As an electric utility, we must strike a balance between the aesthetics of trees, and the safety and reliability of our customers.
The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) has instituted new, stricter federal reliability standards. The new standards come with hefty fines – up to $1 million per day. These new standards have caused utilities across the country to evaluate the tree canopy that could affect the electric grid.
About a year ago, Tampa Electric began complying with the new standards. The work is being supervised by degreed foresters and certified arborists. When we can, we prune trees near our lines, but most of the work to meet these standards involves clearing trees from our easements as appropriate.
We hate having to remove trees, but we are obligated to comply with the new federal standards.
We expect to be done by the national deadline of July 1.
The National Arbor Day Foundation has designated Tampa Electric as a Tree Line USA utility for the sixth year in a row. We are proud that our efforts to respect the environment – while providing reliable service – have been recognized on a national level.
Read more about tree trimming.