12 Investigates — Cost of buried power lines - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

12 Investigates — Cost of buried power lines


The prolonged power outages and the heat have frustrations boiling over this week.

Many have asked us to take a look at the cost of just burying all the power lines underground so trees would not be able to take them out.

We've discovered — what may sound like a good idea, could cost you a lot of money.

Burying the power lines is appealing to many because we'd have fewer chances of major wind storms downing trees and knocking out the power.

It's also a cosmetic issue — people seem to like the idea of having not power poles line their neighborhoods.

But we've uncovered a study by the Virginia State Corporation Commission from 2005.

It found that overhead-to-underground conversion would, "result in tremendous costs and significant disruptions."

According to this report, more than $80 billion would be needed to move the lines — that cost would be passed down to you. It's estimated consumers would owe an extra $3,000 a year, or about $250 more a month.

It would also take decades to complete the project.

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