The Illuminating Company Invests $16.5 Million in Tree Trimming Efforts to Reinforce Electric System During Severe WeatherWork includes trimming along nearly 2,000 miles of power lines in 2022
BRECKSVILLE, Ohio – The Illuminating Company, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), is conducting tree trimming and other vegetation management work in communities across its northeast Ohio service area as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance electric service reliability. This year’s $16.5 million tree-trimming program will help keep power flowing to customers by helping to prevent tree-related outages, such as those that can occur during the spring and summer storm season.
On the ground, contractors have trimmed trees along more than 400 miles of power lines across The Illuminating Company’s service area since the beginning of the year. The company’s program remains on track to complete an additional 1,600 miles of tree-trimming work by the end of the year. Similar work is performed annually by FirstEnergy transmission companies along high-voltage power lines in the company’s service territory.
“Trees are a leading cause of power outages, and we complete proactive tree-trimming work each year to prevent tree-related outages during severe weather,” said Ed Shuttleworth, president of FirstEnergy’s Ohio operations. “This work, paired with the vast upgrades we’re making to our local power system, undoubtedly helps minimize the impact of weather-related outages to keep the power flowing safely and reliably to customers.”
Tree trimming is done on a four-year cycle. The work includes inspecting vegetation near power lines to ensure trees are pruned to preserve the health of the tree while also maintaining safe clearances. Trees that present a danger or are diseased may be removed.
This year, the work is being conducted in the following counties and communities:
- Ashtabula – Ashtabula City, Ashtabula Township, Austinburg, Conneaut, Geneva, Geneva Township, Harpersfield Township, Jefferson Township, Kingsville Township, Lenox Township, Morgan Township, North Kingsville, Orwell Township, Pierpont Township, Plymouth Township, Rome Township, Saybrook Township and Windsor
- Cuyahoga – Bay Village, Beachwood, Bedford, Bedford Heights, Berea, Bratenahl, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Brook Park, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, East Cleveland, Eastlake, Euclid, Fairport Village, Fairview Park, Garfield Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Independence, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Maple Heights, Mayfield Heights, Middleburgh Heights, Moreland Hills, Newburgh Heights, North Olmsted, North Royalton, Oakwood, Olmsted Falls, Olmsted Township, Orange, Parma, Parma Heights, Pepper Pike, Richmond Heights, Rocky River, Seven Hills, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, Strongsville, University Heights, Valley View, Walton Hills, Warrensville Heights, Westlake and Woodmere
- Geauga – Aquilla Village, Auburn, Auburn Township, Bainbridge, Burton Township, Burton Village, Chardon Village, Chester Township, Claridon Township, Hambden Township, Hunting Valley, Huntsburg Township, Munson Township, Russell Township, South Russell and Thompson Township
- Lake – Concord Township, Grand River, Kirtland, Madison, Madison Township, Mentor, Painesville, Painesville Township, Perry Township, Perry Village, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills and Willowick
- Lorain – Avon and Avon Lake
As part of its notification process, The Illuminating Company works with municipalities to inform them of tree-trimming schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way also are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.
The Illuminating Company’s vegetation management work is conducted by certified forestry experts under the company’s direction, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Davey Tree Expert Company, Penn Line Services and Townsend Tree Service.
In the air, helicopters equipped with aerial saws began trimming trees in April to maintain clearances along hard-to-access transmission and distribution corridors throughout The Illuminating Company’s service area. The aerial saw is typically deployed along transmission and distribution lines in areas that may be environmentally sensitive or inaccessible to bucket trucks and other vehicles. This method typically covers more area in a day than a ground crew might complete in a week. The saw also eliminates the risk of injury to workers using bucket trucks or climbing trees to cut limbs near high voltage equipment.
The Illuminating Company serves more than 750,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Follow The Illuminating Company on Twitter @IlluminatingCo and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IlluminatingCo.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Editor’s Note: Photos of workers trimming trees near FirstEnergy power lines are available for download on Flickr. A video explaining and demonstrating tree-trimming work can be found on FirstEnergy’s YouTube channel.
News Media Contact: Lauren Siburkis, (330) 203-8850; Investor Relations Contact: Irene Prezelj, (330) 384-3859