State Underground Power Program

The State Underground Power Program (the Program) is an initiative that replaces overhead power lines in established areas with underground power infrastructure. Its last project will be completed in 2024.
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The Program is a partnership between the Government of Western Australia, Western Power and local governments. Funding for projects is shared between program partners.

This program is due to conclude in 2024 and will be replaced with the Targeted Underground Power Program (TUPP).


The objectives of the Program are to: 

  • improve reliability and security of electricity supply for consumers;
  • enhance streetscapes and visual amenity;
  • reduce street tree maintenance costs for local governments;
  • improve street lighting and community safety; and
  • reduce maintenance costs for Western Power.


The Program was established in 1996 to improve the reliability of electricity supply, after a severe storm in 1994 caused major disruptions in Perth and southern parts of Western Australia. Western Power later reported that 80 per cent of the power failures could be attributed to trees and branches falling on power lines.

The Program has operated successfully since its inception, with over 100,000 properties converted to underground power. This, together with mandatory undergrounding requirements for new developments, has resulted in over 65 per cent of the Perth metropolitan area now benefiting from underground power.

The Program has been very popular with local governments, and projects were awarded through competitive rounds similar to a public tender (subject to a budget for each funding round).


The Underground Power Steering Committee, comprising representatives from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (Energy Policy WA), the Western Australian Local Government Association and Western Power, is responsible for managing the Program, including evaluating project proposals.

Funding Rounds One to Five

Rounds One to Five of the SUPP had two project delivery streams: Major Residential Projects and Localised Enhancement Projects.

Major Residential Projects aimed to improve the reliability of electricity supplies, predominantly in residential areas (typically 500 to 1,300 allotments per project).

Localised Enhancement Projects aimed to beautify urban gateways, scenic routes and tourism/heritage centres (particularly in regional towns). These projects were smaller than major residential projects.

List of State Underground Power Projects

Funding Round Six for Major Residential Projects

On 27 January 2017, the Minister for Energy in the former government announced the 17 projects selected for the sixth funding round of the Program (Round Six). This followed an announcement, on 12 November 2015, of changes to project selection criteria and funding arrangements for Round Six of the Program.

For Round Six of the Program, project ranking and selection was based on a weighted score between zero and 100 points, comprised of:

  • Western Power’s network priorities contributing up to 50 points to the ranking score of a project.
  • local government contributions above 50 per cent of total project cost contributing up to 25 points to the project ranking score; and
  • results from a community support survey above a threshold of 50 per cent support contributing up to 25 points to the project ranking score.

The project selection process used in Round Six assisted in increasing the network security improvements delivered by the Program. It also better aligned funding contribution shares with the proportionate benefits received by Program participants.

The Round Six projects are:

Round Six
Local GovernmentMajor Residential Projects
Town of CambridgeFloreat West; Floreat North; Floreat East
City of MelvilleKardinya South; Alfred Cove East; Melville North
City of South PerthSouth Perth*; Collier; Manning
Town of Victoria ParkVictoria Park West; Victoria Park East; Carlisle North
City of StirlingTrigg; Menora
City of BayswaterMaylands Central
City of CockburnSouth Lake East
City of CanningShelley West

* The South Perth project was removed from the SUPP and delivered via an alternative program

All Round 6 SUPP projects have been completed except Maylands Central and South Lake East, which will be completed in 2024.

For further information, refer to the Round Six Guidelines and the Evaluation Scores and Survey Results under Related Documents below.

Energy Policy WA and Western Power have worked with local governments to implement the selected projects.

Enquiries about the projects should be directed to the relevant local government.