Notes from the Underground Utilities

NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND UTILITIES Don’t want a hurricane knocking down your power lines again? Move out to a brand new neighborhood! “CenterPoint Energy, the power distribution company for much of the Houston area, has installed 12 times as many miles of underground residential lines as overhead lines in the past two years: 924 miles versus 77. ‘In the marketplace for new homes it’s assumed you’ll have underground lines,’ said Doug Konopka, president of DHK Development. Going back, however, and burying existing lines in older areas, or even the higher-voltage lines that feed new developments with underground lines, is significantly more expensive. Where an above-ground line might cost about $20 per foot, below-ground service can exceed $400 per foot, said Terry Finley, vice president of distribution engineering and services for CenterPoint.” [Houston Chronicle]