State Government projects
You can visit Western Power’s website which can be found here: www.westernpower.com.au/community/work-in-your-area/underground-power/Learn about the State Government projects that are happening within the City.
State Underground Power Program (SUPP)
The State Underground Power Program (SUPP) is a State Government initiative established to provide 50% of Perth households with underground power by the year 2010, and this milestone has now been achieved with the existing program coming to an end with the completion of Round 5.
What is the State underground power program?
Previously nominations for proposed projects were invited from interested local government authorities (LGAs) prior to the commencement of each round. LGAs were asked to nominate projects using set selection criteria, with each nomination assessed against social, economic and technical criteria by the SUPP Steering Committee, who then selected projects on behalf of the Public Utilities Office (PUO) formerly Office of Energy.
The SUPP incorporated two types of projects:
- Major Residential Projects (MRP) involve large areas of predominantly residential properties. Prior to Round 5 preferred project sizes vary from 800 to 1300 lots, for Round 5 that was revised to between 600 and 1000 lots
- Localised Enhancement Projects (LEP) which were smaller in size and involve precinct areas of high significance to the community. That is, usually around a kilometre of roads, such as main streets in country towns, significant council areas in the metropolitan area, or areas of historical or heritage significance.
This program has now been restarted with the Minister for Energy announcing a replacement program as Round 6.
How are the works funded?
Under the original State Underground Power Program (SUPP), 50% of project costs were subsidised by the State Government through the Office of Energy and Western Power, with the remaining 50% provided by the relevant local government authority.
The City of Stirling operates under a 'user pays' principle for funding, and in accordance with the benefits accruing to property owners identified in the ERA report, its contribution is fully recovered from the owners of properties that benefit from the underground power works.
Please note that the successor program to the original SUPP, which concluded on the completion of existing Round 5 SUPP projects, is substantially different even though it is offered as Round 6. This successor program is based on differing system reliability criteria and has a competitive bidding element that provides a higher score to LGAs that offer a greater than 50% contribution.
Previous projects in the City of Stirling
The State Underground Power Program (SUPP) commenced in 1996 and was administered in rounds of approximately 3 years duration.
The City of Stirling made submissions for all rounds of the program and was awarded projects in the following rounds:
- Round 1: Woodlands and part of Doubleview were completed as a Major Residential Project (MRP)
- Round 2: The Scarborough Beach precinct was designated as a Localised Enhancement Project (LEP) and the Mt Lawley precinct as an MRP
- Round 3, Churchlands and Wembley Downs had the work completed in 2 years as an MRP
- Round 4: The Balcatta project was awarded by the SUPP steering committee, however support from public consultation in the affected area was low and the City could not proceed to Council mandate for inclusion in the scheme
- Round 5: Coolbinia project was selected for inclusion in the SUPP as an MRP and was completed in January 2015.
Current projects in the City of Stirling
You may have recently received an Underground Power Notice (invoice) from the City, as underground power will soon be installed across your suburb. We would like to reassure you that the amount on the invoice can be can be paid over time, and in seven yearly instalments. Western Power has advised that a construction start is anticipated for early February 2019, although contact details for the contractor undertaking the work have yet to be confirmed to the City. Once a date is confirmed, and Western Power contact details for the contractor undertaking the work can be included, the City will be mailing out a ‘Project Start Up Newsletter’ on behalf of Western Power to all property owners in the SUPP. This will also be uploaded to this webpage. Further quarterly Newsletter updates will be uploaded and only be available from this webpage, however, property owners may apply in writing for a hard copy to be sent by mail.
View the Menora SUPP start up newsletter
- To assist in paying this amount, the due date for the first instalment (or payment in full if feasible) has been extended to 30 April 2019. The recurring instalment dates will also be extended to 30 April of each year and the City will send an instalment reminder reflecting this.
- However, if the instalment options outlined on the invoice don’t work for you, please give us a call on 9205 8555 to discuss a tailored payment plan.
- Please note that the 9% default penalty interest will only be applied if no payment is made.
- If you are an eligible pensioner that would like to take advantage of the State Government Rebate, please note that full payment is required by 30 June 2019
If you have any concerns over the payment installments, please phone the Customer Contact Centre.
Round 6 - State Underground Power program
In December 2015 the Public Utilities Office released guideline details for local governments to participate in Round 6 of the State Underground Power program. A significant difference to the previous rounds is that LGAs are required to nominate the proportion of project contribution level likely to be acceptable to the community. Under the new proposals, although the minimum contribution from local governments remains 50%, this now carries a zero score while project proposals offering a greater contribution share will receive a higher score in the selection process and be more competitive.
A copy of the Minutes from a Report (item 10.3/ED2) to Council on 1 March 2016 can be downloaded here: Council Minutes 1 March 2016 (item 10.3/ED2).In accordance with the Council resolution, the City put forward Expressions of Interest for three projects in Round 6 for consideration by the SUPP Steering Committee.
Menora and Trigg are now progressing to the next stage, however North Beach was unsuccessful. As a result, the Public Utilities Office undertook a formal public consultation for both Menora and Trigg.
