Tree & Vegetation Management

 Tree & Vegetation Management 

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BGE’s commitment to electricity reliability goes beyond maintaining the poles and lines themselves—it extends to the trees surrounding more than 10,500 miles of overhead power lines. Our Tree and Vegetation Management Program includes pruning and removing trees that may cause electric outages, as well as managing the vegetation above our underground natural gas transmission pipeline network. All of this attention to trees enables us to perform regular aerial and ground surveys, and has reduced tree-related power interruptions by more than 35% where tree branches have been cut back from the lines.

 
BGE’s Tree and Vegetation Management Program helps provide safe and reliable electric service to you and your neighbors.  Throughout the year, we are committed to pruning and removing trees that may cause electric outages along more than 10,500 miles of overhead power lines. We also manage the vegetation along our underground natural gas transmission pipeline network to enable regular aerial and ground surveys, and provide access for ongoing maintenance and inspections.
 
Now, BGE will further enhance our tree and vegetation management efforts by implementing the requirements proposed by the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC).
 
For more than a year, the PSC has been developing regulations as required by the 2011 Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act to govern how Maryland utilities manage their reliability efforts. As a result, new regulations - called RM43 - were developed through a partnership with BGE, other Maryland utilities, key stakeholders and the PSC. These new regulations will improve electric reliability through the increased management of trees and vegetation near power lines. Visit Pruning Standards or check out the common questions to learn more about these PSC requirements.
 
 

 Managing Vegetation to Ensure Reliability

 
 

 Common Questions

 
What is included in the PSC’s RM 43 regulation?
The RM 43 regulation includes reliability and service quality standards intended to enhance performance across a broad spectrum of programs managed by Maryland’s utilities. Tree and vegetation management practices are a large component of these standards.
Will BGE’s tree and vegetation management practices change?
In most cases, the company’s existing tree and vegetation management practices meet or exceed the expectations outlined in the PSC’s standards; however, BGE will modify and enhance some elements of our current tree and vegetation management practices to align with new tree and vegetation management standards and the higher reliability performance targets required by the PSC. Consistent with the company’s current customer communication policies and RM43, BGE will reach out to customers in advance of any work being performed on their property.
How will I be affected by these changes?
The PSC’s RM43 tree and vegetation management standards strive to uniformly provide more space between trees and power lines to help ensure electric reliability by limiting the tree’s potential to come in contact with the power line. As BGE works to enhance our tree and vegetation management efforts in accordance with the PSC’s RM 43 standards, trees that BGE may have allowed to previously coexist with distribution power lines may now need to be pruned or, in some cases, removed. Additionally, BGE will conduct more comprehensive tree and vegetation management along its overhead lines located close to the company’s electrical substations – important facilities that manage the delivery of power from generating plants to customer homes and neighborhoods. The PSC’s standards specify that BGE and other Maryland utilities remove all overhanging limbs from the substation to what is known as the first “protective electrical device” that is set away from the substation. These protective devices are used to minimize the effect of power interruptions, similar to the circuit breakers in your residence. In some cases, BGE may extend beyond these devices if the community’s electric reliability will benefit from the effort. In these cases, BGE employees and contractors will work with individual customers to address concerns and questions.
I live near a transmission line – will I be affected by RM 43?
In recent years, BGE increased its already robust tree and vegetation management efforts around transmission lines to further limit any potential for vegetation-related power outages. Because of this aggressive initiative, the impact to the vegetation along BGE’s transmission system resulting from RM 43 will be limited.
 

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