Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dominion Power Town Hall Follow Up

About 80 people turned out for last night's Town Hall Meeting on the undergrounding of utility service.  There was some discussion about the cost and two studies.  I have posted the 2005 study by the State Corporation Commission done in the wake of Hurricane Isabel on undergrounding power lines below along with a link to the Thomas Edison study referenced as well.

The cost of a specific undergrounding project is a function of many variables. 

I am also conducting a survey of the views of 44th District residents to measure their level of interest in this issue and willingness to pay for undergrounding.  Click on the link below to complete the survey.
2005 State Corporation Commission Report Underground Lines


  1. After briefly skimming the report, my thoughts are this: If the levelized cost per customer was $3,000 in the community studied but the average customer is only willing to pay $180/year and the primary benefit to underground lines is aesthetics, then I am opposed to burying the power lines. I think increasing utilities or taxes to cover the underground lines would put an undo burden on the poor. If an individual household is willing to pay an extra $3,000/year for underground lines, they could also afford to get a generator. I grew up in a household that had a generator due to frequent power outages in the winter due to snow storms. The generator was worth it. Furthermore, it looks like underground lines are more susceptible to damage by flooding, folks digging, and take longer to repair. Hurricanes are less common than floods in this area. Let's focus more on maintenance of the current system and keeping those branches trimmed back from the power lines.

  2. CB - $3,000 per year is too expensive. No question about that. I don't think the cost is that much in neighborhoods.

    I'm looking into all this and will report back once I have some answers.