Underground Power FAQs

1. Underground Power Project – Modern LED Streetlights

The Town of Cambridge have received enquiries regarding the installation of the new energy efficient LED luminaires which are being installed as part of the Underground Power Project.

Over the coming years all new lights installed in the Metro area will be LED’s and designed to the current Australian standards.

Western Power acknowledges that when compared to conventional street lighting the modern LED system may appear both brighter and whiter.

The key reasons for this are current spacing requirements, engineered lighting (lux) levels and “cool white” colour as set out in the Australian Standards for lighting roads and public spaces (AS1158).

Although these modern design requirements have been applied to many new suburban developments in recent years, Western Power appreciate the differences are magnified when applied to older suburbs as part of Underground Power Projects. It is important to note that the new systems are safer, more reliable, energy efficient, cost effective and provide consistent lighting levels along streets and public spaces. We thank you for your understanding and patience during this time of change.

3. Why have I received this notice?

Your property is within the Underground Power Project area.

4. What if my land is vacant?

Vacant land is charged with the network portion of the underground power service charge only.

5. I already have underground power from the front of my property to the meter box; do I still have to pay?

Yes. Western Power have inspected the properties and provided the Town with the necessary information to determine which properties have existing house connections. In these cases, those properties will only be levied for the network portion of the underground power service charge. Most of the project cost is for underground network that replaces the old overhead system, therefore all property owners are required to contribute towards that cost.

6. What if I sell my property?

Any outstanding rates and service charges, including underground power service charges, on a property must be paid in full at settlement when a property is sold.

Please seek expert professional advice regarding the settlement and sale of your property.

7. What if I refuse to pay the service charge?

The underground power service is a charge on the property in the same manner as Council rates are a charge on the property.  Outstanding charges on a property are recoverable by the Town. Legal action may be taken to recover the debt if an election to pay by instalments or other arrangement has not been agreed and the debt remains unpaid after the due date.          

8. Can I change my instalments later on?

 Yes. If you are struggling to maintain the current instalment option please contact the Town to discuss your options, additional instalment interest charges will apply.

9. Can I defer my Underground Power Charge?

 Eligible Pensioners may be entitled to defer the payment of the underground power service charge in the same way they defer their rates. The underground power charges will automatically defer if the payment of the relevant portion is not made by 4pm on 30 June 2019. The deferred amount will be the underground power charge levied excluding any rebate.

Pensioners in receipt of a proportionate rebate, Life tenants and Seniors are not able to defer underground power service charges.

10. What happens if I become a Pensioner/Senior during the Year?

 Property owners who become eligible Pensioners or Seniors prior to 30 June 2019 may be entitled to claim a pro-rata rebate, if they pay their relevant portion of the full payment due prior to 30 June 2019.

Pensioners or Seniors are not able to claim rebates in respect of any instalment options being offered. Only the early payment or pay in full option qualifies for a rebate.           

11. What if I can’t afford it? 

 If you are not able to afford any of the instalment options on offer then you may contact Council to organise a special payment arrangement. Please note that fees and interest under such arrangements are applicable.

12. My bill is a lot more expensive than my neighbour’s so I think I’ve been overcharged. Who can I speak to for clarification?

Each property has been assessed individually on the information provided by Western Power. There may be variations in the fees levied from property to property. If you have a query regarding charges, please call the Town on (08) 9285 3124 or mail@cambridge.wa.gov.au.  

13. There are damages done to my property and reticulation, who do I contact to make a complaint?

Any queries, complaints or reports of damage which relate to the onsite work of contractors should be directed to Western Power at 131 087, or supp@westernpower.com.au.  




14. How to read your Underground Power Notice  

Due date - Payment in full due 15/02/2019.

Early Payment Due Date - 3% discount applicable if payment in full received by 23/10/2018.

Connection Type - A number of connection types are applicable: 

New pillar and underground cable required: No connection exists, a full connection fee is charged.       

New pillar required, existing underground cable: If a connection already exists but needs more work to connect to the network, a modified connection fee is charged.         

Existing pillar and underground cable: Properties that already have an underground connection from the property boundary to the meter panel, no connection fee will be charged.       

State Government Rebate - Eligible pensioners and seniors are entitled to state government rebate.

Connection Fee - The fee charged for the underground connection to the meter panel   

Network Fee - The network charge is determined by the property type, which relates to the capacity (kVA) being provided by Western Power in their cables and network equipment.

kVA rate - Each Underground Power Project has been assigned a kVA rate provided by Western Power. This kVA rate has then been apportioned to achieve a fair and equitable cost for properties in each area.