How Much do Power Lines Decrease Property Value?

Power lines, while a necessary component of modern life, can pose a significant danger to people and animals. For this reason, it is essential to consider the potential hazards associated with these structures when operating in their vicinity.

Electricity is transmitted through power lines via high voltage currents that can cause severe injury or death when too close. The range of the electric field depends on the voltage carried by the line and the distance from it. The current running through a single conductor of an overhead power line can be up to 600 kilovolts (kV). That’s enough to cause lethal electric shock even at moderate distances. A minimum clearance of three meters should be respected around live overhead lines, as contact with them can lead to electrocution.

power lines on land

The danger posed by power lines doesn’t end with electric shock – they also create fire hazards due to arcing caused by birds nesting on or flying into contact with them, as well as from nearby trees and branches coming into contact during strong winds or storms. Such fires are hazardous when occurring near buildings or flammable materials such as dry grasses and brush, which can quickly spread out of control in dry conditions.

Animals, too, can suffer harm from power lines and related infrastructure. Birds are particularly vulnerable due to their unfortunate habit of perching atop high-voltage conductors, often resulting in electrocution. Measures like mounting protective shields onto wires can help reduce this hazard. However, caution should still be taken, given the animal’s tendency for inquisitiveness and potential lack of knowledge regarding this risk.

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by power cables may have detrimental effects on humans and wildlife over extended periods. These EMFs have been linked to an increased risk of cancer among people potentially exposed over long-term intervals and interference with bird migration patterns in certain species that rely upon Earth’s magnetic field for navigation in their journeys across vast distances every year. As such, extra caution should be exercised when living or working near electrical infrastructure if prolonged exposure is expected

To ensure safety around power lines, it is essential that all individuals exercise caution when working near them—including being aware of any local regulations governing their use—and keep clear from naked wires and other components where possible. Where access cannot be avoided, always use appropriately grounded insulated equipment and ensure that no metal objects come into contact with them, including ladders used for work at higher altitudes. In addition, livestock owners should ensure that fences surrounding grazing areas remain far from active electrical infrastructure. Proper upkeep of surrounding vegetation will also help reduce risks associated with contact between foliage and overhead wires. Finally, stay alert for signs indicating maintenance activity on transmission lines, so you know beforehand when construction crews will likely be active onsite.

How Much do Power Lines Decrease Property Value?

Power lines decrease property value by 5% on average. Properties near power lines sell for less, usually from 2% to 9%. Scientists showed that children living in homes as far as 600 m from power lines had an elevated risk of leukemia.


The presence of power lines as part of a landscape can hurt the value of a piece of real estate, though it is difficult to gauge precisely how much. The impact depends mainly on various factors, including the visual appearance of the power lines, their proximity to the property in question, and local zoning regulations.

In terms of visual appearance, noticeably large or ugly-looking power lines tend to have an even more negative impact on property values than smaller ones located further away from sight. For example, suppose large metal lattices are looming right outside a house’s windows or attached to its exterior walls. That tends to cause potential buyers to turn away because it can be perceived as unattractive or unsightly. Similarly, if the wires are placed high up and parallel with a home’s roofline, this too can detract from its aesthetic appeal and thus deter buyers who may view it as unappealing or threatening.

Another factor affecting how much power lines decrease property value is their proximity to the home. If they are close by and visible from every angle, they will have a more significant negative impact than if they are located at some distance from sight. However, even if the power lines are far enough away not to be seen but still within close range, this could still significantly diminish the worth of any affected properties due to heightened safety concerns about radiation emissions or other electrical hazards (though such fears are often unfounded).

The final key consideration is local zoning regulations. Certain municipalities may have ordinances that limit where developers can build and erect power lines relative to existing residential areas—in which case, this could provide some measure of protection for homeowners living nearby as far as their property values go. Other jurisdictions might not have any such laws at all—or they might offer incentives for placing them in certain areas because doing so would enable them to meet electricity demand more efficiently or cost-effectively—resulting in higher depreciation levels for those homes closest by.

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All told, then, it is hard to predict precisely how much any given set of power lines will affect property values in any given location because there are so many variables involved that need to be taken into account when making an assessment (e.g., size/type/style/location/zoning regulations). That being said. However, research has indicated that homes located near aboveground transmission towers typically depreciate by 7-11 percent compared with those without nearby buildings—and while this isn’t necessarily representative of all properties impacted by power lines one way or another, it does provide some indication into how much their presence can potentially detract from overall worth over time.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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