DC utility may bury lines

October 2012, Vol. 67 No. 10

After this summer’s severe storms, Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is hoping to prevent even more widespread electricity outages by forming a task force that will recommend whether the city should bury its power lines.

Joseph Rigby, president of Pepco Holdings Inc., will co-chair the 15-member task force with City Administrator Allen Lew.

Pepco, the utility which serves about 256,000 District customers, faced criticism after a powerful storm swept through the region on June 29.

Some experts have estimated the cost at nearly $6 billion since lines have to be buried in 3-feet deep trenches.

Pepco has said that if the costs were spread out over a decade, the average customer would see their electric bill climb by more than $200 a month.

The task force will submit its report by Jan. 31, shortly after Pepco is due to file an analysis with Maryland utility officials about burying power lines in the state.