Ausgrid has developed new tree trimming guidelines to improve the aesthetic impact of its vegetation management program across Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter region.
With a quarter of network outages caused by trees or branches coming into contact with powerlines, Chief Operating Officer Trevor Armstrong said Ausgrid has taken on feedback from residents and changed the way it trims trees.
“Communities have told us they wanted us to review the way we trim the trees and we’ve listened,” Mr Armstrong said.
Working collaboratively with 33 local councils, Ausgrid has developed Local Government Plans which includes detail of trees and areas of significance alongside strategic planning for future years.
Under the new plan, trees growing near bare low voltage powerlines in urban areas that are not deemed a bushfire area will be trimmed to a minimum clearance of 0.5m above and below the lines along with a suitable allowance for regrowth, determined by the species of tree.
"We developed a new standard for trimming trees around powerlines, minimising the aesthetic impact without sacrificing safety," Mr Armstrong said.
With tree trimming is the largest component of Ausgrid’s maintenance expenditure, and paid for by portions of customer electricity bills, Mr Armstrong said the changes would help maintain a safe and reliable electricity network.