Underground Power

The City of Nedlands is working with Western Power to deliver the final three Underground Power projects within the City. 

Once complete these projects will see the remainder of the residential overhead power infrastructure moved underground. 

The links below show the extent of each project area and a link to the Underground Business Case.


All premises within these areas will need to pay a contribution towards the undergrounding of power if the project proceeds. Western Power will not call for tenders for Hollywood East until late 2026.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is getting underground power?

The City of Nedlands is proposing to complete the final stages of the underground power program. This final stage will connect approximately 2000 residences, that remain without underground power in the City, to the program. The three areas still to be undergrounded are known as Nedlands North, Nedlands West and Hollywood East. 

How much will it cost?

The total project cost is currently estimated to be $43.5 million. The City is required to contribute about $25.2 million. Under the City's Underground Power Policy, 50 per cent of the City's contribution is recoverable from ratepayers receiving underground power. The remaining cost will be covered by Western Power.

My home already has an underground connection, or “green dome”, will I still need to pay?

If you already have a ‘green dome’, you will not need to pay the full amount.  You will still need to pay an amount to contribute towards the undergrounding of existing overhead powerlines. 

Can I have a "green dome" installed early?

Yes, residents can have a green dome installed before the underground power rollout, if they organise and pay for its instalment.

What are the benefits of underground power?

In a business case developed for the project, benefits identified for the affected areas included increased property values, improved reliability of electricity supply, improved energy efficient street lighting and improved visual amenity.

Benefits to the wider community include improved reliability of power supply during severe weather events, improved visual amenity, improved health and safety (reduced electrical contact injuries, reduced power pole collisions, improved lighting) and reduced environmental impact (reduced herbicides and pesticides around wooden poles). 

More information regarding the benefits can be found in the Business Case and Western Power’s website.

What are the financial implications of underground power?

The business case identified significant costs that the City and affected residents will need to pay.  Recent estimates suggest that the total cost of the project may be around $43.5 million.  The cost to the City and its ratepayers will be approximately $25.2 million, with Western Power contributing approximately $18.3 million.

As part of the City’s Underground Power Policy, the City’s overall funds would contribute 50% of the City’s proportion of costs (approximately $12.6m) and ratepayers in the affected areas would contribute the other 50%. The City’s contribution would ultimately come from the rates of all ratepayers, but in the interim, the City will potentially need to borrow money. This would accrue interest and could impact on the City’s future borrowing capacity or its ability to secure future funding and loans.

The impacts of the City portion of funding include opportunity cost (less money would be available to fund other projects within the City, including new projects and maintaining existing assets) as well as additional personal cost to affected ratepayers via an increased charge on their council rates.

More information regarding the costs can be found in the Business Case 

When will underground power be rolled out?

At its 28 May 2024 meeting, Council agreed to proceed with underground power in Floreat (Nedlands North) and Mt Claremont (Nedlands West). Construction in Floreat is likely to commence in August 2024 and is expected to be completed by March 2025. (subject to confirmation from Western Power).  Construction in Mt Claremont is likely to commence thereafter with completion by mid 2026.

How will the community be consulted?

In 2023 The City of Nedlands engaged Data Analysis Australia to conduct a comprehensive survey assessing local ratepayers' attitudes towards the Underground Power Project. The survey was conducted across May and June 2023, and generated 903 responses in total. The survey results showed robust support for the project generally, with the majority of respondents supporting the initiative. In the affected areas, general support for the initiative was 75%. Overall, and despite the need to contribute financially to the power in their areas being undergrounded, there remains strong support by those in the affected area for the undergrounding to proceed, with 70% preferring this option, rather than retaining the existing overhead power.

In early 2024 Western Power completed their tender process and were able to present the City of Nedlands with more accurate costings for the project. The City of Nedlands Council has asked that affected property owners are surveyed again regarding the new costings. The consultation is planned to take place in March and April 2024.

Council considered feedback from landowners at its 28 May 2024 Council meeting and agreed to proceed with the project. Landowners in the Hollywood will be consulted once Western Power completes its tender process later in 2026. This will provide for latest and more accurate costings.

What is the difference between transmission lines and distribution lines? 

The electricity network that services your property contains both distribution and transmission lines that carry electricity around the grid. Transmission lines carry bulk electricity at high voltages from power stations to major substations. These are located on tall poles positioned at the top of the pole. Distribution lines carry electricity at lower voltages to properties.

Most streets in the City of Nedlands have only distribution lines, and these will be placed underground as part of proposed underground power projects.

My property is on one of the streets/roads/avenues that will still have above ground high voltage transmission lines. Will I still need to pay?

Yes, you will still need to pay for the undergrounding of power in your area. You will still receive the benefits of underground power, such as improved power reliability, better lighting, improved streetscape, and fewer street poles and overhead wires. 

The distribution line on a street will be placed underground as part of proposed underground power projects, while the transmission line will remain. These streets will still receive many of the benefits of an underground power network including improved reliability, security, street lighting, visual amenity and increased capacity to facilitate the integration of more renewables.

If you do live in one of these streets, you may be offered a discount.

Why don't the Transmission Lines get 'undergrounded'?

Undergrounding transmission lines comes at a significant cost. The undergrounding of transmission lines in the City is not currently part of the project scope. 

My land is vacant. Do I still need to pay?

You will not need to pay the full amount, as you will not need to pay the connection fee. You will still need to pay an amount to contribute towards the undergrounding of existing overhead powerlines.

If I vote 'no'. do I still have to pay if the undergrounding project goes ahead?

Yes, if the decision is made to underground the power in the remaining areas, all ratepayers in the affected areas will have to make the required payment. You will be able to choose whether you make your payment in one instalment or over a number of years.

What happens if I sell my property before I have paid the full amount of my contribution?

Any remaining amount of money owing would be payable to the Council on settlement of the property sale (as with any other outstanding Council rates).

How much would I need to pay?

All ratepayers in the affected areas would need to pay. Th e amount payable will be between $5,450 - $11,150 detailed in the table below.

Area With dome Without dome
Nedlands West (Mt Claremont) $5,450 cost per property $9,500 cost per property
Nedlands North (Floreat) $7,800 cost per property $11,150 cost per property

What if I can't afford to pay?

Each ratepayer will have the option to pay the full amount in one payment or spread over four years. If the project goes ahead and you are concerned about your ability to pay, we recommend you contact the Council at that time.

What happens if the undergrounding project does not happen?

Areas identified for Western Power's Targeted Underground Power Program (TUPP) are selected based on network driven approach, targeting areas with a high density of aging overhead assets and offered to local governments in priority order. Outside of the proposed projects initiated by the City of Nedlands, and based on Western Power's current network renewal undergrounding program, there are no areas in the City of Nedlands suitable for underground projects for a least 20 years.

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