Residents and businesses in a portion of Maylands will be the first to benefit from underground power as Council last night authorised CEO Jeremy Edwards to sign a co-funding agreement that could see Western Power commence construction as early as the end of February next year.
Mayor Filomena Piffaretti said now Western Power has signed off on the business case, the City will write to residents set to benefit from underground power.
“Maylands was included in the State Underground Power Project in 2016 due to the high number of power outages experienced in the area, especially during storms,” she said.
“The benefits of underground power include a reduction in faults, improved tree canopy, and an increase in house values and aesthetics.
“The City understands the current economic outlook is tough so as part of its 2023/24 Budget, the City will borrow funds to pay Western Power. This will allow residents to receive underground power now and pay the City back over the longer term, if necessary.
“Western Power has agreed to cover cost increases since its original consultation with residents back in 2016.
The City is investigating three potential service charge models to allocate the cost of underground power to those who are set to benefit from it.
Indicative costs for the undergrounding of power in Maylands would be between $2,000 and $3,000 for residential properties and $3,000 and above for commercial properties.
The service charge models will be presented to Council in February for feedback, with the chosen model included in the 2023/24 Budget. Eligible pensioners are entitled to a 50 per cent rebate on their underground power charge while eligible seniors will get a $100 rebate.
Western Power has indicated works will be completed in May/June 2024.
Future underground power projects
Other suburbs in the City of Bayswater are also set to benefit from underground power. In October 2022, Council authorised CEO Jeremy Edwards to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Western Power for the replacement of ageing power lines with underground power as part of its Targeted Underground Power Program (TUPP).
Four areas have been identified in the City of Bayswater as part of the TUPP. These include areas within the suburbs of Bedford, Morley and Bayswater. Boundaries are currently being defined with the first project scheduled for delivery as early as 2025.