SDG&E Leads America in Undergrounding Power Lines

Innovation and collaboration key to undergrounding more than 10,000 miles of power lines

Every day, the employees of SDG&E are hard at work to ensure everyone—including families, healthcare providers, schools and local businesses—have the energy they need, because when the power goes off, it impacts our customers.

One way SDG&E works to improve electric reliability is by working with cities and customers to underground power lines. Placing power lines underground reduces the risk of outages caused by car accidents, high winds during storms and other adverse factors, while improving neighborhood views. The ultimate goal of this effort is to make the electrical system more reliable for our customers.

This drive to be a leader in reliability has led the company to underground more power lines than any investor-owned utility (IOU) in California. Today, SDG&E has more than 10,000 miles of underground distribution lines, which represents more than 60 percent of the system. SDG&E’s undergrounding percentage is three times the national average.

An Innovative Approach to Undergrounding in the City of San Diego

In 2003, the City of San Diego approved an innovative program to fund the undergrounding of power lines in city neighborhoods by 2050. The goal of the surcharge is to underground as much of the city as possible by 2050.

Since the program’s inception, SDG&E has removed more than 5,000 power poles and undergrounded more than 200 miles of lines under the city’s direction. Today, approximately 75 percent of power lines in the City of San Diego are underground.

This year, the city will assist in both the design and construction in at least two new underground projects.  Click here to find out if your area is scheduled for undergrounding and to learn more about the Utilities Undergrounding Program or contact undergrounding@sandiego.gov