Removing overhead utilities are one of the most noticeable improvements a neighborhood can make. Wires, poles and other equipment can obscure some of the wonderful scenery
that is so common here in the City Light service area.
The process for conversion is both complex and expensive, and generally speaking, money is not available from local jurisdictions. Seattle City Light has prepared these guidelines to help neighborhoods understand the undergrounding process.
Steps to converting your utilities from overhead to
Step 1: Identify the area that you would like to have converted.
In conjunction with your neighbors, identify the contiguous properties where you would like to have the utilities placed underground. All property owners within the area identified must agree to participate in this project.
Step 2: Contact Seattle City Light for Consultation, Design Work, and Cost Estimate
Seattle City Light’s Customer Engineering Representatives (206.615.0600) are happy to provide basic information about the program, and how it pertains to your area. They can prepare a free preliminary cost estimate, based on two hours
of engineering time. If you decide to move forward with the project, a non-refundable deposit will be required to provide a detailed time-and-materials estimate.
(Please note: Because of engineering and utility code requirements, the area
to be converted may be slightly larger than the initial area that you and your neighbors identified. In that instance, the affected property owners must also agree to participate in the project.)
Prior to the design work commencing, the affected property owners must submit a completed “Private Property Conversion Agreement” (available from your Seattle City Light Customer Engineering Representative). This form lists all properties affected, and must be signed by all property owners. It indicates that
all affected parties are aware that they are responsible for all charges, as well as the obligation to convert their individual properties to underground service.
When the design work is completed, the entire estimated cost is due before work can commence.
Be aware that there are additional costs to underground cable TV, telephone, and any other equipment that utilize the overhead system. Once Seattle City Light drawings are established, the companies need to be contacted for their design work and cost estimates.
Step 3: Construction of Underground Utility Improvements
This phase will convert all the commonly shared equipment for the neighborhood (poles, wires, etc). Individual residences will be required to provide appropriate trenching and equipment (as determined by Seattle City Light and other utilities) to their property line. Engineering and installation charges for each property are the responsibility of the property owner, and must be paid before conversion can occur.
Step 4: Removal of overhead equipment and final billing.
Once wires, poles and other equipment are removed, you can enjoy this new neighborhood amenity! You will receive a final statement from Seattle City Light. Any outstanding charges are payable at time of receipt.
For more information, contact:
Seattle City Light Customer Engineering 206.615.0600.