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Underground Power

Underground Power

Network Renewal Undergrounding Program Pilot (NRUPP) – these are driven by Western Power and target areas with a high density of aging overhead assets

State Underground Power Program (SUPP) – the cost of undergrounding is shared between the State Government, Western Power, Local Government Authorities (LGAs) and property owners

Retrospective Undergrounding Projects (RUP) – these are generally funded directly by LGAs or land developers

Find out what underground power projects are happening in your area

There’s a lot we need to do to get power underground. This includes:

  • Installing new underground power cables in the road reserve under verges
  • Installing connection pillars (green dome/box), usually at the front corner of a property and the adjacent property
  • Installing transformers and switchgear units to manage the distribution of power throughout the area. These are located in parks and public open spaces, or sometimes along property side verges
  • Installing an underground connection from the connection pillar to the meter box at each property
  • Changing each property over to the new underground... Read more

We don’t include this because the costs are too expensive to replace with an underground network.

Distribution network poles and wires will be removed within the project area only. Transmission poles and wires won’t be.

Some properties have carryover (service) poles located inside their front boundary, which can be removed after an undergrounding project. The pole belongs to the property owner so it’s up to you if you want to keep it or remove it.

Please contact the nominated contractor if you would like the pole removed during construction. Alternatively the pole will be removed and disposed of.

Throughout the delivery of each State Underground Power Program (SUPP) Round, we sit down with the State Government and WALGA to discuss and plan future SUPP Rounds. This planning process is complex and involves looking at our current and future network requirements and economic conditions.

Retrospective Underground Projects (RUP) are considered on a case by case basis together with the relevant Local Government Authority (LGA).

The Network Renewal Undergrounding Program Pilot (NRUPP) is a pilot program, which will assist with informing the future underground network strategy.

With every project, a new LED street lighting system is designed and installed to the latest Australian Standards. Each project is different and the positioning of new streetlights is also reviewed during the design stage.

You’ll find that around 10% more lights are installed because they are positioned more closely and generally alternate from one side of the road to the other. Modern light poles are designed to collapse if hit by vehicles to reduce injuries and damage.

When construction is ready to commence, you’ll receive a note in your letterbox with the contact details of the contractor carrying out the work. Alternatively, you can always call us on 13 10 87 or email us.

State Underground Power Program (SUPP) and Retrospective Undergrounding Projects (RUPP)

Yes. Under these projects you are required to contribute to the network infrastructure costs and your consumer mains connection. If you have underground consumer mains already connected you’ll receive a discount from your  Local Government Authority (LGA).

Network Renewal Undergrounding Program Pilot (NRUPP)

No. Western Power covers the entire infrastructure costs up to the pillar, so if you have underground power connected to a pillar you won’t have to pay anything.  

If you have an underground power project in your area it means your Local Government Authority (LGA) has elected to be part of a program.

The LGA has the power under the West Australian Local Government Act 1995 to pass on infrastructure related charges onto property owners.

When we move power underground, usually every second property has a green dome/box installed. The exact location is determined during the design process, but it’s usually located at the front corner of a property, just inside the front boundary.

There are three different types of pillars, the smaller sized dome mini-pillar, the box shaped mini-pillar and the larger sized dome uni-pillar. You’ll find only around 10% of properties will have uni-pillars.

Yes, it includes a new underground service cable from the green pillar near the front boundary of the property to the meter. To find out more about the costs involved, please contact your Local Government Authority (LGA).

Once the pillar and the consumer mains is installed, your property will be changed over to the new underground power network. You’ll receive a note about this as it happens.

These are the conductors between the pillar and premises main switchboard (on your property) which form part of an electrical installation.

The contractor carrying out the project will repair any damage caused by the works. Please  report any damage not remedied to the contractor as soon as possible.  At the start of the project you’ll receive information in your mailbox with the contractor’s contact details.

All street verges are video-recorded before any work commences as a record. If your verge is damaged, it will be reinstated as close as practical to its original condition.

Any property which has a smart meter or a meter with Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) capability will retain the existing meter.  Any meter which does not have AMI capability will be replaced as part of the project. Meters which are found to be malfunctioning may be replaced or repaired.

No, only the overhead wires will be removed after your property is connected to the underground supply. Because the brackets are old, we recommend you have them removed by a professional to ensure no damage is caused to your property.

A typical roof connection bracket

The costs that you as a resident are required to pay varies based on a number of things such as population density, network load requirements, topography and ground conditions.     

The projects are also funded in different ways depending on the program:

  • Network Renewal Undergrounding Program Pilot (NRUPP) – The resident is only required to pay for their consumer mains (the cable that is installed between the pillar and the premises main switchboard on your property).
  • State Underground Power Program (SUPP)– Funded by Western Power, the State Government and Local Government Authorities (LGAs). Under... Read more
  • Improved public safety – with improved street lighting neighbourhoods are safer, and by removing poles there are less car collisions.
  • Improved reliability and security – once the power is underground, you’ll experience fewer disruptions after major storm events, which means fewer power outages.
  • Improved street appearance – who doesn’t want to live on a nice looking street? No power lines create a more aesthetically pleasing neighbourhood.
  • Increased property value – the absence of poles and wires and the inclusion of new street lighting has a positive impact on property values.

Read more