Safety, Environment and Sustainability

Be Prepared and Stay Safe!

Health and Safety is Saint John Energy's number one priority. Click here to read our Health and Safety Policy.

The safety of our employees, customers and community is more important to us than any business interest. It’s not just a priority, but a value that guides our business practices every day.

With 13 substations, 22,000 poles and over 750km of overhead and underground distribution line to maintain, we continuously work to exceed safety benchmarks within our industry.

Electricity is an essential but dangerous element we encounter every day. Carefully handling electronic appliances, devices and electrical issues within and around your home is an important part of keeping you and your family safe.

Safety In the Yard and Community

Call Before You Dig – 1-866-DIG-LINE

Are you planning a home addition or new well and looking to dig? Thinking about a new garden or new tree for your yard? Be sure to call our Dig Line at 1-866-344-5463 to ensure there aren’t any buried wires. You can also submit requests through the Info Excavation app on your smartphone (download the app here). With two working days’ notice, Saint John Energy will visit your property and mark the areas where Saint John Energy underground wires are located. Be safe and avoid potential injury or costly repairs. Please note that if Saint John Energy's facilities on the customer’s premises are damaged, other than through normal wear and tear (e.g. weather), the customer is responsible for the charges associated with repairing or replacing these facilities.

Minimum Working & Building Distances
  • When working outdoors, ensure you are at least 3.6m / 12ft away from the nearest power line and at least 1m / 3ft from the service line that runs to your house. Be careful carrying long ladders or other long tools near your home or near power lines and utility poles. See tips for staying safe when you are close to power line here.
  • If you want to work closer than the distances listed, it may be possible to have Saint John Energy place cover on the line to help protect you. Call us at (506) 658-5252 to ask about having a crew visit your home to install temporary rubber coverup.
  • If you are building a house, garage or other structure, or adding onto an existing structure, you are responsible for ensuring it is not too close to power lines. More information is provided here.

Vegetation Management

Vegetation around power lines can be extremely dangerous. If a tree falls onto a power line, it may create an electrical hazard and cause damage. It can tear down the line, break the poles, cause power outages or start a fire. If you see a line down or trees on top of a line make sure to keep a safe distance (a minimum of 10 metres), do not attempt to move the fallen or overgrown vegetation and call Saint John Energy at (506) 658-5252.

Tree Trimming, Pruning & Removal

To reduce the likelihood of dangerous occurrences and to prevent accidents, call Saint John Energy at (506) 658-5252 any time you are thinking about trimming, planting or removing trees around power lines on your property. We want to protect our customers and help them manage vegetation on their personal property, and upon request we can remove and reinstall the service lines for safe removal. Hiring professional tree trimmers for your personal property vegetation management needs is the safest solution — never perform tree trimming around power lines on your own. Only certified, trained tree-maintenance personnel should perform vegetation maintenance that is within three meters of a power line.

Fallen or overgrown trees on power lines are dangerous, and affect the safety, reliability and maintenance of our service. Our tree-trimming experts decide the best solution to protect the health of the tree while creating sufficient clearance for the tree from power lines.

Gardening Safely

It is important to plan ahead before you plant any vegetation on your property. By taking a few precautions your trees can avoid being trimmed or removed. By choosing the right-sized tree for the area, you will reduce the chance of fallen or overgrown trees on power lines.

A pad-mounted transformer is usually a green metal box, which contains high-voltage electrical equipment. Before doing any garden work around a pad-mounted transformer, please call the Dig Line at 1-866-344-5463 and Saint John Energy at (506) 658-5252.

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)

Please click here to read our document on frequently asked questions about EMF.

Out & About
Walking & Driving
  • If you are in a car accident and have struck a utility pole, stay in your vehicle and await assistance if possible.
  • If you must exit your vehicle, jump clear of fallen lines and land with both feet on the ground without touching your vehicle and shuffle away (maintaining contact with the ground) until you are a safe distance (at least 10 metres) from the accident scene.
  • If you are walking or cycling and encounter a downed wire, stay well back (at least 10 meters), even if they are not sparking or smoking. Call (506) 658-5252 or call 911 immediately. 
Utility Poles
  • Never climb utility poles, as overhead wires can contain very high voltage.
  • Do not attach any wires, cables, antennas, light fixtures, clotheslines or signs to poles, except with special authorization from Saint John Energy.
  • Never touch or climb a security fence.
  • Be sure to fly your kites, balloons or model airplanes / helicopters or drones away from power lines and substations.
  • Never throw objects (rocks, sticks, etc.) at a substation.
  • Obey all signage on a substation, such as “Danger – Keep Out” or “Warning – High Voltage.”
Padmount Transformers
  • Padmount transformers are the large green metal boxes sometimes found on lawns or in alleys.
  • Never play on or near pad-mounted transformers.
  • Don’t landscape any closer that 3ft around each side and the back of the transformer, and leave 8ft clearance from the front cabinet doors so that our crews can safely access the equipment inside.
  • If you notice one that is damaged, moved off of its concrete pad, leaking or unlocked, call (506) 658-5252 .

Your Safety In the Home

Here are a few important safety tips for indoor electrical use.

Living Room & Bedroom
  • Put safety covers on all electrical outlets to protect young children from injury.
  • Never run cords underneath rugs or carpets, as the cords could wear out and short-circuit without notice.
  • Always unplug electrical appliances when you are cleaning or repairing them.
  • Always keep bedding and clothes away from baseboard heaters or any other heat source.
Kitchen & Bathroom
  • Ensure only outlets equipped with ground-fault interruption (GFI) protection are installed near sinks and tubs.
  • Never insert a metal item into your toaster or other appliance, as metal conducts electricity and can shock you.
  • Never use water in an electrical fire. If possible, unplug the appliance and use a class C-rated (including class ABC) fire extinguisher if the fire is small. If the fire is not small leave the area and call 911.
  • Replace blown fuses with new fuses of the same amperage.
  • Never overload electrical outlets – this can be a fire hazard.
Shop & Porch
  • Ensure your power tools are designed for outdoor use (e.g. double-insulated wiring, three-way grounded plugs).

Environment & Sustainability

Sustainable Electricity Company™ designation demonstrates our commitment to sustainability through a holistic approach to addressing sustainability issues, including environmental, societal, and economic challenges and opportunities.

The designation requires utilities to conform to the internationally-recognized ISO 14001 standard on Environmental Management Systems and ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility. Together, they provide a platform for identifying and addressing key strategic sustainability risks and opportunities related to environmental, social and economic issues.

Click here to review our Sustainability Policy and our Environmental Policy.

Sustainable Electricity is an industry-wide initiative developed and implemented by the electric utility members of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA). By focusing on a three pronged vision of sustainability – environment, society and the economy – the electricity industry takes a holistic approach to managing its impacts and securing its collective future. Click here for more information about the Sustainable Electricity Program.

Saint John Energy is ISO 14001 certified and was recommended for continued registration following the January 2021 surveillance audit.