PG&E 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.
A Rule 20A project is initiated by a city or county and typically occurs in areas of a community that are used by the public. Customer electric rates fund the projects after construction completion. To view current 20A projects in the queue, download Rule 20A - Projects in the Queue (PDF, 74 KB).
A city, county or municipal agency determines the potential project location and the boundary is discussed with PG&E and other utilities. The governing body of a city or county must determine, in consultation with PG&E and after holding public hearings on the subject, that undergrounding is in the general public interest for one or more of the following qualifying reasons:
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: