In 2017 the Minister for Energy announced the trial of a new funding model for undergrounding power. This enables Western Power to upgrade aging sections of the electricity grid from the overhead power lines to an underground network.  

The St James Network Renewal Undergrounding Program Pilot (NRUPP) area covers portions of the suburbs of St James, Bentley and East Victoria Park. The St James NRUPP is being delivered in partnership with Western Power, City of Canning (‘the City’) and the Town of Victoria Park (‘the Town’). The project has been split into Zones by Western Power, see the Zone Map for St James NRUPP for the project boundary and boundary between Town of Victoria Park and the City of Canning. 

This project will deliver significant aesthetic, environmental and economic benefits for both local governments and their ratepayers.  The project creates local jobs through the certainty of work for contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers associated with underground power projects. 

For NRUPP, Western Power covers the cost of the network infrastructure costs in the public space (within the road reserve), up to and including the pillar (green dome).  A service charge will be levied through your rates notice to cover the costs to connect the consumer mains (from pillar to your house).  The service charge will not apply to vacant land, as no consumer mains will be installed within vacant private land.

Properties with an existing underground consumer main will not be required to pay the service charge.  Below are the typical property connection types, enabling you to identify which property type you fall under and if a service charge will be levied.  There are three types of property connections - only a ‘Type 1’ will be charged a $2,398 service charge, ‘Type 2a’ for a Cut and Cap will be charged a $1,135 service charge and ‘Type 2b’ and ‘Type 3’ have no service charge. 

What property 'Type' am I?

Both Councils have negotiated with Western Power a deferral for the service charges for 12 months.  This means that the NRUPP service charges will not be levied until the 2022-2023 financial year rates notice.

There will be two payment method options available for the St James NRUPP:
  1. Payment in full as part of the 2022-2023 rates notice; or
  2. Payment in annual instalments over a ten-year period, with applicable interest charges, commencing as part of the 2022-2023 rates notices.
Eligible pensioners and seniors are entitled to rebates on underground electricity charges as determined by the State Government, as per the guidelines set out below:
  1. Holders of a Pensioner Concession Card, State Concession Card or a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card WITH a WA Seniors Card, will be entitled to receive either up to 50% rebate or full deferral on underground electricity charges; or
  2. Holders of a WA Seniors Card, who do not hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, will be entitled to receive a single $100* rebate on underground electricity charges for the first year only of the scheme.
*The current rebate amount is $100 but is at the discretion of the Department of Finance.

We have collated a Frequently Asked Questions FAQs to assist with questions you may have regarding the project. 

If you have any further queries regarding the St James NRUPP can be directed to Anna Scantlebury at the City on 1300 422 664, or via email at lighting@canning.wa.gov.au
 
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