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In order to serve you better, please select your Dominion Energy location services.

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Program Overview

We analyze ten years of outage data to determine which overhead distribution lines throughout our Virginia service area have historically sustained the most damage and repairs. As areas and neighborhoods are identified, a project team will begin a comprehensive outreach process to work cooperatively with property owners and neighborhoods on a plan to underground portions of the line. We will work in each region of our service area simultaneously. Learn more by watching this short video.
As an overview of our system, high-voltage power lines carry electricity from power stations to substations, and distribution lines deliver the electricity to our customers. The largest of the distribution lines—primary or main feeder lines—carry power from substations to neighborhoods. Tap lines then bring electricity into neighborhoods—to homes and businesses. Only selected tap lines—those deemed most outage-prone—would be placed underground.
There are no direct construction costs for customers who are part of a Strategic Underground project, but it is a Dominion Energy program which all of our customers are funding and benefiting from. By placing the lines underground, we're able to restore power more quickly for all customers after a major storm event. Funding for this program comes from a special rate adjustment called a rider, which is approved by the State Corporation Commission (SCC).

View this brief video to see how the program is funded.
Because the Strategic Underground Program is extensively spread throughout our service area, both Dominion Energy and contract employees will be involved in all aspects of the Strategic Underground Program—including project management, design, right of way, communications, and installation/removal of equipment. Each project has a dedicated Dominion Energy point of contact. View a list of authorized contractors working on Strategic Underground projects. Also, view this video to learn more.
Yes. The undergrounding program will improve reliability of the system and shorten the time for restoring service to all affected customers following a major storm. As a result, a rider would affect monthly bills of all residential and small commercial customers.
The time required will vary among projects. Property owners and neighborhood organizations would be advised what to expect as a project is planned. There will be a planned outage associated with the work in order to make the necessary connections. Property owners would be notified in advance of a scheduled outage. An outage to make the final conversion from overhead service to underground would typically be four hours or less. View this video to learn more.
Yes. Much of Dominion Energy's system will remain above ground and subject to extreme weather such as high winds and ice storms, so outages could occur. But when this program to underground selected tap lines is implemented, there will be fewer lines to fix and fewer repairs to make on a house-by-house basis. Thus, it would take much less time to restore service to our customers. View this video to learn more.
Some neighborhoods have a heavy canopy of trees lining them, as trees have grown and matured after power lines were installed. Although tree branches near power lines are trimmed, large branches and tree trunks could still fall on the lines during extreme weather.
Power line among trees

Customer Projects

Dominion Energy will work cooperatively with property owners to obtain the rights necessary to perform the work. Property owners along a tap line would have to agree on a plan before it could be implemented. Learn more about an easement agreement and view this video for more information.
Dominion Energy does not compensate for the easements required for the Strategic Underground Program. The Program is voluntary and customers can signal their support of the project by signing an easement. If we are not able to secure the necessary easements, we will look for other engineering solutions (viable routes).
A project team will meet with you to discuss the proposed project plan and layout. Some equipment will be needed. Examples of equipment can be found here.

Underground lines come into the ground-level padmount transformer from below, where connections are kept safely inside and out of view. The location of each padmount transformer is ultimately determined by the electric load calculations and the route of the underground lines.
Transformer surrounded by plants, mulch, and landscaping
View this brief video to learn more about the above ground equipment used to serve an underground system.
In some cases, we will adapt the meter base at the customer's home to accept cables from underground, using a meter base adapter. Learn more about the meter base adapter.
Meter base adapter

The focus of Dominion Energy's Strategic Underground Program is to convert the overhead electric power lines that serve an area or neighborhood, in addition to converting the line that serves your individual home or other existing electrical services (garage, streetlight, watchlight, etc).

Dominion Energy will maintain the electrical service to existing structures (i.e. streetlights, watch lights, garages) and will feed them from a new underground source.

Dominion Energy plans to use directional drilling rather than open trenching, to minimize disruption to landscaping. We will work with property owners as we determine the acceptable routing for underground lines.
Respecting and restoring property is our top priority. We work with our customers during and after construction to minimize impact and inconvenience. No project is complete until your property is restored, no matter the impact.

Some of our telecommunications partners also own poles that other utilities, including Dominion Energy, may attach to. When the overhead electric lines are converted to underground but the telecommunications facilities are not, the poles would remain in place. If this is the case, Dominion Energy would no longer have electric wire or equipment on the pole so the remaining service providers would maintain the pole and their lines.

Dominion Energy will work with telecommunications and cable companies to explore the option to place their lines underground at the same time as our installation. Each project will be evaluated separately by the telecommunications and cable companies. The Dominion Energy point of contact for your project can provide details regarding the status of the poles for each project area.

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