The Economics of Undergrounding Utility Lines

The case against undergrounding utility lines is always based on cost. As the attached report completed for the city of Halifax Nova Scotia shows, underground utility lines are not only the same price as above ground utility lines, but provide a $10,000.00 per lot net benefit when all factors are considered including reliability, environmental costs and increased property values.  Climatologists, utility companies themselves and Emergency Measure Organizations are all predicting an increase in storm severity due to climate change.  This increase in storm intensity will only increase the costs related to wide spread power outages.  Utility companies often do not consider the societal costs related to power outages, and the loss of productivity, customer convenience and even public safety.

If we truly account for all the costs involved, undergrounding utility lines saves money.  Now is the time to implement a moratorium on above ground utility lines in all new commercial and residential development.

The Marbek ReportHalifax Economic Implications of Buried Electric Utilities

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