What’s That In My Yard?

If you’re a homeowner, you likely have at least one form of utility electrical equipment somewhere in your yard. You should know how to care for the areas around equipment to ensure it remains reliable, safe and easily accessible.

Pole transformer

What it does: These high-mounted transformers convert the overhead line’s higher-voltage power to a usable lower voltage. Pole transformers are usually found near rural homes.
What you can do: Simply stay away from it! Avoid using extended tools or aerial equipment like drones around ANY power pole.

Power pole

What it does: These tall poles are the infrastructure that keep overhead power lines safely out of reach. You will more likely have a power pole on your property if you are a rural member, but poles can be found within the city limits as well.
What you can do: Never attach anything to a power pole with nails, staples or even tape. Unauthorized attachments to poles could injure co-op employees or damage the pole’s ground wire.

Electric meter

What it does: An electric meter calculates your home’s electricity consumption in kilowatt-hours. They are typically found on the side or back of a home. Although many modern electric meters take automated readings, it’s still important to keep the equipment accessible to crews and first responders.
What you can do: Make sure shrubs and plants are trimmed (or removed) to allow a 3-foot access radius around the meter. Ensure that locked fences or animals don’t obstruct emergency access.

Pad-mounted transformer

What it does: This is a distribution transformer housed in a safe metal cabinet, usually 4 feet by 4 feet and sitting on a small concrete slab. They are connected to underground lines and step down high-voltage power to supply residences. One transformer can serve many homes.
What you can do: Be sure you have 10 feet of clearance in front of the transformer (where the lock is), as well as 3 feet on all other sides. This means no plants, fences or other obstructions within that area.

Utility pedestal

What it does: The utility pedestal may look like a pad-mounted transformer, but much smaller. This piece of equipment is seen more regularly in neighborhood yards, serving as a junction point to send the transformer’s stepped down electricity to each home.
What you can do: Keep 3 feet of clearance on every side of the pedestal.