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What’s that green thingy in my front yard?

What’s green, roundish and sticks out of the ground?

A shrub? A giant emu egg? A chubby garden gnome?

It’s a green dome, and while it might look pretty low-key, it actually keeping your home and those around you connected to the grid.

What is it and why is it on my front lawn?

Just like power poles, these domes, also known as a green electrical box or pillar, help provide electricity by connecting homes to the grid.

You’ll usually find them on front verges or in parks where there is underground power. Not all front verges will have a dome, as one power box can serve multiple properties.

The dome shells protect the live electrical wires found inside. In the same way you would treat any electrical equipment with caution, you need to be careful around them.

Dome types

There are two types of pillars – a mini pillar and a universal pillar. Both pillar types can connect up to four households, but a universal pillar also helps connect the underground network. This includes switching, interconnecting underground lines and maintenance work for high voltage underground cables.

Most pillars are dome shaped, but the new pillars look like a green square. Regardless of how they look, they all do the same thing and carry anywhere from 240 V to 415 V.

Which means they pack a punch when it comes to power.

Keep your distance

Touching an intact green dome won’t hurt you, but if it is damaged and you don’t realise, an exposed wire from a green dome is just as dangerous as a fallen power line.

And many get damaged. We get around 200 reports of damaged domes every month, often resulting from vehicles running over them, or being hit by lawn mowers. But we’ve also seen instances of kids jumping on them, and people using them as cricket stumps.

Reporting a damaged green dome is the right thing to do – just don’t touch it or look inside. Keep a safe distance, around eight metres, and make the safe call by reporting it to us straight away.

Green Domes FAQs

  • What is a green dome / pillar?
  • What are the main causes of damage to green domes?
  • What happens if I damage a green dome?
  • What are the different types of green dome / pillar?
  • What if my vehicle hits a green dome?

You may have seen a green dome (also known as a green pillar) on your property or in your neighbourhood and wondered, what does a green dome do and why do I have one?

Green domes play an important role in delivering electricity to you – it is the point of connection between your property and the main electrical network that runs along your street.

It is the same electrical wiring that runs from power poles to the top of houses, except underground. The green dome acts as a protective housing for the electrical wires that feed a property.

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Human interference is the main cause of damage to green domes.

This includes vehicles driving into or over the green dome, construction/building activity, landscaping activity and people playing or jumping on the green dome.

Grass or bushfires also lead to green dome damage.

If you or somebody in your presence damages a green dome, report it to Western Power immediately on 13 13 51.

Remember, a damaged green dome is as dangerous as a downed powerline. 

There are multiple types of pillars that you may come across in your area, all with a similar function - to get power safely and efficiently to your property.

The most common type is the green dome (also known as green pillar or mini pillar). Traditionally, the shape of these pillars has been dome-like, hence the nickname 'green dome'. There's also more of these types of pillars in the community than other types.

In 2018, we changed the standard pillar shape to rectangular for all new installations. So you'll see more of these popping up in the future.

Uni pillars are a larger version of a green ... Read more

If you’ve contacted a green dome with your vehicle it’s important you stay inside until you have sought further instruction from Western Power. Wires carrying potentially life threatening amounts of electricity may be in contact with the vehicle which may energise it. 

The safest option is to stay inside the vehicle until help arrives or you’re instructed otherwise by Western Power. If it’s unsafe to stay in your vehicle, jump well clear keeping both feet together. Don’t touch the vehicle and ground at the same time then shuffle away keeping both feet together. Check out this handy video about... Read more

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