Private poles and assets
If you have any private electrical assets, it’s your responsibility to maintain them in safe working order, fix any defects and keep trees or branches clear. This is to ensure reliable power supply, reduce the risk of electrocution or bushfires and keep your powerlines safe.
Types of power poles
Treated hardwood poles (Koppers): These are the most common and preferred type. They have an expected life of more than 40 years and are inspected on a 3.5-5 year cycle.
Natural wood poles: These have been used in the past and can have a life expectancy of as little as seven years. These poles are inspected on a 3.5 year cycle.
Steel poles: Life expectancy for steel poles is more than 20 years but this may be affected by ground and service conditions. These poles are inspected on a 3.5-5 year cycle.
Pole maintenance tips
You can contribute to the life of a pole and assist in the inspection process by carrying out regular weed and bush removal around its base.
Keep vegetation a minimum of 3 metres from overhead powerlines. Vegetation management should only be undertaken by an authorised contractor who can work in close proximity to powerlines. Find a list of authorised contractors on the CBOS website here.
Look for any problems relating to the pole such as significant leaning, nuts and bolts missing, steelwork hanging loosely, wires too close to the ground or broken insulators and wires, and arrange repairs immediately.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know if it's a private pole?
There are around 65,000 private power poles in Tasmania. A privately owned pole will normally have a yellow "private pole" tag attached, but not all private poles have this tag. If you have any questions about the ownership of infrastructure on your property please contact us.
Where's the start of the private powerline?
A private powerline usually starts at (and includes) the first low voltage pole on private property. It's your responsibility to maintain and repair this first pole and all the poles, line fittings and attachments beyond it. If your property is supplied by a high voltage powerline and a transformer off a public road, it may be a private line and advice should be sought from us regarding the responsibility for maintenance and repair. The transformer and associated pole are owned and maintained by TasNetworks.
Who's responsible for testing my private pole?
We may inspect private assets up to the customer metering point as part of our routine pole testing cycle. If there are any safety issues, you will be notified by the Department of Justice and it will be your responsibility to fix any problems. Any testing beyond the customer metering point is your responsibility.
Here is a simple checklist to keep your private powerlines safe and to ensure a more reliable power supply:
- Prevent fire damage to poles by keeping vegetation clear of the base of the poles
- Keep trees on your property well clear of powerlines
- Look for line defects like broken strands, loose or damaged insulators and arrange repairs immediately
- Check for broken or damaged pole stay wires and arrange repairs
Please note: if your supply is interrupted as a result of a power outage and your private assets are deemed unsafe or non-compliant, this may impact on our ability to undertake power restoration. A defective installation notice may be issued and could lead to your supply being disconnected.