How much does it cost to run a new electrical service line?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to run a new electrical service line?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to run a new electrical service line?

$10 – $25cost per foot installed (underground)
$5 – $15cost per foot installed (above ground)
$42,000 – $79,000cost per mile installed (above ground)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$10 – $25 cost per foot installed (underground)

$5 – $15 cost per foot installed (above ground)

$42,000 – $79,000 cost per mile installed (above ground)


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Tara Farmer
Written by
Tara Farmer
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Cost to run power underground vs. above ground

The average cost to run power underground is $10 to $25 per foot, or $5,000 to $12,500 for 500' of new electrical lines. Overhead power line installation costs $5 to $15 per foot, or $4,000 to $7,500 for 500'. The cost to bury existing power lines is $2,000 to $6,000.

Average cost to run electric line (500 LF) - Chart
Average cost to run electric line (500 LF) - Chart
Cost to run power lines underground vs. above ground
Length of run Underground cost Aboveground cost
50 feet $500 – $1,250 $250 – $350
100 feet $1,000 – $2,500 $500 – $700
150 feet $1,500 – $3,800 $750 – $2,300
200 feet $2,000 – $5,000 $1,000 – $3,000
300 feet $3,000 – $7,500 $1,500 – $4,500
500 feet $5,000 – $12,500 $4,000 – $7,500
1,000 feet $10,000 – $25,000 $8,000 – $15,000
¼ mile $13,200 – $33,000 $10,600 – $19,800
½ mile $26,400 – $66,000 $21,100 – $39,600
¾ mile $39,600 – $99,000 $31,700 – $59,400
1 mile $52,800 – $132,000 $42,000 – $79,000

Electrical service line to house cost factors

Factors affecting the cost include:

  • Distance to house – Long distances require thicker wiring, more installation labor, and often additional transformers due to the voltage drop.

  • Underground vs. above ground – Running electrical lines underground costs 60% to 100%+ more than running overhead lines due to the trenching involved.

  • Amps – The electrical service amperage determines the wire size required. Thicker gauge wire costs more and requires larger conduit tubing.

  • Power company – Some utility companies cover part of the installation cost based on the estimated revenue from the customer, while others run the line for free up to a certain distance or offer a discount for primary residence electrical lines.

  • Return trips – Some power companies charge an extra service fee if they need to come out more than once for the installation due to insufficient site preparations.

  • Weather – Power companies in northern states often charge more for installations during harsh winter conditions.

  • Soil type & vegetation – Hard or rocky soil requires more labor to trench than soft or sandy terrain. Some installations require tree trimming or removal to clear the path for the electrical wire.

  • MeterMeter box installation costs $500 to $2,100. New installations and some electrical service upgrades require a new meter box.

  • Panel – The cost to replace an electrical panel is $850 to $2,500.

  • Permits – Electrical permits cost $50 to $350 on average.

Labor costs to run power lines

The labor to run power lines typically involves several professionals, depending on the location and whether installing overhead or underground lines.

  • A general contractor charges 10% to 20% of the project total and handles the hiring and oversight of all other professionals needed for the installation.

  • Electricians charge $50 to $130+ per hour, depending on location and experience level.

  • Trenching labor costs $35 to $65 per hour to dig a trench for underground power lines.

A utility line worker installing electric lines on a power pole.
A utility line worker installing electric lines on a power pole.

Residential transformer cost

A residential transformer costs $3,000 to $20,000+ installed, depending on size and type.

Running new electrical lines may require installing one or more transformers, depending on the distance from the property to the closest existing transformer. Most companies require a transformer within 150' of the house.

Power companies own most residential transformers and may cover part of the installation cost if the project requires a new transformer. The power company typically owns the transformer once installed.

Electrical trenching cost

Trenching costs $5 to $12 per linear foot, or $500 to $1,200 on average to dig a 100-foot trench for underground conduit. The trench length, depth, soil type, and ground conditions impact the cost.

Cost to install conduit per foot

The average cost to install conduit is $4 to $8 per linear foot, excluding trenching costs. Many power companies require the customer to coordinate the trenching and conduit installation to run new underground electrical lines.

Conduit tubing houses and protects the wiring from moisture and damage. Conduit material requirements vary by location and power company. PVC and rigid conduits are most common for underground electrical wiring.

Electric pole installation cost

Utility pole installation costs $1,200 to $5,600 per pole on average. Running new electric service to a remote location typically involves installing one or more new poles. Most power companies require one pole every 125' to 150' in cities or about every 300' in rural locations.

Burying existing power lines

The cost to bury existing power lines is $2,000 to $6,000 on average, or $4 to $10 per foot plus a one-time $300 to $650 service fee. The total cost depends on the location, trench length, and if the power company shares the cost.

Converting to underground service may involve roof repair and other structural and aesthetic repairs if the current overhead service extends through the roof.

Connecting other utilities

The cost to connect utilities depends on the type, location, and distance from the property to each main utility line.

Electric service FAQs

Does the power company run electric from road to house?

The power company runs electric from the road to the house in most cases. Contact your local utility to determine the requirements and responsible party. Most power companies run electric from the road free up to a certain distance but may require the property owner to coordinate the installation.

Is it worth moving overhead electric cables underground?

Moving overhead cables to underground may be worth the expense in areas prone to wind damage. Overhead cables are typically the best choice for coastal zones and other flood-prone areas as subsurface flooding can damage underground power lines.

Pros and cons of moving overhead cables underground
Pros Cons
  • Improved aesthetics
  • Reduced outages
  • Ideal for high wind regions
  • Expensive
  • Longer repair times and more difficulty locating the problem
  • Not ideal for flood-prone regions

How far can you run electrical wire underground?

The wire material, size, and voltage determine how far you can run electrical wire underground, as these factors impact the efficiency and voltage drop potential. Longer installations may require using thicker wire or adding transformers.

What size wire is required for a 200-amp underground service?

A 200-amp underground service requires a #2/0 American Gauge Wire (AWG) copper or #4/0 AWG aluminum wire in at least 1.5-inch conduit. Experts recommend copper for longer distances due to its superior conductivity and lower voltage drop potential.

Hire a licensed electrician to assess and properly size your service wiring.

Can I run electrical conduit above ground?

You can run electrical conduit above ground, provided the conduit is rated for it and the installation complies with the NEC, local building, and electrical code requirements.

How deep should underground electrical wire be buried?

Depth requirements for underground electrical wire depend on the wire type and whether it is housed in conduit or not. Direct burial approved underground feeder cable should be at least 24" deep per the NEC, while electrical wiring in PVC conduit requires an 18" minimum depth.

Common electrical wire depth requirements
Wire type Minimum depth (inches)
Underground feeder (UF-B) cable 24
GFCI-protected UF cable 12
Electrical wire in PVC conduit 18
Electrical wire in rigid metal conduit 6
Electrical wire in flexible metal conduit 18

Getting estimates from electrical line installers

Before hiring a contractor to run new electrical lines, be sure to:

  • Contact the power company to confirm which parts of the project they do and do not cover.

  • Get two to three in-person estimates to compare.

  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Search for a licensed, bonded, and insured company that has been in business 5+ years.

  • Avoid going with the lowest quote as quality may suffer.

  • Get a detailed contract and warranty in writing before the project starts.

  • Never pay in full before the work is complete and passes electrical inspection.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • Can you provide local references with contact information?

  • What experience do you have installing new electrical service lines?

  • Do you handle the permits and inspection process?

  • Can you provide a breakdown of everything included in the estimate?

  • What additional costs might come up during installation?

  • How long will the installation take?

  • Do you offer a warranty? If so, what does it cover?