Skip to main content

Improve Your Experience

You are using a browser version that we do not support. Please use one of these supported browsers:

Behind the Meter

power meter

Learn more about the PUD and what we do, how we do it and why, as well as get some tips on conserving energy and staying safe around electricity.    

Selected Story

A padmount transformer is open, showing connections, and hot stickMost of us have probably been guilty of setting something on top of one, or leaning things against it, or forgetting it exists entirely, but let’s work toward treating our padmount transformers like the critical electrical equipment they are.

Those “green electrical boxes” alongside sports fields, in yards, in parking lots and other places have around 10,000 volts pushing through them. Like the transformers (large metal cylinders, usually gray) on some power poles, the padmount transformers take the high-voltage electricity from powerlines and “transform” it to a lower voltage that homes and businesses can use.

On any given day, a utility worker might need to access that padmount transformer – maybe there is an outage or the transformer needs to be replaced. It’s important to make sure they can do so without any difficulty. Stay safe and keep transformers clear!

  1. Keep at least 10 feet clear on the front side of the transformer. When utility workers access it, they use what some call a “hot stick” to open it and cut the power. (See the photo.) Less than 10 feet makes their work unsafe or impossible to do.
  2. Keep at least two feet or more clearance on all sides of the transformer. This is again partly for access, but also because if plants or other combustible items are up against them, it could be a fire hazard.
  3. Keep the top clear. Don’t put anything on top of a transformer or try to cover it with something. We have even found them buried – please give your transformer the space it needs to be accessible and reduce the risk of anything going wrong.

Again, keep in mind that if we need to access it quickly, anything that obstructs our access will have to be removed, including plants, fencing, etc. Public safety could be at risk, so please, keep padmount transformers clear.

More News Articles

Every winter, our region experiences its highest average bills of the year. December 2022 was particularly rough, with record-breaking cold…

We all know that meters keep track of how much electricity our homes and businesses use, but do we properly take care of that meter?

We might not think about this too much when it’s a nice spring day, but it’s always a good idea to have an outage kit ready – especially if the…


In the movies, a downed powerline sparks and flails around dramatically and it’s an obvious hazard. But danger around…

This is Part 5 of 5 regarding the energy usage costs of common household items. The more we realize how much energy we use, the more we can find…

This is Part 4 of 5 regarding the energy usage costs of common household items. The more we realize how much energy we use, the more we can find…