Safety & Education
Keeping you safe and the lights on
Alabama is blessed with an abundance of trees. But trees can also be a challenge to ensuring safe and reliable electric service for our customers.
We trim trees along our rights-of-way (the space under and around our power lines) to protect the safety of the public and our employees, and to keep your electric service among the most reliable in the industry. And with more than 80,000 miles of line to maintain across 44,500 square miles, it is a continual responsibility.
Although our electrical system can be affected by severe weather, such as lightning, high winds, tornadoes or ice storms, many more outages are caused by trees or tree limbs falling on power lines and power poles than by the weather alone. Trees also give wildlife, such as squirrels, easy access to our power lines. Squirrels and other animals on the lines are a common source of outages.
Trees that interfere or that threaten to interfere with power lines not only cause outages, they can also create a potentially hazardous situation that can lead to injury or death. Trimming trees helps reduce this hazard.
Trimming trees also help reduce the number of “blinks” customers may sometimes experience.
We trim or cut trees only where we have a legal right to do so and only where we believe it is necessary. Our employees who manage our tree-service contractors, along with the supervisors of our contractors, are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. In other words, they are trained to know the proper techniques for trimming trees.
Typically, before work begins in a neighborhood, a representative for Alabama Power will knock on doors and leave notices at homes where trees need trimming. A representative is also available to discuss tree-trimming guidelines with customers.
If you have questions before we come by your home, please call us at 1-800-245-2244 and ask to have an order sent to the vegetation management group.
Our tree-management program helps keep our system reliable, and helps us keep costs down when major storms strike – costs that are ultimately borne by customers.
You can help, by not planting trees that will grow too tall underneath power lines.
To learn more about how we work to keep your lights on, and how trees can affect reliability, we invite you to watch a short video:
To learn more about planting the right tree in the right place, this guide may be helpful. You can request a copy of this guide by calling customer service at 1-800-245-2244.
Trimming trees helps keep you safe, our rates affordable, and your lights on.
How Alabama Power prepares for storms, and how you can too: