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Top 10 things you need to know about Private Power Poles in Western Australia
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Private Power Pole Replacement

Private Power poles weaken and deteriorate with time. In strong weather and winds private power poles can become damaged and even pose a fatality and injury hazard.

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If Western Power has issued you with a fault or defect notice for your private power pole, call us immediately to replace your private power pole. We charge fair prices and make sure the job is secure from start to finish. Our highest priority is to have minimal stress for you, our client.

Top 10 Things you need to know about Private Power Poles in Western Australia

In this article about private power poles, we’ll discuss the following:

1. What are Private Power Poles?
2. Why do they exist?
3. How do they work?
4. Who is responsible for them?
5. Safety Concerns with Private Power Poles
6. What is the history of Private Power Poles?
7. How do they compare to Public Power Poles?
8. What are the Privacy Laws affecting Private Power Poles?
9. Who can access your Private Power Pole and how?
10. Practical Tips for Working with Private Power Poles

Sunrise over power poles

What are Private Power Poles?
“A private power pole (PPP) is a utility pole on private property used for the supply of electricity to premises”.

They were created in Western Australia due to an amendment to the Electricity Supply Act 1996 in 2006. Prior to this, electricity could only be supplied from public power poles. The amendment allowed electricity supply from Private Power Poles provided they complied with certain safety and other standards. Since that time there has at times been confusion amongst property owners as to their operation and maintenance.

Top of a power pole in Perth
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Why do they exist?
The main reason for the existence of Private Power Poles is to allow electricity to be supplied from private property. Previously, supply of electricity was only allowed from public power poles. This restriction on supplying electricity from the poles on private property applied even if the pole was located in a privately owned easement. The Electricity Utilities Act 1996 (WA) (the Act) provides that a person must not supply energy within Western Australia unless it is pursuant to a licence issued under section 106 of the Act (section).

How do Private Power Poles work?
Private poles are designed and constructed to comply with the provisions of Australian Standard AS4100 (AS4100) Private Power Poles (PPP).

How Private Power Poles work is that a person or company applies to the local network provider for a network connection. The local network provider then installs the connection onto their electricity poles and charges for the supply of electricity from their poles. The local network provider will usually provide an aerial cable running from their poles to your property, on which you can attach electrical devices such as air conditioners, electric fences etc.

Power Poles along the Perth horizon

Who is responsible for them?
When you purchase land in Western Australia there can be restrictions imposed by Local Councils upon which utility providers can extend services onto your land. For example, the local Council may impose restrictions such that only the local water and sewerage companies can extend services onto your block of land. In regards to Private Power Poles, there is no restriction upon which utility provider can extend services onto your property. The only restriction will be if you have a restrictive covenant on your title requiring you to use one specific power pole supplier.

Private Property with power poles in the front in Australia

Safety Concerns with Private Power Poles
Power poles are located on private land and behind private fences with little or no public safety role in their operation or maintenance. However, it is a requirement of principals engaged in accordance with AS4100 that they “ensure the safety of a PPP is not compromised”.

 

What is the history of Private Power Poles?

This question refers to the idea of a company having access to private land to construct and operate a power pole on that land. There is no prior legislation to allow this activity in Western Australia. In fact, Electricity Act has been amended in 2006 which restricted supply of electricity from private power poles. This was overturned by an amendment made in 2008, which allowed supply of energy from private poles on privately owned property.

 

How do they compare to Public Power Poles?
The main comparison between public power poles and private power poles is that public power poles are owned by the Western Australian Government whereas private power poles are not.

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What are the Privacy Laws affecting Private Power Poles?

The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Act) is a Federal Law. It applies to all Australian Government activities, including Public and Private organisations, as defined in the Privacy Act. Most private organisations within Australia will also have Privacy Policies which also need to be consulted to ascertain if they have any privacy obligations regarding private power poles in Western Australia. These policies may also state that information about your private property can only be accessed with a written enforcement order issued by a court of law.
The WA Privacy Act 1988 is similar, but not exactly the same as the Commonwealth Privacy Act. The WA Privacy Act has different exemptions and access rights. For example, under section 7(1) of the WA Privacy Act, an authorised person can only access a record that is in the possession or under control of an organisation if they have either express or implied consent to access such information. Whereas under the Commonwealth Privacy Act, personal information can be accessed with consent or another exception.

