Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) is
committed to providing members with reliable power.
There are some things REC can’t stop – high winds,
ice storms, hurricanes – but it does what it can to
prevent other outage culprits, such as trees that can
Trees can be a power line’s worst enemy.
Strong winds, storms, and heavy ice can topple trees
or shatter branches that pull down power lines and
cause outages. Sometimes, even if heavily damaged,
lines remain energized with the potential to electrify
trees and nearby objects.
Tim Martin, vice president of engineering and
operations at REC said, “To cut back on potential
tree-related problems REC operates an aggressive
vegetation management program. Our line crews
and contractors regularly patrol the lines, looking
for potential hazards or “danger” trees that could
cause outages. It’s a job that’s never done – by the
time crews finish trimming activities along our 16,000
miles of distribution lines, vegetation has started
to grow back at the starting point.”
Weather-related events cause many of the power
outages for REC – 55 percent according to statistics
When thinking about
your home or neighborhood,
chances are you don’t picture
power lines. They’re easy
to overlook, strung high
above your roof, along
property lines and roadways,
or near trees. But the old
adage, “Out of sight, out
of mind,” may be dangerous –
power lines pose serious
electrical hazards if forgotten.
from 2012. But vegetation – trees, shrubs, brush –
growing too close to power lines and distribution
equipment leads to 15 percent of power interruptions.
In working to keep a safe, reliable, and affordable
supply of power flowing to your home or
business, REC needs your help. Let the Cooperative
know if you notice trees or branches that might pose
a risk to our power lines. Even more important, before
planting trees in your yard, think about how tall they
may grow and how wide their branches may spread.
As a rule of thumb, 25 feet of ground-to-sky clearance
should be available on each side of our utility poles
to give trees plenty of space to grow and not interfere
with power lines. Choose tree varieties with care
and plant with power lines
To report trees you think
may pose a problem, call
1-800-552-3904 or email
To find out more about
proper tree planting, visit
REC NEWS AUGUST 2013
to protect your
SurgeAssist is REC’s premiere
warranty program for your home
and is part of the HomeResources
line of products and services.
SurgeAssist provides the ease
of filing a claim with just proof
of a surge. This solution is designed
to protect you from the potential financial
losses incurred by having to repair or replace
electronics damaged by disturbances in the flow
of current into your home. You are eligible for
the program simply by being a member of
Butch Williamson, REC’s director of key accounts
and energy services explains, “Today’s electronic and
appliance damages and failures are common simply
because of how sensitive these devices are made.
Overhead and underground lines are at risk to have
disturbances, which are not frequent but do happen
from time to time. These disturbances can be the result
of the normal operation of electrical utility equipment,
animals making contact with electric lines, lightning
strikes, weather-related problems or vehicle accidents
involving power poles and lines. Since their invention,
power systems have always had disturbances, also
called transients or spikes.”
Williamson added that REC’s SurgeAssist program
offers peace of mind that those valuable items and
can be repaired or replaced if they are damaged by
a power surge. The program offers financial protection
against losses within the home of up to $2,000
of repair or replacement coverage (in a rolling
12-month period) for just $5.95 per month.
REC members who are interested in enrolling in
the program should call 1-800-851-3275 and a
customer service representative will get you started.
It’s that simple - REC will take care of enrolling you
in the program, and you will just pay the monthly fee
for SurgeAssist when you pay your electric bill. n
saving you money every day!
2 Ways to Save
1. Local Business Discounts – show your
Co-op Connections card at participating businesses
• Visit www.myrec.coop/localdiscounts for a list
of local business discounts OR
• Call REC at 800-552-3904 to request a printed
list of local business discounts
2. Online National Savings – Find the link to the
Co-op Connections website on the homepage of www.myrec.
coop. Browse through hundreds of national deals.
Need a new card? Contact 800-552-3904 or
The savings are endless with the Co-op Connections
program. Whether you’re shopping in the store or
online, let this benefit from REC go to work for you.
For general information:
To contact us: