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Tree Trimming, Reliability, and Our Communities

Making sure Michigan energy consumers have access to affordable, reliable energy is one of AMP’s top priorities. But often lost in discussions about protecting reliability are the day-to-day things we all do to keep Michigan’s electric system—and our lives—running smoothly.

Tree trimming is one of those things. It has a huge, positive impact on reliability, especially as we head into storm season. Making sure that trees and bushes don’t impact electricity delivery is a big job, which falls mostly on the shoulders of Michigan’s local energy providers.

Protecting Reliability

According to Consumers Energy, roughly 30 percent of power outages are caused by trees. Working to minimize the number and impact of these occurrences is extremely important, even if it goes largely unnoticed by the public. Doing so is especially important during both warm and cold storm seasons—wind, lightning, and heavy snow are the main culprits when a tree impacts power lines.

The bulk of this work is done by workers employed by Michigan’s local energy providers, who regularly check lines to make sure trees, branches, and brush don’t become potential hazards—to people, property, or the electricity for consumers in any given area.

Ensuring Affordability

Trimming trees is also a proactive solution to help keep electricity affordable: Keeping trees and bushes clear from power lines helps lessen the chance of power outages, particularly during dangerous weather. That means local energy providers have to dedicate less time and fewer resources to resolving outages.

Ultimately, the time and money saved by Michigan’s energy providers translates into cost-savings for all consumers.

What Homeowners Can Do to Help

Electricity is a shared resource. It’s also a shared responsibility. One person’s tree in the wrong place at the wrong time can take out power for dozens of homes and businesses, even whole communities, often requiring workers from local energy providers to go out in dangerous conditions and risk their lives to restore power as quickly as possible.

Homeowners and others can help ensure this doesn’t happen by:

Proactive efforts to keep trees and bushes from taking out power lines are a win-win: electricity stays reliable and affordable for consumers, local energy providers can direct their resources into other important priorities, and workers stay safer and more productive.

What has been your experience with keeping tree limbs or other vegetation away from power lines? Let us know your thoughts.