SAN DIEGO — San Diego Gas & Electric announced Thursday that it has moved roughly 20 miles of overhead power lines underground in the past year through a partnership with the city of San Diego.
The number of power lines SDG&E and the city have undergrounded is about four times what is achieved in an average year, according to SDG&E. The city and the company announced last year that they would collaborate with AT&T and Cox Communications to prioritize the removal of overhead utility lines to reduce the possibility of contact with them.
City officials and representatives of the three companies converged in Sherman Heights to celebrate the progress in undergrounding efforts. During the ceremony, workers removed one of the last power poles in the neighborhood near the corner of 20th and L streets.
“We are proud to partner with the city and telecommunications companies to accelerate the undergrounding of our utilities for the benefit of the families and businesses we collectively serve,” SDG&E Chief Operating Officer Caroline Winn said. “We have more work to do and look forward to our continued partnership with the city.”
Funding for undergrounding work comes from a surcharge included in SDG&E ratepayers’ bills, and approved in 2002. Each customer in San Diego pays roughly $5 to $8 a month to fund undergrounding work. That charge is passed on to the city, which reimburses SDG&E for undergrounding costs.
Overall, the partnership intends to underground roughly 100 miles of power and utility lines around the city by the 2022 fiscal year.