PECO is investing about $2.2 million in preventative tree pruning along 348 miles of aerial electric lines in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties to improve electric service reliability for approximately 43,000 customers. Work, which began the week of Dec. 31, will continue through the end of March. Preventative pruning around aerial power lines is vital to providing reliable electric service since vegetation causes about one-third of all electric outages.

Pruning will be performed in the Townships of Abington, Bensalem, Lower Moreland, Lower Southampton, Northampton and Upper Southampton, and the Borough of Bryn Athyn and City of Philadelphia.

“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 2013, PECO will invest approximately $33 million in its vegetation management program, which includes tree pruning and other vegetation removal around approximately 2,700 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.