Keeping Transformers Clear

June 27, 2021

Thinking of landscaping around your transformer or junction box? Think again.

In many residential developments and neighborhoods, you’ll find transformers and junction boxes (the green box shown in the pictures below). These boxes are integral to the underground electrical system that provides electricity to the homes or businesses around them. These boxes are property of Stearns Electric Association. The Cooperative legally has access to the land the box is on, as well as the land around it, and is responsible for the maintenance of these boxes.

Before you try to cover them up, please know that planting shrubs, bushes, trees or flowers around these transformers and junction boxes, or covering them up in any way, is prohibited in order to keep our line crews safe and help ensure reliability of our electrical distribution system. As a general rule, people who live near these boxes may not plant or place anything within 10 feet of the front of the box and within 5 feet of the sides and back of the box. If there are plants or objects placed within the restricted area around the boxes, they must be removed. Co-op employees may remove obstructions if needed. If you need to dig in order to remove fixtures placed around transformer or junction boxes, please call Gopher State One Call at 811 prior to digging to avoid injury or accidents.

While we understand that these boxes may be considered eyesores, they are necessary to power homes. Transformer and junction boxes allow power lines to be placed underground as opposed to on poles above the ground. Please do not tamper with the box in order to change the appearance. They can’t be painted, enclosed or hidden by vegetation. If you have any questions or concerns about these transformers or junction boxes, please call us at (800) 962-0655.