Information About Defect Notices

Private power pole on a property

What typically results in a defect notice?

Defect notices for overhead consumers’ mains often relate to trees or branches growing too close to your private power poles and powerlines, frayed wires or other faults on your installation, or alterations or additions to existing connections which do not meet the necessary safety standards. Power poles in poor condition and at risk of collapse may also be identified in a defect notice.

The notice we send you will contain relevant details about any defects our asset inspectors have identified on your private power poles or overhead powerlines.

Indicative rectification costs

The following table provides some examples of typical maintenance tasks and indicative costs that you may be charged when engaging qualified contractors to complete the work specified in the defect notice. Please note that these costs are indicative only and do not:

  • include GST
  • allow for costs associated with complex and sophisticated pole configurations, difficult access, rock excavation, use of specialised equipment or traffic control
  • include potential additional costs for any necessary relocation of your network assets.
Typical defect Indicative rectification cost
Icon for trees near powerlines defectTrees near powerlines
Vegetation growing inside the minimum safe clearance is more likely to come into contact with live powerlines and interrupt supply or start a bushfire.
Vegetation management per powerline span
Icon for slack wires defectSlack wires
Powerlines or wires hanging too low can clash and lead to bushfires. Low wires may also breach the minimum height safety requirements.
Conductor re-tensioning
$1,200 to $2,300
Icon for clashing powerlines defectClashing powerlines
Powerlines that clash in high winds can spark and produce molten fragments, which may cause bushfires.
Installation of low voltage spreaders
Icon for damaged wires defectDamaged wires
If insulation is missing or damaged, the wire may be live and contact could be fatal. Damaged wires must be replaced.
Conductor replacement
$1,800 to $2,800
Icon for damaged fittings defectDamaged fittings
Pole fittings and attachments that are loose, frayed or deteriorating are a serious safety and bushfire risk.
Insulator replacement
$760 to $1,200
Icon for damaged crossarms defectDamaged crossarms
Over time, crossarms may deteriorate, split or become loose, leaving powerlines at risk of sagging, clashing or falling down.
Crossarm replacement
$1,000 to $1,500
Icon for damaged poles defectDamaged poles
Damaged poles can fail and break in storm conditions over time. A qualified contractor should check whether the pole should be replaced.
Pole replacement
$2,500 to $3,500
* Note: an upper and lower range of costs are shown.

Hardship provisions

Flexible payment plans or other financial options may be available for customers experiencing financial hardship in accordance with Essential Energy’s Support policy. If you want to discuss or access these arrangements, please contact Essential Energy as soon as possible after receiving a defect rectification notice.

Phone 02 6589 8860 and ask to speak with our Private Asset Management Customer Liaison Officer to discuss your individual circumstances.

Further information

Privately-owned power poles and powerlines brochure 
Frequently Asked Questions