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Electrical Undergrounding Division

The Electrical Undergrounding Division is responsible for the approval or denial of electrical corporations’ voluntary 10-year undergrounding plans. Per SB 884 (McGuire), electrical corporations may submit for approval a plan for the undergrounding of their electric distribution lines. The Electrical Undergrounding Division also monitors compliance with approved plans.

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Program Implementation

SB 884 (McGuire, 2022) allows a large electrical corporation to submit a 10-year distribution system undergrounding plan to Energy Safety.

Public Utilities Code section 8388.5(d)(2) directs Energy Safety to approve an Undergrounding Plan only if the large electrical corporation “has shown” that the Undergrounding Plan will substantially increase electric reliability by reducing the use of public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), enhanced powerline safety settings (EPSS), deenergization events and any other outage programs, and will substantially reduce the risk of wildfire.

Energy Safety is currently developing guidelines to direct the electrical corporations on how to prepare and submit their electrical undergrounding plans.


Working Groups

Energy Safety is hosting a series of working group meetings in November 2023 to develop guidelines for Ten-Year Undergrounding Distribution Infrastructure Plans (Undergrounding Plans). The first meeting will be held Tuesday, November 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Additional meetings will be held November 14, 21, 28 and December 12 if necessary. Topics for each meeting will be sent out ahead of the meeting.

November 7      

November 14

November 21

November 28

December 12

CPUC Implementation

SB 884 requires the CPUC to establish a program to allow large electrical corporations to submit plans for expedited electrical undergrounding of distribution lines.  If Energy Safety approves the electrical corporation’s plan, that plan is submitted to the CPUC with an application requesting cost recovery.



Previous Workshop

Energy Safety and the CPUC jointly sponsored a first public workshop on February 24, 2023.

Workshop #1 – Energy Safety and CPUC Joint SB-884 Pre-Rulemaking Workshop, February 24, 2023


Background and Scoping Issues

Master Slide Presentation

Workshop Recording

Informal Comments



Senate Bill 884 – McGuire (SB 884), which became law on Jan. 1, 2023, requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to establish a program for expediting the undergrounding of a large electrical corporation’s distribution infrastructure. This program is available to Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric.

To participate in the program, a large electrical corporation must submit a 10-year distribution infrastructure undergrounding plan (Plan) to Energy Safety. Energy Safety is required to review and approve or deny the Plan within nine months of submission. Before approving the Plan, Energy Safety may require the large electrical corporation to modify the Plan. Energy Safety may only approve the Plan if it finds that the electrical corporation’s Plan will achieve, at the least, both of the following:

  1. Substantially increase reliability by reducing use of public safety power shutoffs, enhanced powerline safety settings, de-energization events, and other outage programs.
  2. Substantially reduce wildfire risk.

If Energy Safety approves the large electrical corporation’s Plan, the large electrical corporation must submit to the CPUC, within 60 days of Energy Safety’s approval, a copy of the Plan and an application requesting review and conditional approval of the plan’s costs (hereafter, “Application”). The CPUC must approve or deny the Application within nine months of submission. The CPUC may, however, require the large electrical corporation to modify or modify and resubmit the Application prior to approval.

SB 884