We are undertaking significant upgrades to improve reliability and to increase electrical capacity in our network.
Some areas of our network are supplied by underground cables (rather than power poles and overhead wires) and at times these cables need to be replaced or upgraded.
These upgrades of the underground cable network can include the installation of above-ground service pillars, or 'pillars' as they are more commonly known.
The installation of pillars provides many advantages over the older system previously used including:
- faster restoration of supply to the majority of customers during electrical outages
- additional electrical capacity in the local area
- a safer way for crews to operate the network
- greater flexibility in the electricity network
- greater network reliability.
What do they look like?
We install pillars in both residential and commercial areas. Residential pillars are around 380mm wide by 655mm high. They are usually grey or green in colour.
We usually install larger pillars in commercial areas. These pillars vary in size and colour.
Why has a pillar been installed outside my house?
Pillars are installed in footpaths, which are established for use by pedestrians and by utilities to install the necessary infrastructure to meet the community's needs.
Each utility has a section of the footpath allocated to them. Traditionally, our service allocation area is adjacent to the property line, which is where pillars are installed. By locating pillars as close to the property line as possible, we ensure our assets do not greatly impact on footpath widths.
The location of each pillar is determined by the technical requirements of the underground electricity network and where possible, pillars are installed on property boundaries.
What happens when pillars are installed in my street?
We will notify residents prior to commencing any upgrade work.
In order to safely connect the pillars and new electricity cables in your street to the electricity network, we will need to interrupt your power.
We will contact customers affected by the outage and try to achieve a mutually agreeable time for the interruption to occur.
Can vegetation be planted around a pillar?
We do not plant vegetation around pillars as they contain electrical equipment that needs to be readily accessible to staff. Over time, root systems can also damage underground electrical cables.