Consumers Energy is dedicated to providing our members a safe and reliable energy source - electricity. However, trees planted too close to powerlines can significantly impact the cooperative's ability to deliver a safe and reliable product. A clear right-of-way (ROW) is essential.
Trees growing in or around the powerlines are the #1 cause of blinks and outages on Consumers Energy's system. This means inconvenient interruption in electric service. For co-op members, it means a trouble call for line crews and added expense to restore the outage.
Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) require electric cooperatives to have effective tree trimming, ROW clearing, and maintenance programs in place.
Consumers Energy's Right-of-Way (ROW) Program
Consumers Energy will maintain ROW clearance over, along, and across the premises where powerlines are located. Cycles and methods are determined using best judgment, knowledge of local factors, and industry standards. The cooperative uses contractors and employees to perform ROW work. If a tree or shrub appears close to a powerline, do not attempt to prune it yourself. Call Consumers Energy at 800-696-6552 or by selecting this link for assistance and recommendations prior to any trimming.
Consumers Energy's Program Consists of a Combination of:
► Tree and brush pruning
► Removal of hazardous trees
► Chemical treatment on smaller trees in ROW to impede future growth
How Can Members Help?
Members can help by trimming trees and underbrush that could grow to interfere with ROW guidelines. For safety reasons, don't attempt to remove or trim trees already near or touching the powerlines. Call Consumers Energy to ensure that a line crew takes action and prevents possible power loss. When crews are on your property, please allow them to remove trees and underbrush near powerlines.
When planning future landscaping, consider the mature size of trees and shrubs to determine a proper planting distance. The planting guideline below can help to choose landscaping solutions that allow trees to flourish while maintaining a clear ROW for powerlines.