State Underground Power Program
In terms of councils 50 per cent contribution to the program, how are the costs recovered i.e. charged only to the homes and ratepayers who benefit or is it spread across the entire rate base?
Since 1998, the City has been involved in four underground power projects. In each case the property owners within the defined underground power (UGP) area, by way of a service charge, have met the full cost minus the minimal in-kind component of the local government contribution.
What has been the average cost to the ratepayer to install underground power?
The State Underground Power Project for the most recent round of the project in Salter Point was estimated to cost around $4,300 per property owner. Discounts were applied to pensioners and registered seniors, with a reduction in the base rate for properties already having an underground house connection from the existing aerial network was applied. Similarly a reduction was applied to those properties where power infrastructure was placed at ground level in front or adjacent to the property. In addition to this a reduction in the base rate was set for multiple dwellings on infill sites.
Were residents made aware of the cost before the program was undertaken, if so in what way?
As part of the commitment to the program the then Office of Energy (now Public Utilities Office) contacted every property owner within the defined Salter Point UGP area by mail out and advised the cost of the project would be on average $4,300 per home owner. The letter included reference to the specific circumstances that each property owner would face and that some properties would attract a higher charge while others would be considerably less.
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