Save Costs, Save Trees, Bury Lines

Originally posted in Greenwich Time: Letters to the Editor:

To the editor:

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy, a non-profit citizen group dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of our “urban forest,” urges our elected officials to require Connecticut Light & Power to bury power lines in Greenwich, wherever it may be feasible. Many Greenwich residents are insisting after the devastation of Hurricane Irene that this be accomplished.

Burying power lines may actually be more cost effective in the long run for CL&P than repeatedly repairing the damage to overhead power lines after a major storm such as Irene and the nor’easter of March 2010, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result of climate change, it is projected that hurricanes will be increasingly frequent. There would also be a savings to the utility through the elimination of the continuing cost of tree removal and pruning.

The town would not bear the capital cost. The utility should advance the cost at the currently low bond interest rates and recover it over the life of the improvement through relatively nominal rate adjustments.

Burying power lines will reduce the power outages that have destroyed property and severely impacted both town residents and businesses. It will also save our trees, which are a staple of nature’s bounty and absolutely essential to our environment and well being.

Peter Malkin

The writer is president of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy.

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