“A tree fell into the power line at my friend’s house last year and GVEA came to fix the line. The power line connected to my house is underground and when my power went out last winter, you set up a temporary above ground line and told me I was responsible for the repair of the underground line. Why?” asked a member.
The power line connecting your house or business to Golden Valley’s distribution lines is called a service drop.
While many utilities own all service drops in their system regardless of whether the line is overhead or underground, Golden Valley is different; we only own overhead service drops. And here’s why:
Underground service drops are far more expensive to install, costing upwards of ten times more than an overhead service drop.
Also, due to the Interior’s extreme climate, which causes the ground to freeze and thaw, faults in underground lines are not uncommon.
But unlike above ground lines where faults are very visible – like a tree in the line – it’s more challenging to identify the exact location of an underground fault. Usually digging is required and, making the job tougher, often the ground is frozen.
So, as you can imagine, each time an underground service drop fails, the repairs are very costly. Instead of asking the entire membership to pay the high costs associated with the few GVEA members who have underground service drops, we require those members to take ownership of their underground lines.