Underground vs overhead power lines

What are the advantages and disadvantages of underground vs overhead power lines?

Of course, the big one is visibility, and we bury many power lines around Sydney and the Blue Mountains for that reason. But safety and cost are big factors too.

Overhead Power Lines

The advantages of overhead power lines are:

  1. They are less expensive to install
  2. They are easier and therefore cheaper to maintain and operate

However there is the risk of them being bought down by bad weather, they are more dangerous to the public and their life span is not as long as well-installed underground power lines.

In fire-prone areas such as the Blue Mountains and parts of Sydney, overhead power lines can be particularly dangerous due to the risk of fires from high voltage discharges from damaged powerlines.

Underground Power Lines

Although under ground power lines are initially more expensive and more difficult to fix if there was to be a problem, there are many advantages:

  1. They can’t be seen
  2. They have a much longer life
  3. They have a lower operating cost
  4. It’s significantly less likely they will be impacted by bad weather or human intervention

Need more info? See our section on underground power line costs, or contact us via the form on this page or by calling 1800 437 437 and we’ll be happy to advise you.