Report shows ten fold cost of undergrounding infrastructure

Tuesday 31 January 2012

An independent report endorsed by the Institute of Engineering & technology (IET) has been published today (Tuesday 31 January) confirming the cost of undergrounding electricity network infrastructure can be 10 times that of overhead lines.

The report, carried out by Parsons Brinkerhoff, seeks to provide clarity around the estimates of increased cost of undergrounding electricity network infrastructure compared with the current method of carrying them on pylons.

Commenting on the reports findings, Energy Networks Association Chief Executive David Smith said:

“This report is an important addition to the debate on our energy infrastructure. The additional cost of undergrounding is carried by every electricity customer in the country so ensuring a balance of priorities is essential.

“It is right that visual amenity of a location is considered as one of those factors but where such a significant cost increase is seen, the impact on costs to the wider society should not be overlooked.”

Commenting on how to reduce the need for this infrastructure, David added:

“A smarter grid will mean less additional infrastructure. With better energy efficiency, smart technologies and engagement with customers we can reduce the need for more wires and save money.”


Notes to editors

The report was commissioned jointly by DECC and National Grid, Parsons Brinkerhoff has collected data from global sources and prepared the report and the IET has overseen the project and endorsed the conclusions.

The IET’s announcement can be found here.

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

ENA represents the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.

For further information please contact:

Tim Field MCIPR
Press and Public Affairs Executive
Energy Networks Association
E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)207 706 5157
M: +44 (0)7725 372 758
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