Committed to keeping communities safe around our electricity network _


If there is imminent danger to life, call 111 for Emergency Services.

Safety Information

Pillar Boxes and Transformers

A pillar box is a small enclosure which houses cable terminations, allowing easy access to make connections (such as street lighting) from our underground electricity network. You may notice them along the kerb’s around the streets.
Pad-mounted transformers are larger metal boxes, often with a locked door on the front of them. You will most commonly see them on the footpaths and sidewalks around the towns, and are typically a distinctive green colour. These boxes reduce high voltage electricity to a standard voltage used to power appliances, lighting and electronics in homes and businesses.

Some things to remember:

  • Pillar boxes and pad-mounted transformers are not rubbish bins!
  • Do not touch or open either of these items
  • If your pillar box or pad-mounted transformer is damaged, give us a call and we will come to make it safe

Fallen Lines

Car accidents, storms or trees colliding with power lines are common causes of power lines falling down and creating a serious hazard.

Electricity is both invisible and dangerous. If you come across fallen power lines:

  • Treat all lines as live – keep well clear and report immediately
  • Keep everyone well clear – at least 10 meters away
  • Do not try to remove any people, animals or debris that are stuck in the lines


If a vehicle is involved in an accident where power lines have fallen,  do not touch the vehicle.

Treat all lines as live and:

  • Call 111 and advise any occupants to stay inside the vehicle until Scanpower confirms the power is off
  • If your vehicle comes into contact with a fallen power line, stay inside your car and honk the horn for assistance
  • If you must leave the vehicle because of other danger, jump away from the vehicle and land both feet on the ground – Do not touch the vehicle
  • Keeping both feet on the ground, shuffle at least 10 meters away from the car
  • Advise people to stay clear
  • Do not try to rescue people or animals trapped by lines until Scanpower confirms the power is off

Trees and Vegetation

Did you know that electricity can travel through trees?  Which is why keeping trees clear of power lines is an important part of our role in keeping you safe.

Scanpower has responsibilities in manging trees and vegetation around our electricity networks and as a landowner, so do you. Trees must be keep at least 4 meters away from power lines and this is typically the landowners responsibility.

Simple tips to follow:

  • Trees grow at different rates. Check each year to make sure they are not a hazard
  • Plant smaller trees or bushes underneath power lines
  • Build the kids tree hut in trees that are safe distances from power lines


 Trimming your trees

  • Check your trees regularly and keep them greater than 4 meters away from power lines
  • If your trees are within 4 meters of a powerline, you might receive a trim notice
  • You will need a consent and specialist arborist to trim them if they are within 4 meters


Trees and your power supply

Above ground

If you working on the farm using digging equipment or the home handyman using ladders to get up on the roof, its important to stay safe around overhead electricity lines.

The first rule of thumb is to treat power lines as live at all times.

Simple tips to follow:

  • Keep yourself and any equipment at least 4 meters away from overhead lines as electricity can “jump” to you and your equipment
  • Don’t try and retrieve or remove anything touching a powerline such as shoes, tree branches or kites. Call us and we will take care of it
  • Secure trampolines in high winds so they don’t blow into lines 
  • Before raising equipment such as ladders, tractor front end loaders, truck hoists or elevated work platforms, check there are no wires above you
  • When erecting flag poles, tent poles or yacht masts, check there are no wires above you
  • If a tree is within 4 meters of a power line, you must use an approved contractor to have it trimmed

Below ground

Just because you can’t see the cables, doesn’t mean they are not there. Underground services such as internet, water, gas or electricity are often buried to eliminate hazards such as fire, accidents or power outages due to downed lines.  When digging in private property, road or roadsides, the first thing you must do is find where any underground services are installed.

Simple tips to follow:

  • It might be best to dig by hand first to expose what’s below the surface
  • For the DIYer – If you are landscaping, fencing, tree planting, or installing drainage, be careful where you drive in pegs or waratahs
  • For the Farmers – If you are fencing, putting in a bridge, grazing roadside, or drainage work, be careful where you drive in waratahs or use the digger
  • For the Contractors – If you are working on roads/roadside, installing poles or signs, building or completing demolition, check where existing services are and mark them out before you start any earthworks


We offer a free, cable location service.



Where work needs to be carried out within 4 meters of our power lines, you will need a Close Approach permit before any work begins.

If you need a Close Approach permit, download and fill in the attached form. Then email it to

Our control room duty officer will process the application and contact you with the permit details.

Alternatively, give us a call on 0800 80 80 39

Please note that to hold a permit, you must first have completed a Close Approach course. If you require information relating to course dates and information, please fill in the Contact Form on this site and we will get back to you with the details.



Close Approach Form

Cable Location

To make it easy to find where the power cables are installed, Scanpower provides a Cable Locate service.

Simply give us a call and we will tell you where any of our power cables are located.

And best of all, this service is free !