The presence of electricity cables is already an integral part of the public space and the landscape of the modern world. Most likely, many of us do not even realize that there could be streets or boulevards without the ubiquity of electricity poles, but in many places, institutions that run public spaces are beginning to change that – electric cables are beginning to be “hidden” from our eyes by a simple procedure – burying them underground.
There is also an upward trend related to this method in the case of homeowners. More and more people want to enjoy a more pleasant view of the environment of the house, without poles to pass through their yard, so they consider this process of burying cables underground.
How Much Does it Cost to Bury Power Lines?
The amount of money you are going to spend in order to bury your power lines will be influenced by some factors such as the place where you are living, the power company you are working with, the complexity of the job, and the geography of the area. During our research, we were able to find that the majority of the power companies are charging a certain price per foot and a one-time administration fee. These can be paid either to the power company or to a general contractor. Besides these, depending on your situation, you will have to also purchase a new power meter.
Expect to pay anywhere between $7 and $10 per foot to have a qualified contractor or an electrical company bury the power lines, besides the miscellaneous fees, which we are going to talk about below. In this cost, the conduit costs may or not be included, which you may be responsible for in most cases. To get an idea about how much would you have to budget to get the power lines buried for an average home, positioned at less than 250 feet from the road, it would be anywhere between $2,700 and $5,700.
In the table below you will find the average costs for burying the power lines, depending on the distance from the electrical facility to where your meter is connected.
|Distance in feet from electrical facility to where your meter is connected||Cost estimate|
Note: The costs of the vaults, conduit, or trenching are not included in these price estimates.
As all the jobs are different and unique, it is recommended to ask for multiple price offers from the contractors in your area. Most of the professionals are more than happy to offer you a quote over the phone or through an e-mail after you explain your job. This is also a good way to see how you should budget for this project.
According to a member of the anandtech.com forum the cost per foot is around $8, plus a $650 new meter fee and another fee of $320.
Another member of the GarageJournal.com forum said that he had to pay $2,500 in order to bury 435 feet of electrical wire for his property.
You should plan on spending around $650 in order to burry 250 feet of power lines if you hire your own power company, according to a member of the DoItYourself.com website. The costs of the conduit are not included in this price.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, a homeowner should be prepared to spend anywhere between $450 and $550 for the power company’s fee and another $1,600 to $3,.200 for the electricians’ costs.
There is a totally different story when talking about burying power lines for a town or city. According to an article on CNN, it costs around $1.2 million for one mile. However, this cost may halve or even triple, depending on the population density and geography.
What are the extra costs?
In case the electrical company will not provide the conduit and you will have to purchase it, you will have to pay anywhere between $5 and $10 per ten feet.
In most situations, you will need to purchase a new meter and this will cost you another $450 to $650.
According to most people who have buried their power lines, you will want to upgrade the panel as well, usually from 100 amp to 200 amp. If you are going to hire an electrician, you should plan on spending more than $1,550 on this job.
In case you will work with your electrical company, it will charge a setup or administration fee which is anywhere between $250 and $550.
Usually, you will need a permit from your local authorities and if it is not included in the final bill, you will have to budget for this as well.
Additional charges may be applied if any obstructions are observed while digging the trench.
Important things to consider
When burying the power lines an entire team will be involved, from the local cable company that will mark their underground lines and a city inspector to your power company and the electrician. In general, when you start such a project you will have to first contact your power company or a local electrician to offer you some guiding lines.
Always make sure you talk with your electricity company before hiring a professional to see what are your limitations. There are electrical companies that will force you to work with them while other companies may refer you to a third-party electrician.
The state and the city you live in will greatly influence the costs and affect the final result. However, you should not be surprised if the electrical company you are working with will ask for an extremely high price.