What are the benefits of Underground Power?
The cost of undergrounding is shared between the State Government, Western Power, Local Government and property owners. Western Power contributes the avoided cost of rebuilding the overhead electricity network and the additional benefits that brings through reduced operating costs. The State Government's funding is tiered based on socio-economic indicators. The Local Government contributes the remaining amount needed to install underground power and this includes seeking a contribution from property owners.
Every property owner will be charged an underground power service charge which will be determined by Council if it agrees to proceed with the project once consultation feedback has been received. Eligible pensioners and seniors card holders who receive a discount on their Council rates will receive a discount to the underground power service charge to the same percentage as the discount applied to their Council rates.
Although there will be a cost to residents, this initiative is heavily subsidised by Western Power and the State Government. Should the feedback from the community not be in favour of the project, the cost of future opportunities for underground power may be substantially higher.
The City has received estimated costs from Western Power. These estimates have been developed within a range of plus or minus 30% and are as follows;
- The total cost per property for Project 235 estimated as between $1,768.20 and $3,283.80
- The total cost per property for Project 317 estimated as between $3,916.50 and $7,273.50
The actual cost per property will be adjusted based on the Gross Rental Value (GRV) of the property in comparison to the average GRV of the area, or if endorsed by Council any other methodology as described.
It is proposed that an option to pay the costs over a number of years will be provided. It is likely that an interest rate would be applied if the costs are paid over a number of years and no interest would be charged if the service charge is paid in full.
It should be noted that details surrounding the service charge are still to be finalised. If Council agrees to proceed with the project with a different payment structure, then the total amount per lot/owner would change.