Oklahoma Electric Utility Mounts Successful Overhead-To-Underground Program

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | September 2008 Vol. 63 No. 9
Most power cable in the Public Service Co. Of Oklahoma’s conversion to underground program uses HDD for installation. (Photo cou

The OCC has provided PSO a mechanism for the raising the $20 million per year for the capital investment in the underground program.

Whiteford said costs are submitted to the commission quarterly and must be reviewed and approved before customers are billed. The cost per month for the overall reliability program, including tree trimming on a four year cycle and conversions to underground, is about $2 per month with less than half that amount going to underground costs.

Whiteford said feedback to PSO is that most residents are pleased with the underground conversions.

"We had complaints in two neighborhoods where residents objected to the placement of boxes in the front yard," he said. "In one area, property owners mounted a 'Stop the Box' campaign, urging the boxes be placed in back yards."

Plans for converting both areas to underground were dropped.

As planned, PSO's conversion program will take 25 years to complete. However, company representatives have advised the commission that the time could be reduced by approximately half if a proposed accelerated program is approved. The additional cost to accomplish that would be initially adding 25 cents to monthly bills.

PSO is a business unit of American Electric Power.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma, (888) 216-3523, www.psoklahoma.com