Pole Equipment

What’s on the pole?

More than 170,000 poles help us deliver electricity throughout our 5,000-square-mile service area. Most carry our distribution lines and third-party utility services, but many include a transformer and other equipment that keeps your lights on.

Use the interactive illustration below to learn more about the most common pole-mounted equipment.

Pole Equipment
Primary Lines Insulators Crossarm Neutral Line Cutout with Fuse Transformer Arrestor Secondary Lines Attachments Guy Wire Ground Wire

Primary Lines

Primary lines sit atop the pole. Each carries 12,470 volts of electricity from the substation.


Insulators prevent energized lines from touching the pole or crossarm.


The crossarm supports the weight of the lines and keeps them separated.

Neutral Line

The neutral line carries electricity back to the substation to balance the load on the system.

Cutout with Fuse

A cutout with a fuse opens when there is a problem with the line or transformer. It produces a loud bang when it opens.


The transformer converts – or "steps down" – higher-voltage electricity to a lower voltage suitable for most homes and businesses.


Arrestors protect the other equipment from lightning and other power surges.

Secondary Lines

Secondary lines (or "service drops") carry lower-voltage electricity – typically a 120/240-volt split – from the transformer to the point of service.


Pole attachments include non-CORE lines, such as broadband, telephone and cable.

Guy Wire

A taut guy wire helps stabilize the pole.

Ground Wire

A ground wire runs the vertical length of the pole and redirects excess electricity safely into the ground.