Vegetation management crews work year-round to trim trees and remove vegetation along more than 1,800 miles of aerial electric lines as part of the energy company’s ongoing efforts to maintain safe, reliable service for customers.
MAYS LANDING, N.J. (June 27, 2018) – Atlantic City Electric customers will benefit from a $26-million effort to trim trees and remove vegetation along nearly 1,800 miles of aerial electric lines in 2018. This work, which will continue through the year, will help maintain safe and reliable service for about 135,000 customers.
Tree and vegetation trimming is a critical part of Atlantic City Electric’s efforts to keep the lights on for customers, especially as the company prepares for the summer storm season, where heavy rain and gusty winds can bring down trees and tree branches, causing damage to power lines and other electric equipment. Each year, trees cause about 40 percent of customer power outages.
Through the year, customers may notice vegetation management crews across the company’s service area, particularly in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem counties. As part of the company’s ongoing commitments to the safety of customers and the local community, customers are notified before work begins in their area.
Atlantic City Electric’s vegetation management crews are trained in arboricultural techniques as defined in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 Standard. This standard takes into account the type and location of the tree, its relation to overhead equipment, and overall health of the tree. When pruning trees to provide clearance from overhead equipment, Atlantic City Electric uses directional pruning techniques, whenever possible, to help direct tree growth away from equipment while also maintaining the health and beauty of the vegetation.
Atlantic City Electric’s Vegetation Management Program is part of the comprehensive preventive maintenance work the company undertakes each year to proactively review its system and address potential problems before they occur. This work includes inspecting existing infrastructure, installing new, more modern equipment, and installing stronger, tree-resistant aerial cable. The company also uses innovative technologies to improve system reliability, such as specialized equipment that can automatically restore service more quickly or isolate damage. This work is essential in helping prevent those outages that can be prevented.
Planting new trees is also important to Atlantic City Electric. Each year, Atlantic City Electric partners with the Arbor Day Foundation to provide free trees to residential customers through the Energy-Saving Trees program. This annual initiative helps customers conserve energy and reduce household energy bills through strategic tree planting. Shade trees can reduce residential cooling costs by up to 30 percent, while in the winter months trees reduce wind speeds and infiltration of cold air into homes, reducing heating costs.
In instances where new trees are being planted near energy equipment, such as overhead wires, Atlantic City Electricrecommends customers follow the Arbor Day Foundation's "Right Tree in the Right Place" guidelines, which advise that any trees planted within 20 feet on either side of pole-to-pole power lines have a mature height of less than 25 feet.
Atlantic City Electric is committed to providing its customers with a modern, reliable and resilient energy grid. Over the last five years, Atlantic City Electric has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in southern New Jersey to modernize the local electric distribution system to further provide safe and reliable service to customers.
Because of these efforts, during the past five years, the number of electric outages has decreased by more than 40 percent and outage length has been reduced by 18 percent. In 2017, customers experienced the lowest average number of electric outages in the company’s history, as well as the fastest restoration times ever.
To learn more, visit The Source, Atlantic City Electric’s online news room. Find additional information about Atlantic City Electric by visiting www.atlanticcityelectric.com. Follow the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atlanticcityelectric and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/acelecconnect. Atlantic City Electric’s mobile app is available at www.atlanticcityelectric.com/mobileapp.