In The Dark

Duke Power expects the citizens of Henderson County to accept several days in the dark while they repair power lines damaged by trees during high wind storms. Who, by the way, is responsible for keeping the trees clear of the power lines? Oh yeah, its Duke Power. Residents have requested that power lines be buried, but Duke Power’s reply is it would be cost prohibitive.

That’s a pretty vague reply. Too expensive for whom? Duke Power or Us or both? Do they take into account all of the hidden costs? Here are just a few:

  1. Yearly tree pruning by Duke Power and hired contractors (keep up the great job guys).
  2. Overtime paid by Duke to attack power outages in force and all the cost of repairs.
  3. Loss of revenue when power is out. Duke doesn’t get paid when my meter isn’t running.
  4. Burden to Emergency Services in Henderson County and the City of Hendersonville and their additional costs.
  5. Damage to electric/electronic devices from surges and brownouts common with power outages.
  6. Spoilage of food items.
  7. Loss of productivity when there is work for your employees but no power for the office.
  8. Injury as seen in Henderson County during this storm and possible loss of life.

Yes, burying power lines is significantly more expensive per mile than on poles if one only compares the installation costs. As noted above there are huge costs associated with damaged power lines during storms. Could we not phase in underground lines over time? How smart was it to put brand new poles all the way down hwy. 25 to Flat Rock a few years ago? And finally, how is it that markets in other states can offer buried power lines if its financially infeasible?