What is that Big Green Box?

As more and more electric lines are buried in neighborhoods and throughout your local electric co-op’s territory, more big green metal boxes — about the size of a mini fridge — are likely to be seen. These are pad-mounted transformers.

They may look different, but they serve the same purpose as those gray cans normally seen on top of power poles. They step high-voltage electricity down so it is more useful and safer for your home. The only difference is that the pad-mounted transformer connects to underground power lines rather than overhead lines.

These green boxes look pretty innocuous in your neighborhood, but they should be treated with the same respect you show overhead power lines. They route a lot of electricity and a lot of danger lurks inside.

Never open one. Report it to your electric co-op if you find it unlocked or the lock broken. Teach children to stay away from them. Don’t use them as a bench while waiting for a bus. Don’t play on them. Never use them as a step stool to reach something overhead.

That big green box is an important part of the electric grid.