On 1 February 2017, the City received notification from the Minister for Energy that the SUPP Steering Committee had approved both Menora and Trigg to progress to the 'Detailed Proposal Stage'. Subject to detailed design and contract, it is likely Trigg will commence in late 2019. A plan for each of the prospective projects, showing the current project area and participating properties, is available below.
How can I apply for information on future projects in the City of Stirling?
Should you require further information on the SUPP, the City advises that this is a matter for the State Government and that additional queries should be addressed through:
The dollar value in the survey letter is different to what is on my Underground Power Rates Notice?
The survey letter was an estimated average figure of $8,000 for a typical single residential property. The maximum amount payable for a typical single residential property is $8,299.75 but the average in the City’s financial model for a typical single residential property is $7,956.
The maximum figure includes the full network fee and full connection fee, however not all properties have a full connection fee which results in a lower average figure than the maximum value above.
How has the City allocated the cost of the project to property owners?
The City has used a dollar per kilo-volt-ampere (KVA) allocation methodology for the financial model. The network has been designed to meet the expected energy requirements for the area and this is achieved by allocating a KVA to each property type. The total KVA’s are added up together and then divided by the total project cost to get a dollar per KVA. The dollar per KVA is then multiplied against an assigned expected KVA for that property which results in the total network fee for that property.
Why are commercial type properties much higher than the advised survey amount?
As noted above each property type is allocated a specific KVA based on what it is expected to be drawn from the network. Each commercial property is carefully assessed with assistance from Western Power for its expected KVA draw. That KVA value is multiplied against the dollar per KVA which results in the total network fee for that property. The larger the KVA required the larger the amount required to contribute to the infrastructure required for the network.
What happens to any outstanding monies owed on my property if I sell my house?
As with outstanding Council rates, any amount outstanding for the underground power project charge would be payable on settlement if the property is sold.
What if I cannot afford to pay the Underground Payment Notice?
Payment options are outlined on the Notice. If you are unable to meet these options please contact the City to discuss the matter further.
Can I defer my Underground Power charge?
Ratepayers who are eligible Pensioners are entitled to defer the payment of the underground power charge in the same way they defer rates. The deferred amount will be charged in full, no rebate will be applied and payable in full at the time of the property sale.
Does the cost per property include the connection to my meter box?
Yes, it does. It includes a new underground property service cable from the green dome near the front of your property, to your meter. If you have already have the connection undergrounded please refer to the next FAQ.
Some properties already have underground power from the front of the property to the meter box, would these owners still have to pay for the project?
Yes, but they will receive a discount. A discount of 50% of the property owner’s connection fee would apply for property owners with an existing underground property service connection where a new pillar is required. If there is already an existing underground connection and pillar a full discount of the connection fee is given.
What if my land is vacant?
Vacant land would be charged for the cost of underground power, just as for Council rates and sewerage. However there will be no connection fee for payable by the property owner due to there being no property service connection.
Are there any other unknown costs at this point such as for non-compliant electrical installations identified during the project?
There are no other costs. Property owners would only have to pay the property owner cost as indicated in this brochure. Any non-compliant electrical installation at the meter box will be remedied by the project at no cost to the owner. Western Power does not otherwise inspect the property for non-compliant electrical installations.
The project is set to commence in January/February 2019 and is on schedule for completion in January 2020.
Western Power will be installing the new underground cabling progressively through the street verges, and from the front of each property to the meter box (except where this cable already exists) using below ground boring methods. Once the new system is connected and energised, Western Power will change each property over from the overhead to the new underground system. The old overhead system is then removed as soon as possible.
What happens if the contractors damage my property, the verge or my reticulation?
These works are a major civil project and even with the non-invasive methods used, some verge and front garden disruption will occur. To assist the process, all verges and work areas will be filmed before work commences.
Property Owners/Occupiers should direct any requests to the relevant contractor, as they are responsible for all re-instatements and repairs and have all the appropriate resources. The various Advices delivered during the project will contain the contractor’s contact details. Property Owners/Occupiers can always contact Western Power or the City of Stirling if they are not satisfied with the contractor’s response.
Property Owners/Occupiers will not be reimbursed for work done by any other party to reinstate or repair damage caused by the contractor during the work without the contractor’s prior authorisation. Property Owners/Occupiers are encouraged to carry out minor re-instatements or repairs if they wish, provided no reimbursement is sought. The contractors reserve the right to charge for time taken to investigate complaints that are subsequently shown to be clearly unrelated to the underground power work.
Would all the old overhead and poles be removed?
All the distribution lines in the project area will be removed but this would not occur in some areas until late in the project because some parts of the overhead system cannot be turned off until all properties have been changed to the new underground system.
However, there is a Western Power transmission line on Bradford Street and Learoyd Street that will not be removed.
Why should property owners contribute to the replacement of Western Power infrastructure?
It costs Western Power a lot less to deliver power to consumers by maintaining the overhead system instead of installing a new modern underground system. This program is unique in Australia because of the shared funding arrangements that reflect the benefits gained by property owners, the State Government and Western Power. Property owners will gain greatly enhanced streetscapes, better and more reliable power, brighter and safer streetlights and a safer public environment. An added benefit is the demonstrated increased property value.
Where can I go to get more information about underground power projects as I have questions that are not covered above?