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An easement allows Dominion Energy to use a property owner’s land to construct, operate and maintain transmission lines. These agreements are signed by property owners and recorded on the title of the affected real estate.

  • Review Dominion Energy's guidelines (VA, SC) for the use of electric transmission rights of way.
  • Download a brochure about the use of electric transmission rights of way (VA, SC)


Before a property owner makes any changes to the topography of or constructs any improvements within a right of way on their property, they must request permission from Dominion Energy. Property owners should contact Dominion Energy even if they have an approved permit from the city or county. Failure to obtain prior approval could result in the removal of the encroachment at the property owner’s expense.

Prohibited Activities and Items

Safety is paramount for customers and Dominion Energy crews performing work within or near rights of way. A right of way clear of obstructions helps prevent power outages. Dominion Energy requires the entire width of the right of way to be clear of structures and certain types of vegetation (including all trees).

Types of encroachments typically denied include:

  • Buildings, building extensions, building additions or any portion of a building - such as houses, offices, garages, barns, sheds, roof overhangs, gutters, balconies, decks, porches and covered patios
  • Most watercraft
  • Parallel roads and utilities
  • Stored trailers, motor homes/recreational vehicles (RVs) and inoperable vehicles
  • Playground equipment
  • Solar panels
  • Dumpsters and trash receptacles
  • Sprinkler systems (excluding drip systems)
  • Fire hydrants
  • Building materials
  • Debris, scrap or waste materials, fill, spoil material, stumps, large boulders, concrete debris, asphalt debris and construction debris
  • Retaining walls
  • Swimming pools, wells, septic tanks, drain fields (to include engineered systems), fuel tanks and propane tanks
  • Storm water ponds, Best Management Practices (BMPs), retention ponds or any man-made pond
  • HVAC units
  • Burial sites, family plots and cemeteries
  • Satellite dishes and television antennas
  • Any type of fire or burning

Encroachment Requests

Dominion Energy will review the pertinent easement documents, as well as operational and legal requirements. If permission is granted, Dominion Energy will issue a written consent agreement, which will contain certain conditions by which the encroachment will be allowed to take place or remain on the right of way. All encroachment requests must be submitted to Dominion Energy’s regional right of way representatives.

Request an Encroachment Authorization

Right of Way Guidelines

Whether the right of way is around a transmission tower or distribution power lines, there are strict guidelines in place for the safety of the public as well as Dominion Energy workers. 

Rights of way widths vary, depending on the type power structure as well as factors like the terrain in the area.

  • Transmission tower: 50 to 500 feet
    • Distribution power lines: 30 to 50 feet
    • Within the entire width of the right of way, plants may not exceed 15 feet at maturity.
  • Within the width of the tower structure, no tree canopies allowed, only short grasses and bushes.
  • Tree placement considerations:
    • Trees which are too tall or planted too close to a power structure can fall onto wires, causing a ground arc.
    • If trees are planted within the wire zone, broken wires can fall onto them, causing a fire.
    • Wires swing due to wind and can contact trees planted too close to the structure, causing a ground arc.
    • Tall growing trees or plants near the right of way width may be removed, significantly trimmed, or treated with herbicides periodically by Dominion Energy, depending upon the urban or rural setting of the right of way.

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