Greater Sudbury Hydro customers may notice something different taking place in their neighbourhoods this week.

The utility company is getting some high tech help to test underground lines.

It’s teaming up with Energy Ottawa to test underground distribution lines in the south end, the Montrose area in New Sudbury and parts of Capreol.

Sudbury Hydro is using this technology to help prioritize what sections need to be replaced first to spend money as efficiently as possible, said Mark Van De Rydt, from Greater Sudbury Hydro.

25% of Greater Sudbury Hydro's system is underground.

Josh Waytowich, from Greater Sudbury Hydro, knows replacing the underground cable can be an invasive process. “So you want to make sure that you are replacing the proper cables so that you are getting the most value for our customers.”

According to hydro officials the system being used to do the testing is considered leading edge technology.

“The technology was developed by Natural Resources Canada beginning in the 1970's. It's since been bought commercially available with a partnership with hydro Ottawa and one of their subsidiary companies energy Ottawa. They've got exclusive rights to the technology in North America and worldwide.” said Mark.

The local utility says replacing underground cable is costly. Considerably more expensive than an overhead line.

Josh knows there is a great deal of digging involved, “depending on how the cable was initially installed , if it's direct buried or buried in conduit it can be fairly invasive, a lot of restoration on customer property and whatnot.”

The testing team says there may be brief power interruptions, about 5 to 10 minutes long, where the work is being done.

The technology will ensure crews are replacing the proper infrastructure at the right time.