Network Encroachments

Private power pole on a property

A network encroachment is any structure or activity that intrudes, or has the potential to intrude, within safe clearance distances of our electricity network.  Our network includes, but is not limited to infrastructure such as powerlines (wires), power poles, stays, substations, underground powerlines, switching stations, padmount transformers, pillars and streetlights.

Encroachments can cause serious safety risks and limit access for our crews to complete important maintenance and repair work or to restore power following an outage.

The below examples would be considered an encroachment:

  • A shed or liveable structure close to a pole or overhead wires
  • A structure or gardens close to a padmount substation
  • A farm dam built under the overhead powerlines and reducing ground clearances
  • Agricultural netting built under and around our poles

If a development is constructed or an activity undertaken within safety distances and is deemed an encroachment these will need to be relocated or removed. Alternatively, subject to our approval, the landowner may elect to relocate our infrastructure at their cost (including acquisition of new easements).

If you believe that you will be constructing/developing near an Essential Energy asset or infrastructure and require an assessment please contact us using the encroachment form. A fee is payable at the time of submitting the form. Submitting an assessment request early may save you time later with your development plans. We have a guide to help explain when development applications should be referred to Essential Energy.
Download the Developments near Essential Energy’s infrastructure guide

Electricity easements help us to maintain and safely operate our infrastructure. Find out more about easements.

Additional resources

Network Encroachment Fact Sheet
Network Encroachment FAQs
Electricity Supply Act 1995
Agricultural Netting Fact Sheet