Skip to main navigation.

Beautify your yard, not utility equipment

Green or grey utility boxes, known as pad-mounted or padmount transformers, are part of the supply chain that helps provide power to your neighborhood. Those boxes sit on an easement, which allows us access to them.

What are the green boxes for? Their job is to step down high-voltage electricity to a lower voltage needed for the underground wires supplying power to the lights and appliances in homes.

Please do not paint, enhance, block or otherwise obstruct padmount transformers. By respecting all utility equipment, including meters and transformers, you can help keep the power on and your local utility workers safe.

As you beautify your yard this spring and summer, Clay Electric Co-operative and Safe Electricity remind you of these safety tips:

  • Do not plant shrubs and trees close to padmount transformers or other utility equipment. Limiting or restricting access to the box in your yard could delay restoration work during an outage and create a serious safety hazard. We need at least 10 feet of clearance in front of the transformer (the side that is padlocked), as well as four feet of clearance on the other three sides. Do not place any items on or hang any items from utility equipment, this goes for padmount transformers and utility poles too!
  • Contact us with questions about landscaping around or installing fencing near a padmount transformer (or any other changes) to learn what is allowable.
  • Contact us if the transformer becomes unlocked or if it or any other type of utility equipment appears to be damaged.
  • Call 811 prior to digging around a transformer and respect the clearance requirements noted above. If you dig near a transformer (even if it is beyond the clearance requirements), you could inadvertently hit a live underground cable. Always call 811 prior to any digging.
  • Keep a clear path to the transformer. The transformer is on an easement and our workers need clear access to it to maintain equipment and keep power running smoothly. 4081-001

Contact us with any questions or concerns about the safety of padmount transformers. Always teach children that they should not sit on, open or play around the padmount transformers. For more about electrical safety, visit