Property poles and privately-owned power lines

A property pole is an electricity pole inside your property’s boundary. It usually supports the overhead powerlines to your home or other buildings. If you’re the property owner, it is your responsibility to keep private property poles safe and well-maintained.

IMPORTANT: If a powerline from the property pole to a building on your property falls to the ground, stay well clear and call triple zero (000).

What is a property pole?

Property poles are usually installed on behalf of a property owner to run power to buildings on the property. They don’t supply any other customers and can be made of timber, concrete or steel.

If you’re not sure who owns a pole, check for an Ergon pole number. If a pole is owned by us, you’ll find the number marked on the pole approximately 2.4 meters above the ground.

Download our Property Poles and Privately Owned Powerlines (PDF 1.2 mb) fact sheet for more information.

Property pole risks

Over time, property poles can deteriorate through decay, termite damage, or rust. This could result in the pole leaning or falling over, injuring people or damaging your property.

A fallen property pole could also bring down its attached powerline. This could cause injury or death. It could also interrupt your electricity supply until you can have the pole replaced by a licensed electrical contractor.

Responsibilities of property owners

If you own a property pole, you are responsible for keeping it safe and connected. To do this, you’ll need to:

  • regularly check your property pole’s condition, with repairs made by a licensed electrical contractor
  • have nearby trees trimmed and maintained by a qualified arborist
  • have a licensed electrical contractor inspect the pole at least every five years.

You can find a licensed electrical contractor in your local directory, online or by visiting Master Electricians Australia or the National Electrical and Communications Association.

What if I’m a tenant?

If you think that a pole or powerline on the property you’re renting needs maintenance or repair, tell the owner or your rental manager immediately. If they don’t take prompt action, contact us on 13 16 70.

Inspecting a property pole

You should regularly monitor the condition of your property pole by checking:

  • the base of the pole for decay, sign of termites, rust or other damage
  • that the cross arm that supports the power line (if your pole has one) is in good condition.

If you have any concerns about the condition and/or safety of the pole, contact a licensed electrical contractor.

IMPORTANT: Always check your property poles from ground level. Never climb the pole or touch the powerline.

Property pole safety tips

If you have private property poles or a privately owned powerline on your property, remember to ‘take care, stay line aware’. Follow these tips to reduce the risk of an electrical accident:

  • Be aware of the location of any powerlines on or near your property
  • Look out for overhead powerlines whenever you are moving equipment or ladders around your property
  • Take care when you are cleaning gutters or working near the electrical connection point to a building or other structure
  • Use our plant smart search to help you choose suitable trees to plant nearby
  • Never trim trees that have grown close to powerlines yourself. Always contact a qualified arborist in your area who has expertise in trimming near powerlines
  • Do not climb the pole.

Assistance for our customers in New South Wales

Recent changes, under the New South Wales Electricity Supply Act (1995), requires us to regularly inspect privately-owned property poles and powerlines up to the Metering Point. This additional safety precaution supports you, as a property owner in your responsibilities to ensure the electricity supply remains safe.

If we identify a defect, we will notify you, in accordance with the Act. You are then required to remedy the defect using a licenced electrical contractor to ensure any safety and/or bushfire risks are well managed.

We recognise that the pole and powerline maintenance work can be a significant cost. To assist those experiencing financial stress or hardship, we have a Hardship Policy for the maintenance of privately-owned property poles and powerlines in New South Wales (PDF 267.2 kb). For a confidential discussion around eligibility for support, please call us on 1300 032 306.

Want more information?

Download our electricity safety guide (PDF 2.2 mb) as a handy electrical safety reference.

For more on electrical safety and private power poles, visit the Electrical Safety Office website.