the right to clear land 15 feet from either side of the wire.
Right of Way Maintenance FAQ
Why is a clear ROW important?
A clear ROW minimizes outages, improves power quality, reliability, and safety.
What happens when trees and vegetation remain in the ROW?
- Causes power outages
- Causes lights to blink
- Obstructs visual inspections, making repairs difficult and costly
- Blocks access for maintenance and repairs, causing delays
- Wastes electricity by drawing it to the ground
- Becomes a fire hazard
- Becomes a safety hazard for utility workers and members
- Children and adults should never climb, trim, or touch trees that contact power lines!
How is the ROW cleared?
The ROW is cleared by cutting, trimming, mowing and where permissible, applying herbicides. In most cases, all shrubs, brush and trees are removed under primary (main), overhead power lines. They are also removed, as and around secondary, low-voltage power lines that bring power from the transformer to your meter. Cutting and trimming are done by trained, professional utility tree trimmers using specific and proven standards typical to the industry.
Does ROW maintenance affect the environment?
York Electric’s ROW maintenance program balances the preservation of natural habitats against the service reliability needs of our members and the safety needs of the general public. In fact, it can actually benefit the ecosystem and other natural environments. ROW maintenance efforts create open areas that encourage the growth of wildflowers, ferns, grasses, flowers, berries, and other low-growing shrubs.