Hunters – shoot smart, keep costs down

In rural areas across the state, Aiken Electric and other not-for-profit Doves on power linecooperatives spend ­thousands of dollars per year repairing equipment, power lines and fiber optic cables that have been struck by a stray shot. Repairs can be very costly and we strive to keep operating expenses down for all members by making every effort to recover costs from any party responsible for facility damages.  We need your help – please join us in this collaborative effort to keep “unplanned” maintenance and repair costs for our members as low as possible.

Hunters and other gun-owners should not shoot at or near power lines, power poles, electrical equipment or ­substations. A stray shot can not only cause damage to ­equipment, it could be deadly to the shooter, and potentially interrupt electric or internet service to large areas. Sometimes the damage doesn’t become apparent for several weeks or months, and is only discovered when an unexplained outage occurs. With the ongoing installation of fiber optic cables, the likelihood of causing additional costly damage increases. Whether you are a land owner, contractor, or visitor on someone’s property, if Aiken Electric lines (or equipment) are damaged, the responsible party will be held liable for repair costs associated with their actions.

Here are a few safety tips to follow while enjoying the great outdoors:

  • Familiarize yourself with the ­location of power lines and equipment on land where you shoot.
  • Do not shoot at or near power lines, power poles, electrical equipment or ­substations.
  • Be especially careful in wooded areas where power lines may not be as visible.
  • Do not place deer stands on ­utility poles or climb poles. Energized lines and equipment on the poles can ­conduct electricity to anyone who comes in contact with them, causing shock or electrocution.
  • Do not shoot any firearm (pistols, rifles or shotguns) at, or near, birds or animals perching on utility lines.
  • Do not place decoys on power lines or other utility equipment. Anything attached to a pole, except ­utility ­equipment, can pose an obstruction — and a ­serious hazard to electric ­cooperative employees as they ­perform utility operations.

Our mission at Aiken Electric is to empower communities by providing reliable, competitively priced energy and services desired by our membership.  An important aspect of keeping costs low for our members is educating and partnering together to keep everyone safe.

*Responsible parties will be held liable for any damages to our fiber optic and power lines.