Moving Electric Lines

MGE installs new electric lines underground; however, some older neighborhoods still have wires overhead on power poles. MGE can bury the line from the pole to the meter on your house if you pay for that service.


The cost to convert your electric service from overhead to underground typically starts at $2,500. This cost may vary depending on terrain and conditions of the property. This estimation includes the following services provided by MGE:  
  • Burying the electric wire from the overhead line to your home. 
  • Backfilling ground distrubed by construction. 
  • Removal of electric wire from the pole to the house.  
This estimate does not include the cost you will incur for additional services needed from an electrician. Cost of those services will need to be quoted by the electrician. These services include: 
  • Installation of a new meter socket on the outside of your home. 
  • Wiring from the new meter to the electric panel inside your home. 

Burial Techniques  

  • Directional drilling: In the majority of cases, MGE will use directional drilling to bury your electric lines. This consists of digging two bore pits—one near the location of your meter and the other near the transformer—and installing the wires between them underground.  
  • Trenching: In cases where directional drilling isn’t possible, MGE will dig a trench approximately eight to ten inches wide between your meter and the transformer. The trench allows us to place the pipe and electric wires underground. Once placed, soil is backfilled into the trench. 
  • Pneumatic boring: Depending on the terrain, pneumatic boring may be used. For this method, we dig a series of holes approximately three feet wide by five feet long between your home and the transformer. We will shoot a pneumatic bullet between them to create the trench in which we can place the wires. 

Steps for Installation  

  1. Arrange a site visit: Contact MGE by calling the appropriate number listed below to arrange a site visit. A representative from MGE will visit your home to determine the best route for underground wires. We will need to know if you would like to have the new underground meter located in the same general area as the existing overhead service.  

    If you are planning a new addition to your home, you may need to relocate your meter. You will be asked to provide a copy of your site plan showing the proposed addition and new meter location.  

    During the site visit, we may discover that we will need to install a junction box in your yard. If we don’t find an existing platted easement, MGE will draft a right-of-way document and include it with your contract. This will not add to your cost and will give MGE permission to access the box for future maintenance.  

    Once the site visit is completed, MGE will draw a sketch of the proposed installation route and calculate the cost. We can provide this information to you electronically via email or send you a hard copy. Allow approximately one week to receive the sketch and cost estimate.  

  2. Approve the proposed installation route: If you decide to proceed with the underground installation, you will need to approve the sketch provided, sign the included documents and return them to MGE with your full payment.  

  3. Contact your electrician: Before MGE can start work, your electrician will need to provide and install a 200-amp (or larger) meter socket on the outside of your home. The new meter socket will need to be wired to your electric panel located inside your home. You will also need to arrange for an electrical inspection.  

  4. Schedule the electric line burial with MGE: Once the meter socket is installed, let us know your site is ready. You can call MGE at (608) 252-7196 or email

    We will schedule a crew to bury your service wires. Once your service wires are buried, your electrician is responsible for contacting MGE to schedule an appointment for installing the meter and/or cutting over the old service to the new service. That appointment can be made by calling MGE at (608) 252-7196. During this appointment, we will take down the existing wires and pole, if necessary, and energize the new underground wires. 

For more information or if you have questions, please contact:
Contact Phone Email
Trade Ally Coordinator (608) 252-5622 

Site sketches and payments can be sent to:  
Construction Engineering  
Madison Gas and Electric  
PO Box 1231  
Madison WI 53701-1231