What are the benefits of underground power?
While the costs are considerable, there is evidence that installing underground power increases property values. A report by the WA Economic Regulation Authority (October 2011) found that underground power increases property values by an average of $9,962.
Find more information and a report on the Economic Regulation Authority's webpage.
An earlier study by the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University found that underground power could increase property values by 3 per cent. On a $600,000 property, this equates to $18,000.
Read the Crawford report House Prices and Underground Electricity distribution lines here.
Property values aside, there are also practical, aesthetic and increased safety benefits provided by underground power, which include:
- greater reliability and improvements in the quality of power supplies, and the elimination of power supply faults caused by coastal pollution, storms, trees, bird life, vandalism, equipment failure and motor vehicle collisions with poles;
- enhancements of streetscapes with the removal of poles and wires, making areas more desirable to live in while improving property values;
- reduction in power supply surges due to overhead line faults and, as a result, a reduction in the incidence of damage to sensitive electrical equipment/appliances;
- better street lighting, which can help to deter crime and contribute to improvements in road safety;
- reductions in tree pruning and the ugly foliage deformation that occurs to keep trees clear of overhead wires; and
- a safer public environment, with a reduction in personal safety hazards caused by broken wires and people cutting trees near power lines.