A power easement is a right for the electric company to install and maintain electrical power lines, above or below ground, on private property. The property owner usually is compensated for this easement, and it runs with the property. This means the easement is permanent, and if the property is sold, the easement is still a part of the property.
Legal Recording of Easement
When an easement is given by a property owner, that easement is recorded or filed in the county records office, and usually the only ways to terminate the easement is for the power company to release its interest in the easement or both the property owner and power company agree to abandon the easement.
Liability of Power Easement
If an accident involving the power easement occurs on the property, the property owner and the electric company may be sued by the injured party. The easement agreement can be written to stipulate if the electric company or property owner is required to have insurance to protect either party against an accident. An easement does not transfer ownership in the property; it only provides the right to use the property.
Responsibility of Electric Company for Easement Maintenance
An above-ground power easement that is maintained by the electric company also includes the maintenance of the ground below the power line and any trees that are near the power lines. If the electric company determines that certain tree branches interfere with the power line, it will cut the branches itself at no cost to the homeowner.
- "Essentials of Practical Real Estate Law"; Daniel F. Hinkel; 2008
- Missoula Electric Cooperative: Right of Way/Easement Areas
- electric image by Eldin Muratovic from Fotolia.com