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Photo of Private Power Pole

Who can access your Private Power Pole and how?

Power pole companies that are regulated by the Western Australian Utilities Commission are regulated by legislation under section 118 of the Utilities Commission Act 1992 (WA). They can only provide electricity to your property if you submit a written request to the Power Pole Company. This request is then forwarded to the Western Australian Utilities Commission, who will assess the application for compliance with certain standards. Once the application is approved, the Power Pole Company will enter onto your land and install their equipment. They have a legal obligation from section 19 of the Act to comply with any applicable local government laws and regulations, as well as national standards in relation to electrical safety and operation.

 

Are they permitted in residential areas? Section 11(1) (a) Electricity Supply Act 1996 states that “A person must not supply energy if he or she supplies it into premises or an area which is not a premises or a public place”. It is therefore prohibited to supply power poles in residential areas.

Section 16 (1) of the Act prohibits a person from supplying electricity without a licence. Section 6(1) of the Act defines a public place as “a place, or part of a place, that is open to, or used by, the public whether or not on payment of money”. Section 7(2) states “In this section – public place includes – (a) land that is occupied by any building, structure or fixture that is open to or used by the public whether or not on payment of money; and (b) any adjoining land. Section 16 (1) of the Act states “A person must not supply energy if the person supplies it into premises or an area that is a public place”. Therefore, it is not permissible to supply electricity from a Power Pole in an areas that is considered to be a Public Place.
Section 6(1) of the Act defines a public place as “a place, or part of a place, that is open to, or used by, the public whether or not on payment of money”.

Power Poles along the Perth horizon

Practical Tips for Working with Private Power Poles
The following are some tips to keep in mind if you are planning to enter onto private land to inspect a power pole:
1. Consider the cost of a power pole inspection. Not all power poles require annual maintenance and safety inspections.
2. Call Western Power to find out if the power pole needs checking and if an inspection can be arranged with the registered inspector before you leave for your site visit.
3. Remember that it is important to establish contact with your local council first as they may have their own development approval process that will need to be followed before you can proceed with work on private land.
4. If servicing is required, leave yourself some time for the work to be done to ensure the work is completed in a tidy and professional manner.
5. Check the specifications of your power pole for suitability on your property before you make an inspection visit.
6. Contact a professional who is qualified to inspect private power poles such as Emad or Rob from Spark Pro.
7. Remember to check the Australian Standards for power poles before you order a design and installation.
8. Be safe! Always ensure that you have permission from the land owner or person responsible for the power pole before entering onto private land. If permission is not granted, don’t use your ladder or carry any tools or equipment on your person to inspect the power pole.

 

Remember

The Act clearly states that no person can supply electricity into a “public place” . In the context of private power poles, the definition of public places includes Clause 7(2) (a) – Land occupied by any building, structure or fixture that is open to or used by public whether or not on payment of money. With this information you can find in section 6(1) – Public place also means any adjoining land.

When selecting a Private Power Pole Company, it is important to ask them about their risk management policy. There are many different types of pole configurations, with differing risks associated. It is important to be fully informed about these varying risks and how they will affect you and your property. Many companies have the capability of offering these services in the form of Solar Renewable Energy Systems (SREs) which provide more control over power pole installation by reducing elements such as poles and cables, thereby reducing risk. The company must also be able to provide legal advice on your specific property conditions (restrictions/covenants) so that they can deliver the services required on your property in accordance with this.

About
Private Power Pole Replacement by Spark Pro

 

Spark Pro Electricians and Electrical Services have over 50 years combined experienced in general and advanced private power pole replacement services. Our Private Power Pole Replacement projects are always conducted to the highest standards.

We have kept power flowing through Perth properties for over 20 years. Call us today to replace your private power pole.

 

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