Warning

WHEN YOU NEED TO ESTIMATE THE DISTANCE TO A LINE, EYEBALL IT, DON’T USE A MEASURING INSTRUMENT! If you estimate by eye that the distance is close to the minimum required, never try to measure it more accurately by placing an instrument near the line. NEVER PLACE A TAPE MEASURE OR ANYTHING ELSE WITHIN 3 M OF A MEDIUM-VOLTAGE LINE.

If, after reading this page, YOU STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND THE REQUIREMENTS OR ARE UNSURE ABOUT ANYTHING, CALL HYDRO-QUÉBEC BEFORE STARTING WORK. A REPRESENTATIVE CAN HELP CLARIFY THE SITUATION.

Online form – Safety near power lines

Situation A: Putting up a garden shed or outbuilding

You can put up a shed or another outbuilding within a HORIZONTAL distance of 1.6 m from low-voltage distribution lines or even underneath them, if ALL THREE of these conditions are met:

  1. 1There’s a minimum VERTICAL distance of 3 m between the highest part of the roof and the closest low-voltage line.
  2. 2The shed’s footprint is less than 13 m2.
  3. 3The shed can be moved at any time at Hydro-Québec’s request.
Putting up a garden shed or outbuilding

Situation B: Putting up a garden shed or outbuilding

You can also put up a shed or another outbuilding within 1.6 m of low-voltage distribution lines or even underneath them, if ALL FIVE of these conditions are met:

  1. 1The low-voltage lines are twisted.
  2. 2There’s a minimum VERTICAL distance of 1.5 m between the highest part of the roof and the twisted low-voltage line.
  3. 3The roof is hard to reach. (For example, it’s a pitched roof that you need a portable ladder to get to.)
  4. 4The shed’s footprint is less than 13 m2.
  5. 5The shed can be moved at any time at Hydro-Québec’s request.
Putting up a garden shed or outbuilding

Other situations

If the shed is of a type or height that makes it impossible to meet the conditions above, you’re not allowed to put it up under the line. The shed must be a horizontal distance of at least 1.6 m from low-voltage lines or 3 m from medium-voltage lines. For more details, see How far away to stay from distribution lines.