How Much Does It Cost to Move Power Lines?

  • According to Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey, Pepco poles cost between $2,000 and $60,000 to move. This cost includes restringing other power lines and adjusting the adjacent poles– to ensure the right distance required between power lines. (Source)
  • Wes Guckert, president of the Traffic Group, stated that some clients are paying over 1 million dollars to relocate poles. (Source)
  • Wes Guckert also said the price of moving each pole along major roads such as Rockville Pike in Maryland ranged from $100,000 to $200,000 for a proposed rapid bus network system. (Source)
  • Undergrounding, or burying power lines, roughly cost 1 million dollars per mile. However, the geography and the population density may either cut the cost in half or triple the cost. (Source)
  • Scenic America estimated that burying wires would cost $500,000 to $3 million per mile, compared to an overhead power line at only $120,000 per mile. (Source)
  • PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric Company) also estimated that converting overhead power lines is approximately $3 million per mile if converted into underground electric distribution lines. (Source)
  • Nevertheless, it is best to contact utility companies first if the company and the cost– shouldered by the client– would allow the relocation of power lines. You may check out this listing to find your local utility company for each state here.

Power Line Relocation Cost Factors

If you’re wondering how much does it cost to move power lines, there are a range of factors that influence the cost. There are several types of power lines (or transmission towers) to transport electricity produced at generating stations, depending on the kilovolt (kV). A kilovolt is a unit of potential energy equal to 1,000 volts, which is the building block of energy to power electricity-driven machines and devices.

Such power lines include a hundred-meter transmission line with 500kV power, a shorter structure with 230kV, another with 138 kV, and a 14-meter structure with 60kV. Distribution lines, on the other hand, are way shorter at only 10 meters high, with as low as 25kV power.

These power lines could indeed be visually intrusive in a scenic view or for the facade of a brand-new house. However, these power lines might also impose risks and hazards if placed in dangerous locations. That is why, citizens may now request utility companies to move a power line– where costs are to be shouldered by the client.

Here is a quick overview of the cost factors to move power lines:

Undergrounding

Power lines are structures for electric power transmission that distribute and transmit electricity across wide locations. They are usually situated on higher poles and have insulators to suspend the current in wires. These power line structures are usually made of laminated or grown wood, steel or aluminum, concrete, or even strong, quality plastic.

Undergrounding is the more costly choice of relocating power lines. It includes burying underground cables which, again, costs more than overhead power cables. Overhead power lines start at $10 per foot, but underground lines may cost you double ($20) or even quadruple ($40) of the overhead power lines cost.

Distance

As previously stated by Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey, Pepco’s estimated costs of moving power lines include both restringing or adjusting the cables and moving adjacent poles. Adjacent poles are moved to ensure a safe distance between overhead power line structures.

Thus, if the distance between the supposed relocated power line structure is relatively short onto its adjacent power line structure, clients will technically have to pay more. This is because not only one pole will be moved, but also other preceding poles. Hence, the utility company could adjust the succeeding power line structures and maintain a safe distance between the poles of the power lines.

Property Value

Ever wonder why a million-dollar residential building in California is significantly different from a million-dollar residential building somewhere else? This is because of a state’s property value.

The property value of different real estate, residential, or commercial buildings varies in different states. So, this may affect the power lines relocation pricing of utility companies for each state.

Citizens may request for power lines to be moved for whatever reason. However, some of the primary reasons that might urge individuals or even companies to relocate a power line include infrastructure construction, roadwork, architecture, and even aesthetics.

Overhead power lines can be quite an eyesore and may also impose hazards and risks in the area. Hence, it is essential for citizens to somehow get an overview of the primary costs and other cost factors on requesting to move power lines from utility companies– especially if they plan on doing so.

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