Underground and Overhead Power Supply Sydney

Welcome to AB Electrical’s quick guide on underground and overhead power supply in Sydney.

Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, understanding your power supply options is crucial. This guide will offer you a brief but comprehensive overview of both options, helping you make an informed decision for your electrical needs. Stay tuned as we delve into the key aspects of installation, costs, and benefits of both setups.
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Overhead vs Underground Power: A Brief Overview

When it comes to supplying electricity to your property in Sydney, you generally have two options: overhead and underground power. Overhead power supply relies on power poles and overhead cables to deliver electricity. This is the more traditional and visible method, often seen in older suburbs.

On the other hand, underground power installation involves laying electrical cables beneath the ground, making it a less obtrusive option that’s becoming increasingly popular in modern developments.

Each method has its pros and cons. Overhead power is generally cheaper to install but can be more vulnerable to weather conditions, leading to power outages. Underground power offers a more aesthetically pleasing setup and is less prone to environmental damage but comes at a higher installation cost. The choice between the two often depends on various factors, including location, budget, and specific electrical needs.

Installation Service We Offer

Overhead Power Installation

AB Electrical’s experienced level 2 electricians are licensed to supply and install single and three-phase overhead systems. We offer a complete service upgrade, from installing new power poles to running overhead cables across Sydney. Whether it's a new installation or switching from an existing underground service, we've got you covered.

Underground Power Installation

For those interested in a more aesthetic and resilient solution, we offer underground power installation in Sydney. Our electricians run underground cables attached to your property’s meter box, allowing for a seamless and secure electricity supply.

Switching from Overhead to Underground

Not happy with your existing overhead setup? We can convert your current overhead cables to an underground electrical system. This service is ideal for Sydney residents looking to enhance the safety and aesthetics of their property.

Overhead Power Supply: What You Need to Know

Overhead power supply is a traditional method of delivering electrical power through elevated powerlines and poles. While this method is cost-effective and quicker to install, it comes with its own set of challenges, such as vulnerability to weather conditions and power outages. In Sydney, many suburbs still operate on an overhead electrical system.

Power Points and Phase Overhead

In an overhead setup, power points can be connected directly through overhead electrical cables. These can be either single or three-phase overhead, depending on your power needs and capacity to carry the electrical load.

Overhead Service Cable

The overhead service cable is the main line that connects the overhead powerlines to your property's meter box. This cable must be maintained regularly to ensure uninterrupted electrical service.

Overhead Electrical Safety

The use of overhead power lines in Sydney requires strict adherence to safety norms. Powerlines should be at a safe distance from trees and buildings to prevent any electrical hazards.

Underground Power Installation

Underground Electrical Wiring

The process involves installing underground electrical wiring that is connected to your property's switchboard and meter box. These underground mains ensure a stable and secure electricity supply.

Underground Consumer Main

The underground consumer main is the principal cable that allows for the flow of electricity from the street's network to your property. It is usually run underground and is attached to the property's meter box.

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Switching from Overhead to Underground

If you’re considering a transition from an overhead to an underground electrical system, there are several key factors to consider.


While overhead systems are generally cheaper, underground systems offer long-term benefits like lower maintenance costs and better resilience against natural disasters, making them a cost-effective solution in the long run.

Installation of a New Underground System

If you decide to switch, the installation of a new underground system would involve experienced level 2 electricians in Sydney who are licensed to supply and install underground cables.

Electrical Work Required

The electrical work involved in switching includes removing the existing overhead service cables, installing new underground mains, and reconfiguring the power supply to your switchboard and meter box.

Power Poles and Cables: The Basics

Power poles are a staple in overhead electrical systems, supporting the cables that bring electricity to your property. These poles can be publicly owned or, in some cases, could be a private power pole installed on your property.

Types of Power Poles

In Sydney, you'll encounter various types of power poles, ranging from wood to metal and concrete. Your choice will depend on local regulations and the capacity to carry the electrical load.

Cables Run Underground

Even in overhead systems, it's not uncommon to find that some cables run underground, especially in complex installations or to avoid certain obstacles. These underground service lines typically connect to the overhead system at a power pole.

Why Suburbs Are Opting for Underground

There has been a significant shift towards underground power in many Sydney suburbs for various reasons:

Aesthetic Appeal

Underground power eliminates the clutter of overhead powerlines, providing a cleaner and more appealing environment.

Safety and Resilience

Underground systems are less susceptible to damage from severe weather events, reducing the risk of power outages.

Increasing Property Value

Several studies have shown that neighbourhoods with underground electrical systems often enjoy higher property values.

Local Initiatives

Local authorities in many Sydney suburbs, including the western suburbs, are encouraging this switch through subsidies and other initiatives.

