Right-of-Way and Easements

United Power utilizes three types of right-of-way and/or easements for construction of electric distribution facilities:

  • Public Utilities, including United Power, may install utility systems in our service territory within municipal road rights-of-way by means of Franchise Agreements with the cities and within the counties by statutory provisions.
  • Platted/dedicated easements are provided to United Power by virtue of dedication statements for every platted subdivision.  Widths and locations of easements vary with each subdivision; however, they are generally between five-and-ten feet in width and are adjacent to front, back, and/or side property lines.
  • United Power may require individual customers to grant easements for installation of new electric lines within or across the property being served.  The customer shall be responsible for provision of all easements and rights-of-way permits necessary for installation of electric facilities at no cost to United Power.  In the event the new United Power electric line must cross property other than that of the new customer requesting service, an easement will be required. If the new line will cross a highway, road, railroad, ditch, or other utility right-of-way or easement, United Power may be required to obtain a permit.  Please note that acquisition of these easements and/or permits may require payment of fees and/or preparation of a legal survey to provide the necessary documentation.  United Power will, in most cases, prepare and acquire the necessary easements and/or permits prior to start of construction, and related expenses will be included in the cost of extending service to the new customer.

General Restrictions on Rights-of-Way/Easements

  • To ensure compliance with National Electric Safety Code (NESC) requirements, right-of-way and easement grades cannot be changed more than six inches by excavation or filling without prior written approval of all utility companies involved.
  • If the property owner alters the terrain or in any other way causes a need for United Power facilities to be raised, lowered, protected, or relocated, the property owner will be required to reimburse United Power for the related expense.
  • If a new easement is required, the property owner will be required to grant the new easement at no cost to United Power.
  • Fences with access gates and landscaping may be installed on utility easements, except where such installations would prevent access to utility lines for operations and maintenance of utility equipment.
  • United Power prohibits the planting of trees or large bushes in easements because, upon maturity, they may require regular trimming to avoid contact with overhead electric lines or the root systems may damage underground electric cables.  Other permanent structures or buildings are not allowed within utility easements.
  • A minimum clearance is required around all underground vaults and above ground electrical equipment.  A distance of ten feet must be kept clear in front of all equipment service doors and at least three feet from the equipment pad or vault kept clear at all times.
  • Gates must be provided for ready access to all United Power electric facilities.
  • Trees should be planted far enough away from all vaults and above ground equipment so that, at maturity, overhanging branches will not obstruct a crane setting or removing equipment. Responsibility for upkeep and maintenance of landscaping in a utility easement is borne by the property owner.

In the event a fence or landscaping must be removed by United Power to repair or maintain electrical facilities, reasonable effort will be made to repair the fence or landscaping when maintenance is completed.

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