Undergrounding is the process of burying powerlines. PG&E has two programs focused on undergrounding:
These efforts make our system safer. Undergrounding reduces ignition risk by nearly 99% in that location.
Expanding our electric system underground will:
We are on track to underground at least 175 miles this year, more than doubling the mileage we completed last year
Data as of 11/17/2022
Meeting our state's climate challenges requires bold action. In 2021, we announced plans to underground 10,000 miles of powerlines. This work will take place in and near wildfire-risk areas. This is the largest program of its kind in the U.S.
Find more information about undergrounding work plans, including maps, below.
We are focusing undergrounding where we can have the greatest impact on reducing wildfire risk. We are also working to lessen safety power outages.
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 planned 2022-2023 work. Work plans may change based on different factors.
You can click the links below to view maps of approximate work locations for 2022-2023. You can download all maps here (PDF, 5.51 MB). Maps are for visual purposes only.
In 2022, we will underground at least 175 miles of powerlines. That is more than double the miles we completed in 2021.
In order to meet our 10,000-mile goal, we plan to significantly increase our underground miles annually. We are ramping up our efforts to underground over 1,000 miles per year. It will take several years for that ramp-up to occur.
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 2021 Rule 20 Annual Report (XLSX, 424 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.