PECO is investing more than $1.5 million in preventative tree pruning along 245 miles of aerial electric lines in southeastern Delaware County to improve electric service reliability for approximately more than 42,000 customers. Work will begin the week of August 13 and continue through the end of the year. Vegetation causes about one-third of all electric outages. Preventative pruning around aerial power lines is vital to providing reliable electric service.

Pruning will be performed in the Townships of Aston, Bethel, Chester, Lower Chichester, Nether Providence and Upper Chichester, and the Boroughs of Brookhaven, Marcus Hook, Parkside, Rose Valley, Trainer and Upland. Work also will take place in the city of Chester.

“Our goal is to reduce the frequency of tree-related outages and keep the lights on for our customers,” said Alex Brown, manager of Vegetation Management. “Preventative maintenance programs like tree pruning and other vegetation management play key roles in providing the safe and reliable electric service our customers expect.”

In 2012, PECO will invest approximately $28 million in its vegetation management program, which includes tree pruning around approximately 2,800 miles of aerial power lines on the electric distribution and transmission system across the service territory. The program also involves annual patrols of the system and pruning or clearing on a cyclical basis.

PECO’s vegetation management crews are trained in proper arboricultural pruning techniques, which are defined in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 Standard. This standard takes into account the type and location of the tree in relation to the overhead wires and the health of the tree. PECO notifies property owners prior to work beginning in each community. Areas where line clearance work is completed experience fewer outages and a significant improvement in electric reliability.