Putting power lines underground is not Gulf Power's decision. We put lines underground at the customer's request. Because it is much more costly -- up to 10 times more expensive -- to put lines underground, the customers who want it have to pay extra for the installation. It's just like call waiting or call forwarding on your telephone -- those are services that you pay extra for above the basic phone charge. The state of Florida requires Gulf Power to do likewise if a customer wants underground lines.
Going underground is reliable, but it won't stop all outages. All underground lines have to come out of the ground somewhere. If you have an outage on an underground system it takes much longer to locate it (you can't see it) and repair it (you have to dig up streets and yards).