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Author Topic: AEP considers burying lines  (Read 24520 times)
sgrizzle
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2008, 08:54:34 am »

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

I think it's interesting that the phone company has been burying lines for the past 20 some years at no added cost to the consumer.  Did SWB have a bigger margin to begin with...or were they just better at customer service?  



SWB rents pole space from PSO so they have a constant cost to use above ground. PSO already paid for the poles, they look to lose their rent money by undergrounding (not counting the actual expense itself.)
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2008, 09:22:22 am »

Phone companies can bury lines as a cost saving maneuver - they do not own the easements nor poles on which the lines ran so they had to rent them.  They acquired utility easement rights in a lawsuit and by burying their lines don't have to "rent" pole space.

Some even had the foresight to bury lines in large enough conduit to run additional/new cables in the future.
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patric
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2008, 10:30:26 pm »

At the moment of this writing, millions in and around Florida are without power now due to the failure of an aging, neglected electrical infrastructure.  Where there is power, debates are raging about our nations lack of commitment to the upkeep of that infrastructure, and fingers are being pointed at utilities who operate the grid at capacity and just collect revenue instead of insuring the system remains reliable.

With that in mind, check out the debate on burying utilities at the site of the I-44 construction:    


There's a new wrinkle in a road widening project. The issue is whether the utility lines that will be moved, should be moved underground. The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports PSO is only burying lines in neighborhoods where there are lots of trees, where the residents are agreeable to the work. On Tuesday they were asked to consider burying larger lines, but the cost is staggering.

This is another front in the battle over whether power lines should be above or below ground. Transmission and distribution lines serve businesses and homes on 51st Street between Harvard and Lewis. They'll be moved during the widening of I-44, but as of now they'll move but remain above ground.

"They should seize this opportunity and bury them," said Building Owner Terri Heritage.

The situation prompted a discussion by the city council about whether PSO should be required to bury lines during big street projects.

"Those main arterial circuits, there is no program in place right now at all to start placing those underground," said Steve Penrose with AEP PSO.

PSO figures it would cost $18 million to bury this one mile of power lines. The power company says the money would be better spent burying lines in neighborhoods, as it's done in some places, because tree limbs cause most of the problems and the big lines are not usually affected. The city council wants more lines put underground, but doesn't want to have to pay for it.

"If we paid to bury the power lines, the long range effect of that would be less projects, street widening, and that's important right now, but I think, I want to put the burden on AEP PSO," said Bill Christiansen with the Tulsa City Council.

The cost of installing power lines below ground in new areas is about the same as above ground, but moving existing lines underground can costs 20 times as much. The council suggested PSO ask the state to pay at least some of the cost of burying the lines along 51st street and should ask for more rate increases to speed up burying lines in neighborhoods.


The rest of the story: http://www.newson6.com/global/story.asp?s=7929764
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2008, 06:03:14 am »

Who pays relocation costs now? I assume it is budgeted in with the road project. If you prefere underground, then why should that be budgeted as well? At least partially.
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patric
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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2008, 10:23:03 pm »

More love from our "Corporation Commission":

Instead of re-investing their profits in the upkeep and reliability of their infrastructure, AEP is being allowed to gouge the ratepayers with the cost of patching the system back together.  
...but the new increase in rates isnt a "rate increase."  Go figure.
 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Public Service Company of Oklahoma will be able to recover $12.6 million in storm damages without changing ratepayers' bills under an agreement approved today by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission

The electric power company suffered losses during ice storms in January and December of 2007. Under the formula approved today, the company can recover the costs from the January storm without raising its rates.

PSO has until August 1 to file its claimed actual cost for damage recovery from the December storm. Under the agreement, PSO estimated the total costs from the December storm to be $70 million.

If the Corporation Commission approves that amount, PSO estimates ratepayers' bills will increase by $1.40 a month during a 5-year span. The extra charge would not be considered a rate increase.
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2008, 05:19:06 am »

It's not considered a rate increase because it is not affected by a rate case and it ends in 5 years.

PSO makes a profit?
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patric
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2008, 12:58:28 pm »

Take the Corporation Commission's survey and make your voice heard on buried utilities:

http://utilitysurvey.occeweb.com/
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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
inteller
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« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2008, 01:09:44 pm »

oh, I see utilities have learned something from the 'COGs.  Implement a "fee" and keep re-upping it every time it comes around for renewwal.

scum.
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grahambino
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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2008, 01:29:32 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by patric

Take the Corporation Commission's survey and make your voice heard on buried utilities:

http://utilitysurvey.occeweb.com/



thanks for the link.
filled it out.

