For Immediate Release
1-800-375-7117 (media hotline)
NEWARK, Del. (Aug. 17, 2021) – Delmarva Power customers will continue to benefit from the company's ongoing effort to trim trees and remove vegetation along nearly 6,020 miles of aerial power lines in 2021. This work, which will continue through the year, will help maintain safe and reliable service for the company's more than 532,000 customers across Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Tree trimming and vegetation management work is a critical component of Delmarva Power's efforts to continue to provide its customers with reliable energy service, especially given the growing threats from severe weather and powerful storms driven by climate change. Trees coming in contact with electric infrastructure and wires cause about 24 percent of power outages for customers each year across the company's entire service area. Delmarva Power's enhanced tree trimming efforts are having significant impacts on the reliability of service the company provides. Since 2011, the frequency of outages experienced by customers caused by trees and other vegetation has decreased by 37 percent.
Throughout the year, customers are periodically notified of upcoming vegetation management work and may notice tree-trimming crews across portions of the company's service area, particularly in Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Kent (DE and MD), New Castle, Queen Anne's, Sussex, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. As part of Delmarva Power's robust vegetation management program, the company performs routine vegetation management on a four-year cycle, adhering to Delaware and Maryland Public Service Commission's specifications.
Delmarva Power's vegetation management crews are trained in proper arboricultural techniques and practices as defined in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 Standard. This standard takes into account the type and location of the tree, its relation to overhead equipment, and overall health of the tree. When pruning trees to provide clearance from overhead equipment, Delmarva Power uses directional pruning techniques, whenever possible, to help direct tree growth away from equipment while also maintaining the health of the vegetation.
Delmarva Power's Vegetation Management Program is part of the comprehensive preventive maintenance work the company undertakes each year to proactively review its system and address potential problems before they occur. This work includes inspecting existing infrastructure, installing new, more modern energy equipment, and installing stronger, tree-resistant aerial cable.
The company is also installing innovative technologies to improve system reliability, such as specialized equipment that can automatically restore service or isolate damage, leading to faster restoration.
Due to this work, Delmarva Power customers across Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland experienced a second straight year of the lowest frequency of electric outages ever in 2020, equal to 2019, a result of Delmarva Power's ongoing efforts to modernize the local energy grid. The frequency of power outages in 2019 and 2020 decreased from the previous low set in 2018, by 9 percent. Over the past ten years, energy system upgrades and new innovative technologies have reduced the frequency of electric outages by 53 percent for Delmarva Power customers and communities.
Pruning trees near power lines is hazardous. Delmarva Power asks residents not to trim trees on their property near power lines and to instead contact the company to report these findings for evaluation. Delmarva Power tree trimming personnel are specially trained to work in close proximity to electrical conductors.
For additional information or to request tree and vegetation management services, customers can visit delmarva.com/TreeTrimming or call 800-375-7117.
To learn more about Delmarva Power, visit The Source, Delmarva Power's online newsroom. Find additional information by visiting delmarva.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/delmarvapower and on Twitter at twitter.com/delmarvaconnect. Delmarva Power's mobile app is available at delmarva.com/mobileapp.