Planning ahead ensures safety in planting
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 29, 2011) – This Arbor Day Progress Energy Florida reminds customers to plant the right tree species in the right place to ensure power line safety and reliability.
Progress Energy Florida is celebrating National Arbor Day with community partners in ceremonies at parks and cities throughout our service territory. Activities include:
Choosing the right tree or plant for the right location is very important. That’s why Progress Energy Florida, a Tree Line USA® utility, created the “Know Where You Grow” rights-of-way vegetation-management plan. Customers and property owners who take their surroundings into consideration can save trees while helping prevent energized limbs, downed power lines and other dangerous situations.
“Arbor Day celebrations can provide an annual reminder that the wrong type of tree planted too close to a power line can cause significant power outages and safety issues,” said Progress Energy Florida Senior Forester Rich Alexander. “We encourage our customers to select appropriate, low-growing species when planting trees near power lines and suggest that they hire professionals to trim any trees growing near our lines.”
In addition to preventing outages and reducing safety hazards, the right tree can improve energy efficiency by providing shade and wind protection, reducing water consumption for the lawn, and providing beauty to the landscape and a place for wildlife to dwell.
Customers and property owners interested in planting trees near power lines are encouraged to select appropriate, low-growing varieties. When selecting a tree, consider these guidelines:
Progress Energy does not recommend planting around high-voltage transmission lines or in easements. Trees growing near transmission lines can cause a fire and be an electrical hazard to anyone in contact with the tree at ground level. Electricity can arc from the line to nearby trees given the right conditions (such as a voltage surge on the line from a nearby lightning strike) seriously injuring or killing anyone near the tree and interrupting electrical service to thousands of customers or whole communities.
Before customers begin an outdoor digging project for Arbor Day, Progress Energy reminds them to call Sunshine State One Call of Florida at 811 at least two full business days before digging so that underground utilities (cable, phone, electric, etc.) can be located and marked. It is also important to exercise caution when working outside near power lines.
The company is a proud Tree Line USA® utility. This honor comes from The Arbor Day Foundation™, which recognizes that Progress Energy Florida achieves the right balance in managing the responsibility to provide safe, reliable power to more than 1.6 million customers while overseeing the regions natural habitats.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles, including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit www.progress-energy.com.