The electric power industry has long stated that overhead (OH) electric distribution is more cost-effective than underground (UG) distribution. This was primarily because the capital investment was lower. But this is the 21st Century, and we don’t need to design electric distribution infrastructure using 20th Century wood poles, span guys, down guys, fly taps and aerial mounted equipment like transformers, switches and cap banks.

We need a new paradigm of thinking about the electric distribution system.

The total cost of ownership of OH versus UG distribution has changed. Recent technological and material advances now make UG more safe, reliable and resilient than OH over the life of the asset. And then, there is aesthetics. Dominion Energy, PEPCO and Florida Power & Light and their regulators are leading the way with strategic undergrounding. Explore the reasons for undergrounding electric distribution and examine their programs in the following pages.

Much study on the real cost of electric distribution has been conducted over the years.

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This is just the beginning of “The Case for Underground Distribution,” an in-depth whitepaper with the latest and greatest solutions for an industry of change.