16 December 2012


There's a project in the planning stages to underground the electrical wires in our hamlet. Not all of them — just the medium-tension lines that come up the hill from down in the river valley and bring electric current to the nine houses up here at the top of the hill.

View from the kitchen window: those are low-tension wires.

We'd be happy if all the wires were put underground. The reasons would be purely esthetic. The wires you see in the picture above are low-tension lines that bring current to the individual houses from a transformer on a pole out back. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know we've had problems with electricity because of both the wires and the transformer over the past few years.

Pictures are nicer without wires in them.

The medium-tension wires that bring electric current to the transformer are the ones that need to be undergrounded, and not for esthetic reasons. They run up through some woods where there are very tall trees that really sway in high winds. One of those trees fell on the wires in 2010, pulling them down, and we were without electricity for nearly five full days.

At least a couple of utility poles will be taken out if the medium-tension wires
are put underground.

A man from the electric company ERDF (Electricité Réseau Distribution France) was out on the road surveying the situation this past week. Walt talked to him. He said they will need to put a big transformer box somewhere along the road at ground level. The man mentioned putting it in our yard, but I don't think it will end up on our property. We'll see.


  1. I love these wintery photos. You manage to get color and textures in every one. :)

  2. About your answer to Starman in yesterday's blog :
    do you think there aren't a lot of american cars in France? I remember seeing a lot of Fords growing up. What would the reason be?
    Beautiful pictures as always of the landscape.
    In Manhattan Beach, where I live, the utility company wants people to pay (starting at $ 60,000 and up) to have underground wiring. Only few blocks have been done. I am lucky to live in an area that already has underground wiring, but it is an incredible amount of money, particularly for people who are on a fixed income. Of course I don't say anything as I live in an ultra right wing district, but I don't believe the price should be that high. Imagine, $60K and that is for the smallest lot? I would be interested to know how much it will cost to have yours done.

  3. Hi Nadege, yes, Fords, but European Fords, not American Fords. Fords were and are manufactured in England and in Germany. The only American car I ever see (except the occasional old voiture de collection Cadillac or Buick) is a Jeep Cherokee now and then.

    I don't think we'll have to pay anything to have our "feeder" wires enterrés. At least we have not been notified of any charges. We'll see. If there were a plan to have the low-tension wires along our street undergrounded, then I'm sure we would have to pay something, because that would be a choice we would make as a neighborhood, but I don't know how much it would cost us. 60K dollars, as you say it costs there, sounds like an outrageous sum to me.

  4. The first thing I thought of regarding underground wiring was how both you and Walt will enjoy not having wires in your photos!

  5. Ken, that amount is outrageous! That is why there are so many fights at MB city Hall and only few blocks (the richest ones) have been done. I don't understand why the government doesn't do it, just like they do it in civilized countries. Every time we have strong Santa Ana winds, people are without electricity for days, weeks sometimes. In earthquake country, I would think it would be less dangerous to have underground wiring. Esthetically, many cities on the west coast would look so much better rather than having those huge ugly wooden poles.I don't get it.
    Of course you are right about american cars being built in Europe. I doubt I will ever buy an american car.

  6. The local utility company has been asked about putting the wires underground but they insist it would be too expensive. I ask, would it be any more expensive than having to replace them every time it rains?

  7. Starman, I agree with you.

    Cheryl, the best thing will be if we can avoid another long power outage because the wires are buried.


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