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switchboard electrician

Switchboard Considerations

Switchboards are crucial in any electrical system, be it overhead or underground, as they distribute electricity from the main supply to various points within the property.
  • Level 2 Electrical Work: Whether you are installing a new switchboard or upgrading an old one, it requires the expertise of a certified level 2 electrician. This ensures that the switchboard can handle your property’s electrical needs while adhering to Sydney’s stringent safety regulations.
  • Single or Three-Phase Electricity Supply: Depending on your power needs, you may require a switchboard that can accommodate either a single or three-phase electricity supply. Your electrician can guide you through this during the installation process.
  • NSW Regulations: In NSW, specific regulations dictate the type and placement of switchboards. Compliance is crucial to avoid any future complications, such as defect notices.

Choosing Between Overhead and Underground

When contemplating your electrical system set up in Sydney, the decision between overhead and underground power can be daunting. Each has its merits:

Overhead Power Systems:

  • Cost-Effective: Often, overhead installations can be more budget-friendly due to fewer construction demands.
  • Maintenance Accessibility: Overhead systems are generally easier to diagnose and repair as components are visible.
  • Installation Time: Erecting power poles and stringing cables is usually quicker than trenching for underground cables.

Underground Power Systems:

  • Aesthetics: With all cables hidden, landscapes and cityscapes remain undisturbed.
  • Safety: Reduced risks of electrocution from downed power lines, especially during severe weather.
  • Longevity: Underground cables are less exposed to environmental factors, often leading to a longer lifespan.
Deciding on the most suitable system requires considering factors like location, budget, safety concerns, and future expansion possibilities. AB Electrical can guide you through this decision-making process.

Wiring and Power Points

Wiring your property efficiently ensures that every room and outdoor area is powered adequately. Power points, where your devices plug in, are a direct access point to this wiring.

Underground Electrical Wiring:

  • Safety: With underground electrical wiring, the risk of physical contact is virtually nullified.
  • Protection: These cables are safeguarded from weather-related damages or external interferences.
  • Location: Underground wiring can be especially useful in locations with space constraints or aesthetic considerations.

Power Points:

  • Placement: Strategically placed power points can significantly enhance the usability of spaces.
  • Capacity: New power points can be single, double, or even more, depending on the demand.
  • Safety: Ensure your power points have safety shutters, especially in homes with children.

Level 2 Electrical Services

Level 2 Electrical Services in Sydney are crucial when dealing with complex installations like overhead and underground power supply systems. Unlike regular electricians, Level 2 electricians like AB Electrical have advanced training and are authorised to handle specialised tasks such as installing power poles, upgrading switchboards, and working on overhead and underground mains. We are also licensed to supply and install both overhead and underground cables.


Ready to Upgrade Your Power Supply? Contact AB Electrical Now!

Don’t compromise when it comes to the safety and efficiency of your electrical system. Whether you’re considering a shift from overhead to underground power or need advanced electrical services, our experienced Level 2 electricians have got you covered. Get in touch today for a cost-effective, custom solution for your property. 

Our Testimonials

Adam did a fantastic and efficient job installing my outdoor lights. He was on time, polite and worked in a professional manner. Highly recommend his electrical services.

-- Chris Duong
Great service. Adam arrived straight away, was great to deal with, clean and fixed the my power issues. Will definitely use him again.

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Adam and local electrical crew installed my two light fans recently and were complete professionals. Prompt, courteous and tidy, it’s refreshing to meet an electrical contractor who is so passionate about his work. I will definitely be using him again and I thoroughly recommend his company - AB Electricians Sydney.

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Adam is a true professional and I would highly recommended him. Not only does he listen to what you need done, he goes the extra mile to achieve your desired results. Adam is very friendly and on time and his rates are very reasonable. I will be using Adam for all my electrical solutions from now on.

- Sasha Coxon
Adam came highly recommended and I couldn’t agree more - very knowledgeable, approachable and honest guy who was able to install what was necessary quickly. His rates are very fair, and kept in contact with any issues I was having following the visit. Cannot recommend enough and will definitely be using his expertise again!

- Dominic Byrne
Adam arrived on time and was very efficient. He gathered all necessary equipment and successfully completed all the jobs. I loved his recommendations about garden lighting too. Highly recommended for both big and little electrical jobs.

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Had two ceiling fans installed, nice and friendly service, great job!

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PCYC North Sydney has been using AB Electrical for over a year now, for all club maintenance, compliance and fire/emergency work. Extremely professional, reliable and amazing attention to detail. It's refreshing to see an electrician that is as passionate about their work as Adam.

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