Don’t fence us out

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 6.40.20 PMTexans love their land, and a locked gate is every property owner’s right.

But locked gates can impede Bluebonnet’s crews and contractors from restoring power during outages, trimming vegetation near power lines and performing important inspections and maintenance.

We respect our members’ property and their right to privacy and works with them to ensure their rights are protected while still allowing the co-op to access their property when necessary. We provide locks to property owners on whose land we have easements.

The locks allow owners to protect their property while ensuring our workers have access to rights-of-way and power lines when necessary, so they can do their jobs safely and efficiently.

The locks we provide are key-operated and have a stainless steel shank and brass body with our logo imprinted into it. Some members’ gates have older locks that have B.E.C. instead of the logo imprinted into them.

Gates that are chained shut can use our locks in two ways. Our lock and the property owner’s lock can be linked together, with each lock holding one end of the chain. Another option is to use a short piece of chain to connect the two locks, which each hold the end of the chain that keeps the gate closed. Opening either lock releases the chain, giving both the owner and our crews and contractors access to the property.

Members who have electric gates can program a code specifically for Bluebonnet, then call a member service representative at 800-842-7708 to have the code noted on their account. Whenever our crews need to get on the property, they can find the code via mobile computers in their vehicles.

Until about seven years ago, it was common for our members to see meter readers on their property monthly. Now that electric meters are read remotely, property owners may rarely see a co-op employee or contractor on their land. Understandably, a property owner would be cautious when they see unfamiliar faces on their land, even if they are Bluebonnet workers.

With about 11,000 miles of power lines serving more than 85,000 meters, our crews and contractors are always in the field, working to keep power flowing. With Texas’ unpredictable weather being the most common cause of outages, our crews need access to power lines all hours of the day and night, in all kinds of weather. Having a Bluebonnet lock on a gate or a designated code for electric gates helps us to restore power more quickly and safely. If a member doesn’t want one of our locks or doesn’t want to provide us with a gate code, they can help us and their neighbors by ensuring we have their correct phone number or by opening their gate during outages.

To get a Bluebonnet lock, provide a designated gate code or update contact information, members or property owners can call our member service representatives at 800-842-7708 or visit any of the five member service centers in Bastrop, Brenham, Giddings, Lockhart or Manor.


About Will Holford

Have you ever wondered about the future of electric use? Perhaps you’re curious about how some global or national events might impact your power, the environment or your bill? Maybe you’re just interested in what’s going on at Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. We want to share what we know, and that’s what the Bluebonnet Blog is about. Will Holford, Bluebonnet’s Manager of Public Affairs, is going to write most often for the blog. He’s been with the co-op since 2007, and has worked in communications for more than 14 years. Will enjoys learning about energy – and writing about it. He and other Bluebonnet employees (and occasional guest contributors) will get the conversation going -- about everything from where your power is generated to where it’s used, advances in technology, changes that will affect you, and interesting peeks behind the scenes at the co-op. We welcome your comments, questions and ideas. Email Will at
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