This spring, stop digging, drop your tools and read this guide to make sure you don’t run into any issues when working on outdoor home projects.
Longer days and fresh spring air are on the way. If you’re planning to use this time to tackle some of the items on your outdoor home improvement list, there are a few important things to remember to stay safe and avoid dangerous accidental outages during your project.
Always call 811 before you dig.
Anytime you dig into the ground, you run the risk of hitting underground power lines which can be dangerous and fatal. It also can create an outage for you (and your neighbors!). Calling before you dig can not only save you money from a damage claim, it can also save your life. To prevent this, call 811 before you dig to have someone come out to mark underground facilities. Plus it’s a free service.
Research plant species first.
Make sure you’re choosing the right type of trees before planting in your yard. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of the trees growing up into power lines. We recommend sticking to smaller trees like holly, river birch, cherry and weeping willows.
Use plants to your advantage.
Did you know that strategic planting can help you save on your energy bill? Plant trees and shrubs so that they provide shade around your air conditioner. It’ll help the system run more eﬃciently and give you shade when you’re outside.
Practice responsible pruning.
Once your trees and shrubs are matured, don’t forget to regularly prune them so they don’t grow into the area around power lines and pad-mounted transformers. As a good rule of thumb, plant at least 15 feet away from power lines. Our right-of-way clearing crews work to keep the power lines free of trees and branches, but you can help by planting your trees and shrubs in the right place.
Planning a major home renovation this spring?
When working on a project with major electrical updates, contact your local co-op ﬁrst to make sure your current service is appropriate and so we can make changes on our end as needed. Here are a few examples of the types of projects to call about:
- Installing a whole-home generator
- Adding an electric vehicle charging station
- Changing out or moving your meter box
- Adding an extension or addition to your home
- Adding a pool or spa to your backyard
- Adding power to a shed or garage
- Anything that would require substantial digging in your yard