PECO is investing nearly $1 million in preventative tree pruning along 292 miles of aerial electric lines in Philadelphia County to improve electric service reliability for approximately 175,000 customers. Work is scheduled to begin the week of October 3 and continue through December 2011. 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 following neighborhoods of south, west and central Philadelphia: Cobbs Creek, Kingsessing, West Philadelphia, University City, Grays Ferry, Point Breeze, Wharton, Fishtown, Spring Garden, Northern Liberties, Fairmount and Belmont.

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

This year, PECO will invest $33 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.