The Alberta Electrical Utility Code (AEUC) has mandatory requirements for clearance between powerlines and buildings, signs, antennas, satellite dishes, and other structures. Minimum clearances apply both vertically and horizontally and vary with the voltage of the line and the type of structure. For example, there are different clearance requirements for metal and non-metallic buildings, and buildings whose metallic parts are effectively grounded. In the case of ungrounded metal buildings, adequate clearance is needed to prevent electrostatic induction (the electrification of a conductor when placed near an energized source). The regulations have the purpose of separating construction workers, homeowners and others from potentially fatal encounters with electricity.
If you are unsure of the voltage of a powerline near your project, stay at least 10 metres away. Battle River Power Coop members, please contact the office for assistance in determining the safe distance for placing a structure near a specific powerline, and in locating underground facilities past the meter. Make the call during the planning stage of your project and avoid costly adjustments or relocation after construction is complete.
As a sidebar to the safe location of structures near powerlines, please remember that placing signage on power poles is also addressed by the AEUC.
Section 2 of the Code states:
- “Utility system poles and structures shall be kept free of all materials and equipment not required for the system, unless permitted by the operator of the utility system.
iii. No person shall make attachments to utility system poles and structures unless authorization has been received from the operator of the utility system.”
Signage on power poles, together with the nails and staples left behind upon removal, are a hazard for Powerline Technicians who must climb the poles. In the interest of both safety and efficiency, do not place encumbrances on power poles.