BC Hydro to replace 10,000 aging power poles this year

A BC Hydro crew works to replace an aging wooden power pole. To ensure the safety of workers and the public, we often need to cut the power locally when replacing aging poles.

Many of our power poles are at least 40 years old and need to be replaced

BC Hydro crews will continue to replace power poles across B.C. as part of an ongoing maintenance program that will see the replacement of more than 10,000 wooden utility poles this year.

BC Hydro maintains 900,000 wooden poles as part of its electricity distribution system that delivers power to homes and businesses throughout the province. More than 20 per cent of BC Hydro’s wooden poles have been in service for more than 40 years. In total, BC Hydro’s system includes 56,000 kilometres of distribution lines.

Over time, wooden poles weaken due to adverse weather, insects and wildlife. BC Hydro regularly inspects the old poles to determine their strength. Once a pole reaches end-of-life, BC Hydro installs new poles to improve the safety and reliability of the electrical system. The lifespan of a power pole is 40 to 50 years on average.

Pole replacement may require BC Hydro or its contractors to disconnect power. Crews take special care to avoid any unnecessary impacts to customers. However, if these maintenance outages need to be scheduled for safety reasons, BC Hydro or its contractors will let customers know in-person, or by mail or phone.

Learn more about pole replacement in our handy visual guide