Underground Power Cost per Metre

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Written by Tristan Cameron

Overhead power lines in some suburbs have become an eyesore; they can obstruct views and cause significant issues if they come down. Some people also experience very frequent power surges. 

A solution to both of these is installing underground power lines. While not an option for everyone, there are situations when moving in this direction is a savvy decision.

We’re going to take a look at what underground power is, the benefits, how it’s installed and the cost involved.  Let’s go.

What is Underground Power?

Most commonly, power is connected to a property from overhead power cables; these connect the mains to the switchboard. Some people elect to have their own private power pole on their property. Right now, 93% of Australian properties are connected to overhead power, but that figure is beginning to reduce.

Underground power, as the name suggests, runs under the ground, eliminating the need for overhead cables or poles. The cables are more stable, resulting in far fewer power surges than those in properties connected to mains via overheads. 

In some newer Sydney developments, underground power is mandatory, so check if this applies to you before moving in. If not, then it’s a personal choice and may be the right one for you.

Benefits of Underground Power

We’ve already mentioned that underground power is more stable, eliminating most power surges, but there are some other benefits:

  • Aesthetics: power poles with cables coming out of them can make the street unsightly; removing these makes for a more beautiful suburb.
  • Less maintenance: one frustration for many homeowners is the need to trim their trees to allow full access to the overhead cables. Without these, trees can be left to flourish.
  • Public safety: Sydney gets some incredible thunderstorms, and during epic ones, power poles have been known to get blown over, risking people’s lives. No poles, no danger.
  • Longevity: underground cables last longer, require less maintenance and receive less damage. 

Underground Power isn’t for Everyone

While underground power sounds like a no-brainer, there are some instances when it’s not ideal or practical:

  • Terrain: in some areas of Sydney prone to flooding or where the tree roots are dense and thick, underground cabling can’t be installed.
  • Ease of access: electricians can work more efficiently with overhead than underground cables if any repairs need to be made.
  • Costly repairs: speaking of repairs, even though they’re less frequent, they require level 2 electricians, which comes with a higher cost.

Connecting to Underground Power – What’s Required?

Changing from overhead to underground power isn’t a straightforward task and requires the experience of a level 2 electrician

Here’s a look at how our electricians at North Shore Electricians handle the process:

  1. We begin by installing new underground cables from the road under the verges. 
  1. Next, we’ll install connection pillars (known as green boxes) either at the front or side of your property.
  1. Your property will need new switchgear and transformer units, mostly installed on the side of your premises.
  1. Connect the underground cable to the pillar box and then the meter box.
  1. Remove old cables, poles, service lines and conductors.

How Much is it per metre to Install Underground Power Cables?

Now, here’s where it gets a bit tricky. It’s virtually impossible to break it down to a per metre rate as there are too many variables to consider. We can’t give you an accurate figure without knowing the voltage and use of the powerlines and the environment they’re being installed in.

We can tell you it’s between $1,500 and $3,000 on average. Naturally, if the task is more complicated, like the footpath being congested by other utilities and telecommunication companies, we may need to dig into the road. This requires council permission, takes additional time, and may cause disruption to other neighbours. 

Call North Shore Electricians now, and one of our level 2 electricians will come out and assess your property and advise you on whether underground power is for you and an approximate cost.

Why Choose North Shore Electricians to Install Underground Power

We’ve been performing electrical tasks across Sydney for over 20 years. We’ve watched underground cabling gain in popularity, and we’ve assisted in hundreds of installations. 

As we’re local, we know the intricacies of the different Sydney suburbs and can quickly and efficiently advise you on whether underground power matches your situation.

Our level 2 electricians are up-to-date on Sydney’s electrical regulations and ensure that every project meets those stringent requirements.

Every team member excels at customer service and will take the time to explain to you what they’re working on every step of the way.

If you think that underground power is an option for you, contact us today. 

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