FWIW.  i'd pay $2-3 extra a month (whatever the middle choice was) to bury lines.

that being said, if the stockholders of AEP don't get their .41 dividend and only .21 a share, next year to pay for burying lines, you arent going to see me losing any sleep over that.  
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 01:31:31 pm by grahambino » Logged
patric
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2008, 12:46:38 pm »

And the survey results:

According to study results released by the commission's Public Utility Division, customers incurred considerable costs due to the storm and most are willing to pay for burying power lines.
http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectID=49&articleID=20080418_49_E1_spancl730256

More than half of the 401 customers surveyed said they lost an average of $304 due to food that had spoiled. And a quarter of the respondents said they spent more than $1,200 on home repairs resulting from falling tree branches.

Although three-quarters of the respondents agreed that something should be done to prevent outages and that steps should be taken to ensure that the outages don't happen again, customers differed on how much they would be willing to pay.

Commission Chairman Jeff Cloud said the agency will attempt to balance the costs with the benefits of burying power lines as it continues to examine the issue.

"It comes down to the bottom line and how much it is going to cost," he said.

The results are the first from two surveys conducted by the OCC to gauge the impact of the ice storm.

Thursday's results
include customers of the state's two largest electric utilities, American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co.

Andrew Tevington, deputy director of the Public Utility Division, said the study also found that retail sales were up $152 million as customers purchased chain saws, generators and other supplies needed to weather the storm.

"It appears businesses made more than they were expected to in December," he said.

More than half of the customers surveyed said they would be willing to pay $1 or more per month to bury lines, and about a quarter of the respondents would be willing to pay $1.01 to $2.50 per month.

Customers would rather pay to put lines underground than pay for tree trimming, according to the survey.

AEP-PSO customers are already paying $2 per month to bury power lines through a rider on their monthly electricity bills. The charge also funds the utility's tree-trimming program.

AEP-PSO, Tulsa's chief power provider, began looking at accelerating its existing program to place lines underground after the Dec. 9 ice storm cut power to about half of its 520,000 customers.

The storm downed trees, snapped utility poles and cut power to more than half a million people across the state.

The utility said the storm was the costliest in its history, causing an estimated $88 million in damage.

OG&E has estimated the damage to its service area at about $50 million.

Burying power lines can be expensive. The utilities estimate that the cost could run from about $600,000 to $1 million per mile.

Under an accelerated program, AEP-PSO estimates that it could complete burying lines in 10 to 12 years.

Utility customers, however, would see an increase in their monthly bills.

AEP-PSO estimates that the program would cost customers an additional 25 cents per month in the first year. That amount would double the next year, with additional increases to follow.

The utility has yet to file a formal proposal with the commission, but it did present preliminary costs during a January meeting.

Cloud said the commission will likely address the matter before winter.

Stan Whiteford, a spokesman for AEP-PSO, said the utility will continue to cooperate with the commission as it examines the issue of burying lines.

"If that's the way they want to go, we're agreeable," he said.

The OCC is also conducting an online survey to gather information about the impact of the storm on customers. The survey is available on the commission's Web site, at www.tulsaworld.com/occ.
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2008, 12:59:40 pm »

How about we increase it a dollar immediately like people responded and get to work instead of just raising it a quarter and easing into it?
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patric
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« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2008, 10:59:37 am »

quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

How about we increase it a dollar immediately like people responded and get to work instead of just raising it a quarter and easing into it?



I would go for that, in lieu of the rate "adjustment" where were paying the next five years to rebuild the overhead system to pre- ice storm vulnerability.
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« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2008, 12:52:12 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

How about we increase it a dollar immediately like people responded and get to work instead of just raising it a quarter and easing into it?



That works for me.....
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patric
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« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2008, 10:15:14 pm »

AEP grossly overstates the cost of burying power lines again...
http://www.fox23.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoId=28941@video.fox23.com&navCatId=5

It was only 70,000 customers without power this time (about 16,000 still without, as of this writing).
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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
Wilbur
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« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2008, 05:49:32 am »

Buried lines do not equal no power loss.  I've been without power three times in the last two weeks and all of us have buried lines around here.
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