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How much does it cost to run power 1,000 feet underground?

July 23, 2022
How much does it cost to run power 1,000 feet underground

Setting up power lines underground that are 1,000 feet in length should cost you $8,250 more or less. But if you want to know the low and high-end prices, it’s between $4,500 and $20,000.

This already includes the cost of conduit installation at $8 per linear foot as well as the labor, equipment, and excavation work.

So we’ll be detailing these factors further in this guide. Hopefully, you can decide wisely whether or not installing subterranean cable lines is worth it or not.

Factors That Affect Underground Power Lines Price

Factors That Affect Underground Power Lines Price

We already mentioned the main factors that affect the price of underground power lines. Allow us to elaborate on these price factors below:

  • Conduit Type

A conduit is a tube encasing electrical wires to supply power to buildings and structures.

The type of conduit you have chosen for the project will influence the price. Conduit costs $8 per linear foot on average.

Most people use galvanized rigid metal or schedule 40 PVC. The first can be waterproof and is ideal for installing along shorter trenches in the raceway or buried directly, while the second is less heavy and expensive and is often topped over by concrete for weather protection.

But, keep in mind the PVC conduits come in different types as well: standard and non-metallic 0.5-inch PVC. The latter will generally add $0.25 more per foot than the former.

  • Trenchwork

Trenching will vary in scale and complexity from project to project. It will depend on your chosen type of conduit and the size of the digging that needs to be done.

For this difficult work, you’d have to rely on a licensed specialist to ensure safety and efficiency. Doing it yourself can lead to unexpected faults and issues that would be very costly to entirely repair.

  • Labor

Labor costs will also add to your total bill. The labor expenditures will differ based on the amount, duration, and difficulty of the work.

Also, the whole job is typically performed by different contractors—those that plan the layout of the electrical wiring, dig the ground, and install the conduits.

You can approach these professionals one by one or let a general contractor handle everything for you. The estimated prices they charge are below:

Type of ContractorPricing
General contractor10% - 20% of the total project costs
Trench specialists$400 - $1,200
Electricians$50 - $100 per hour
  • Equipment

Small and large specialized equipment will likely account for 30% to 40% of your project bill. One of them is an excavator or digger vehicle to dig and lift dirt from the ground. 

Normally, renting a digger would cost about $300 to $550 per day. Having said that, we don’t recommend doing the work yourself unless you’re licensed and highly trained to use it.

  • Location

Your location may also affect the price of running electrical power underground. As always, urban areas can bring up the price by about 10 to 14 times compared to rural areas.

That will translate to a whopping $20 to $40 per foot of conduit below the ground. Hence, if you live in a provincial area, you may want to reconsider this costly option.

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