Energy Safe Victoria

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Private Overhead Electric Lines (POELs)

Electricity customers are responsible for their own private overhead electric lines (POELs), whether overhead or underground – this includes are all the wires, poles and any other electrical equipment (other than our metering equipment) on your property.

ESV works together with electricity distribution companies throughout Victoria to ensure POELs are maintained in line with legislative requirements.

Electricity distribution businesses information on POELs

The following links provide useful information from distribution businesses on POELs, your responsibilities and dealing with defects.

If you do not know who your distribution business is, you can look on your meter or click here.

POELs and bushfires

Every year Victoria faces the risk of bushfires. Your electricity distribution company works closely with the CFA and the MFB to reduce the risk of bushfires in Victoria by undertaking an extensive inspection and vegetation clearance program each year. Part of this program includes the inspection of POELs.

Emergency restoration of a POEL in high bushfire risk area

If you are located in a high bushfire area and require an emergency restoration of a POEL:

  1. Download the POEL emergency restoration undertaking form
  2. Complete the form with assistance from your REC, scan it and
  3. Email it back to ESV at email at pal@energysafe.vic.gov.au

POEL inspections

There are set intervals between inspections of POELs – normally no later than 37 months, or under some circumstances, not exceeding five years from the date of the previous inspection.

An inspection may reveal that defects exist and maintenance is required on a POEL on your property. If this is the case, the electricity distribution business will provide you with written notice of the maintenance work required to be carried out.

If you do not comply with requests from your distribution business to rectify the identified defects, the distribution company may escalate and refer the case to ESV.

Legislation

The legislation associated with POELs defines the point of supply and confirms your responsibility for maintenance of your private electric lines, including the need to keep trees clear of these lines.

A private electric line is described in the Electricity Safety Act 1998 as

“any low voltage electric line used to take electricity from the point of supply, whether or not that line is vested in an electricity supplier”.

The Victorian Service and Installation Rules (SIR) also provides information on the Victoria Service and Installation rules for construction and maintenance of private electric lines.

If a fault in your electrical installation causes injury or property damage you could be involved in costly litigation.

Contact us

If you have any queries in relation to POELs, please contact ESV on 03 9203 9700 or by email at info@energysafe.vic.gov.au.