Digging near power cables and gas mains

If you’re doing any type of digging in the road, roadside or within properties, you must find out where underground electricity cables, gas pipes and other underground utilities are first. You can do this by contacting beforeUdig. 

BeforeUdig organises for underground utility owners, including Powerco, to send you free plans of where the gas pipes, electricity cables and other underground services are. We will need 48 hours before you start work to provide the electricity and gas underground plans to you.


Contact beforeUdig


Landscaping, fencing, re-piling, tree planting, driving in pegs or waratahs, installing drainage.


Landscaping, fencing or drainage work. If you’re roadside grazing or haymaking, take care driving in waratahs.


Laying or constructing underground assets, working on roads, erecting poles or signs, building or demolishing.

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Anyone digging

Always have plans before you excavate but don’t rely on plans alone as services can shift underground. 

Make sure underground services are located and marked out by using a specialised service locator business (please note that this will incur a cost).

Always carefully hand dig first to expose cables and pipes. Hitting an underground gas pipe or electricity cable can cause serious injury or death.

If you can’t find Powerco cables and pipes, call us for help on 0800 769 372

Close Approach Consent when digging

If you’ll be digging within 5m of power poles and their supports, transformers, switch boxes or other electrical equipment, you’ll need a Close Approach Consent (think of this as a permit). You'll also need a consent to dig within 2m of underground electricity cables and pipes. We’ll send someone to assess your site and issue the permit to do the work near our assets. Your permit can apply for up to a week.

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Standover request 

If you’ll be digging near strategic gas pipes or electricity cables, we’ll send one of our field crews to observe and advise your team while the work is being carried out. These assets are marked ‘strategic’ on the plans we send after you contact beforeUdig, and you’ll need to have a copy of them when you apply. Consents and standovers are provided free of charge. We need at least two working days’ notice. 

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Know what's below before you dig

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