Undergrounding is the process of burying powerlines. PG&E has two efforts focused on undergrounding:
Data as of 4/25/2023
We are on target to underground 600+ miles by the end of 2023. We have undergrounded 262 miles to date.
Meeting our state's climate challenges requires bold action. That is why we plan to underground 10,000 miles, or approximately one-third of our overhead powerlines in high wildfire-risk areas. This is the largest program of its kind in the U.S.
Find more information about our undergrounding work plans, including maps, below.
We are focusing undergrounding in areas that are at the highest risk of wildfire so we can have the greatest impact on reducing wildfire risk.
Other factors we consider when scheduling work are:
More details can be found in our 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan.
Below is a list of counties with projects recently completed or forecast for 2023, as well as areas we have identified for potential undergrounding work in 2024. Miles reflect projects that are in any stage of the planning process, and our forecast miles exceed annual targets. Mileage in your community may change due to a variety of factors.
You can click the links below to view maps of approximate locations for work completed or forecast in 2023 or potential projects for 2024. You can also download all maps here (PDF, 9.49 MB). Maps are for visual purposes only.
We are ramping up our efforts to underground hundreds of miles per year, to a total of approximately 2,300 miles undergrounded by 2026. In 2023 alone, we plan to underground 350 miles.
If you are an interested vendor, please email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add you to our list.
We are planning to source activities across various services. This may include, but is not limited to:
PG&E also converts many miles of overhead electric facilities to underground annually. This work is completed by following the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Rule 20 guideline that is an electric distribution tariff.
Rule 20 has three sections (A, B and C). The use of a particular Rule 20 section is determined by the type of area to be undergrounded and who pays for the work.
For more information on Rule 20, please see below. To view the current Rule 20 Annual Report (per Ordering Paragraph 14 of D.21-06-013), download the 2022 Rule 20 Annual Report (XLSX, 540 KB).
A city or county initiates a Rule 20A project. It often occurs in areas of a community used by the public. Customer electric rates fund the projects after construction completion. To view current 20A projects, download Rule 20A - Projects in the Queue (PDF, 482 KB).
A city, county or municipal agency determines the potential project location. PG&E and other utilities then discuss the boundary with them. After consulting with PG&E and holding public hearings on the subject, the governing body of a city or county must determine that undergrounding is in the general public interest. Qualifying reasons for a Rule 20A project include the following:
Rule 20B projects are typically in conjunction with larger developments and the majority of costs paid by the developer or applicant.
Undergrounding within Rule 20B is done when the area does not fit the Rule 20A criteria, but involves both sides of the street for at least 600 feet. Under Rule 20B, the applicant is responsible for the installation of the conduit, substructures and boxes. The applicant pays for the installation cost of the underground electric system, less a credit for an equivalent overhead system, plus the taxes, if applicable.
Rule 20C projects are usually small projects that involve one or more property owners. The costs are almost entirely borne by the applicants.
Undergrounding within the provisions of Rule 20C occurs when neither Rule 20A nor Rule 20B applies. Under Rule 20C, the applicant pays the entire cost of the electric undergrounding, less a credit for salvage.
A cross-functional team with representatives from PG&E, phone and cable companies, and local governments oversees the Rule 20A projects which are accomplished by:
Contact your Public Works Department and/or City Council to discuss the proposed project. To initiate a Rule 20B or 20C project with PG&E:
A signed application and an advance deposit must be submitted to PG&E prior to work beginning on the project. The deposit amount will depend on the size and complexity of the project.
Once the application has been filed, a PG&E representative will be assigned to assist in the process. If the project moves forward after initial meetings, an additional deposit may be requested to cover all PG&E engineering, project management, land rights, materials and overhead costs. Note that engineering advances are non-refundable.