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​Landscaping safety 

EPCOR maintains the infrastructure that provides safe, reliable electricity to your home or business. When we need to access this equipment, it's important that there's room for our crews to work safely. You can help by ensuring the landscaping on your property is not interfering with our equipment.

Doing your part to maintain clearance ​​can help us out when repairs are needed. Not only can we do our job quickly and safely, but it also means your community will have the power back on sooner when there's an outage.


Your responsibilities as a homeowner

Homeowners are responsible for any repairs required to the utility service cables (usually below ground) that start at the property line and run to the power meter. As a homeowner, you're also responsible for the power meter socket.

You also need to keep a minimum clearance space around all power equipment on your property. This includes all cables, lines, poles, and power boxes. Avoid planting trees and shrubs or building anything too close to the equipment.

When the power is out, our crews need to get to equipment quickly to get the power back on. If it takes time to find, or if we must do emergency landscaping to access it, it could cause delays for the entire neighbourhood. Make sure they can work quickly and safely by keeping the space clear and free of tripping hazards.

Safe trimming

If any of the vegetation on your property is encroaching on overhead lines or other electrical equipment, contact an arborist to prune and manage the growth.

Anytime you are working nearby electrical equipment, it's essential that the correct precautions are taken, including contacting EPCOR to temporarily disconnect the line to allow safe tree trimming for the arborist or yourself (at no cost to you).

Please call our emergency phone number in advance to ensure our crews can disconnect the power. This service is available every day, including Sundays and holidays, but may be delayed due to emergency work.
Learn more about trees and power line safety


​Safe diggin​​​g

Hitting underground power lines is a safety hazard and can be costly to repair. Knowing where they are will help you plan how to dig safely near them or know what areas to avoid.

Three simple steps to digging safely near underground power lines:

  1. Get your utilities located through​ or by calling 1 (800) 242-3447​. This is a free service.
  2. Avoid digging within 1 metre of an underground power line or within 2 metres of a transformer. 
  3. If you do need to dig within one metre, learn how to do it safely.

Landscaping near transformers and switching cubicles 

EPCOR crews need to be able to quickly and safely access this equipment at all times. We recommend the following within 3 metres of a transformer or cubicle to ensure safe access:
  • ​To create a stable work area for our crews, decorative rock shall be 20 mm (3/4”) or smaller three-face fractured rock. Smooth, rounded rock will not be permitted as it is easier for our crews to slip on.
  • Wood chips shall be smaller than 4” as larger chips can create uneven footing.
  • No decorative boulders, trees, or fences as they can block access and reduce the work area.
  • Concrete and asphalt surface finishing is not permitted within 1 metre of a transformer/cubicle pad or power pole. ​

Clearance requirements for power equipment

To safely move electricity from the generating station to your home, there is a lot of equipment involved. The three common types of equipment you might find in your neighbourhood are power poles, transformers, and switching cubicles.

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Power poles

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Switching cubicles

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  Power poles

Wood or metal power poles bring electricity from home to home. Power poles hold up lines for an above-ground electrical system. The poles support the power lines, transformers, switches, cable TV, and telephone lines that service your homes and businesses.

Power pole clearance requirements

Maintain clearance of 1 metre from the base of the pole and 3 metres from power lines.

Our crews need space to work around and climb the poles to do their job. Because the power poles are buried 6 to 10 feet below ground, crews may need to dig around the pole for inspections, repairs, and replacements. Installing landscaping like concrete, paving stones, or fences too close will delay their work.

Any trees on your yard must meet power line and utility pole clearance requirements. Avoid planting trees under power lines. If a tree or shrub is growing too close to a power line, contact an arborist. We will turn off the power so they can work safely. Please call our 24-hour power emergency line at (780) 412-4500. Read more about tree trimming near power lines.







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Overhead power line clearance requirements

Overhead power lines can be dangerous because there is usually no protection on the wire. Electricity looks for the shortest path to the ground, so if a person gets too close to an overhead power line they can be its path to the ground.

To ensure your safety any structures (e.g. shed or garage), trees or shrubs need to be minimum 3 metres (plus room for potential swing and any line sag) away from the power lines themselves.

This clearance helps ensure your safety when doing maintenance on the structure (e.g. cleaning gutters or replacing the roof) or trimming trees.

If you are going to be building a garage or shed that might result in workers or equipment operating within 7 metres of an overhead power line, you must contact EPCOR at (780) 412-4500.




A transformer is that grey or green power box in the yard. It will be near the front of the yard beside the sidewalk. Transformers change high voltage power into low voltage power for use in your home or business. One transformer will serve many buildings in the area.

Transformer clearance requirements

Maintain clearance of 3 metres on the front and 2 metres on all other sides of transformers.

Landscaping around a transformer box or planting around electrical boxes can cause a hazard for our crews. If they come to make a repair or to get the power back on, they'll have to remove landscaping and plants to do their job safely. Branches may swing into the transformers while crews are working. Tree and plant roots can damage underground cables.

In addition to the above ground clearance area, it's vital to never dig around a transformer. If you hit an underground line or grid, you can get shocked, causing severe injury or death. Please, always contact Utility Safety Partners to locate all underground utilities before you dig.

  Switching cubicles

Switching cubicles look like transformers. They'll be a grey or green power box in the yard, next to the sidewalk. They help route power from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and help protect the rest of the power system using switches that turn off if there is a fault. Switching cubicles are usually the first place our crews go to restore power during an outage. A cubicle allows us to bypass electricity to the area we are working, making it safe to restore power.

Switching cubicle clearance requirements

Maintain clearance of 3 metres on all sides of switching cubicles.

A lot of electricity surges through switching cubicles. As with transformers, never dig or plant around switching cubicles on your property. When our crews are doing repairs or maintenance to a cubicle, they use long rods to operate the switches and the space must be free from trees, bushes, fences, or other landscaping. The faster we can get to work on the cubicle, the sooner we can get the power back on during an outage.



This webpage provides information regarding safe work practices in relation to EPCOR power facilities. Employers and contractors have responsibilities under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (Alberta OHS) Act, Code, and Regulation. When there is a conflict between this document and any bylaws, legislation, or regulation, the relevant law prevails. Any reliance placed on this information is strictly at your own risk. EPCOR does not assume any responsibility or liability for any action, loss or damage that arises out of, or is in connection with the information contained in this webpage.