The 2012 report includes various cost variables and comparisons and recognizes multiple other factors that affect the practical feasibility of undergrounding.
While some recent data suggests that conversion costs are not much higher than initial installation costs (largely because of the salvage value of equipment)," says the report, "these numbers do not take into account other costs associated with conversions: the cost of converting individual customers' services/metering points so they can be connected to the new underground facilities and the substantial disruption caused by the undergrounding construction process (avoiding conflict with or limiting the damage to existing trees, walls, fences and other underground utilities).
The economics of undergrounding utility infrastructure has always been the overarching challenge for the utility and its customers who wanted lines put underground," says the report.
The survey sought the perspective of utilities about how they perceive the value and issues associated with undergrounding facilities.
The rural section of the polled participants had the largest group, 40 percent, who were not willing to pay anything for undergrounding.