Rights of Way & Power Lines


Safe, secure, reliable

The ground under power lines must be kept clear at all times in order to ensure British Columbians enjoy a safe, secure and reliable source of electricity.

Power line rights-of-way (ROWs) – the land under and near power lines – can contribute to communities through the development of greenways, recreational corridors, and agricultural uses.

By working with landowners, local governments, public agencies and interest groups to use ROWs, BC Hydro has helped to develop a network of ROWs that is compatible with public safety and security of the electricity system.

BC Hydro-maintained ROWs include Crown, First Nation land, and private holdings that are used for a variety of compatible uses. Some examples of compatible uses are: access, greenways, commercial purposes such as tree farms and parking, recreation and wildlife habitat.

Guidelines for compatible use

BC Hydro has developed guidelines which provide advice to property owners, developers, planners and designers on how to develop near overhead power lines considering aesthetics, vegetation and scale as well as public safety and system security needs.

A ROW on private property can create opportunities for individual property owners to enjoy larger lot sizes with the potential for large gardens and outdoor spaces, while the use of public ROW corridors for public amenities such as walking trails, playing fields, and bicycle paths contributes to attractive communities which in turn serves to enhance neighbourhood appeal and residents' property values.

Partners in Use is a program for using power line ROWs for activities that are compatible with public safety and the security of the electricity system. These activities may include:

  • secondary uses such as parking lots
  • pipeline crossings
  • walking trails
  • playing fields
  • pollinator gardens
  • golf courses
  • other community amenities 

Depending on the proposed use of the right-of-way, there are various procedures and guidelines to follow in order to maintain the safety of the electricity system.

To help you determine which of activities are allowed on or off the ROW, use this document to learn about compatible uses, guidelines for accessing and using the ROW, and procedures for working with BC Hydro Rights of Way Guidelines for Compatible Use [PDF, 1.3 MB].

Compatible use proposals

Please submit your compatible use proposal online or print an application form [PDF, 90 KB] and send it to your regional office:

Properties – Lower Mainland (Including Sunshine Coast, north to Bridge River and east to Boston Bar)

2nd Floor -  8475 128th Street
Surrey, BC  V3W 0G1
Phone: 604 623 3637 Ext 1
Toll free: 1 800 667 1517
Fax:  604 543 1540
Email: properties.helpdesk@bchydro.com

Properties – Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands

PO Box 1500, 400 Madsen Road
Nanaimo, B.C.  V9R 5M3
Phone: 1 604 623 3637 Ext 4
Toll free: 1 800 667 1517
Fax: 250 755 7190
Email: properties.helpdesk@bchydro.com

Properties – Prince George - Northern Region (Including 100 Mile House to the Yukon Border)

PO Box 6500, 3333-22nd Avenue
Prince George, B.C.  V2N 2K4
Phone: 1 604 623 3637 Ext 3
Toll free: 1 800 667 1517
Fax: 1 604 623 3951
Email: properties.helpdesk@bchydro.com

Properties – Vernon - Southern Interior (South of 100 Mile House to the USA Border)

1401 Kalamalka Lake Road
Vernon, B.C.  V1T 8S4
Phone: 1 604 623 3637 Ext 2
Toll free: 1 800 667 1517
Fax: 250 541 2602
Email: properties.helpdesk@bchydro.com

For more information about submitting your application or paying application fees, please contact the Properties Provincial Help Desk at 1 800 667 1517 or by email.

Please respect private property

Transmission lines run through corridors, which BC Hydro manages according to specific property rights acquired by BC Hydro from the land owners. Such property rights are known as statutory rights-of-way or easements.

On occasion, some members of the public use transmission rights-of-way for snowmobiling, ATVing, hiking, hunting, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities. While some of these rights-of-way are on public land, others are privately owned.

It is important to remember that property owners have granted certain rights to BC Hydro, including the right to build, maintain and access the power lines. However, these rights do not extend to public access.

Any individual travelling along power line rights-of-way without the property owner’s consent is subject to the same laws of trespass as if they were trespassing on any other private property. Please do not use power line rights-of-way unless you have the consent of the appropriate property owner.