Meter Box
Warning Signs for Voltage
Meter Box in Brush

Wake Forest Power appreciates how much you value the appearance of your home and commercial landscaping. Good appearance is one of the primary reasons for underground utilities.

However, those underground electric lines must surface somewhere if they are to serve the public's electrical equipment. In areas that are served by underground facilities, pad mount transformers and switchgear, or "those green boxes," are placed at selected intervals along main electric lines near streets and highways.

It is critical that the access or door to pad mount transformers and switchgear be kept clear for 10 feet. The non-door sides must have a three-foot clearance free of obstacles. If landscaping is placed too close to the transformer, service restoration efforts can be delayed and not enough air circulation can cause equipment failure. Additionally, workers must sometimes cut down the plantings to perform their restoration work.

With that in mind, here a few landscaping tips you may find helpful:

  • Do not plant ivy or other climbing plants as they grow into the metal enclosures and cause problems.

  • Grass, gravel or small rocks are recommended within the three (3) or 10 foot free zone.

  • Avoid delicate flowerbed plantings that may be harmed.

  • Large rocks should be placed at least 10 feet away from all sides of the equipment.

Remember, Wake Forest Power crews need access to the equipment in winter and summer. Electric equipment must be visually and physically accessible to utility crews and meter readers at all times. Please visit the following link for further information:

Power Lines
For underground power lines, trees should be planted far enough away from the pad mount equipment, that when they reach maturity, overhanging branches won't obstruct a crane from removing a defective transformer or setting a new one. Trees, shrubs and other landscape plantings should not be placed on the utility easement above underground electric cable. Do not change the grade around equipment to avoid problems with access and depth requirements for buried cables.

For overhead power lines, look up when planting a tree. Avoid spots under overhead power lines, even if you want to plant a small tree. Plant it so that upon maturity it will not reach within 10 feet of an overhead power line. If concrete is to be poured near a pole, the concrete needs to be at least 12 inches away from the pole. Wake Forest Power discourages the placement of concrete near any power line equipment.

Consult with Wake Forest Power if you plan to build, grade or construct any type of structure near electric equipment. Dependable, uninterrupted electric service is what our customers expect - and deserve.

If you have any questions, please call 919-435-9570.