Stowe Electric Department serves 4,000 customers with 7.1 miles of transmission and 120 miles of distribution overhead lines within the Town of Stowe. About 70 miles of line require trimming. Stowe Electric Department has established a target of attaining a five-year vegetation maintenance cycle on transmission right-of-ways and a seven-year maintenance cycle on distribution right-of-ways. Tree outages are SED's top cause of all outages. In 2011, there were 31 tree related outages. Stowe Electric Department spent 50K per year for the last 3 years of trimming, and plans to increase its vegetation budget by 25% per year until the number of outages decreases. Stowe Electric Department's vegetation maintenance activities are conducted by Qualified Line Clearance Contractors who are bound by contract to adhere to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Std. A300. Stowe Electric Department's staff conducts routine maintenance inspections and contract administration to ensure that maintenance activities are conducted in accordance with established standards.
Lands within the Stowe Electric Department right-of-way are either owned by private individuals or are in State ownership. A perpetual easement is the most common type of utility right-of-way document. Most easements at Stowe Electric Department are 50 feet on distribution and 100 feet on transmission. A variety of vegetation is present along Stowe Electric Department right-of-ways, ranging from open agricultural land, low-growing shrubs and brush, as well as fully grown trees. Tree growth rates vary widely and depend on a number of factors, such as aspect of slope, moisture, sunlight, competition, seed source and soil makeup. The most common forest types in wooded areas along Stowe Electric Department right-of-ways are Northern Hardwoods, Spruce-Fir, Eastern Hemlock, Yellow Birch and White Pine
Stowe Electric Department's Right-of-Way policy can be found here.