Kiosk substations

What do kiosks do?

Kiosk substations are an important part of the electricity network.  They convert higher voltage electricity into the lower voltage required by homes and businesses.

What do they look like?

New kiosk substations have the following approximate dimensions: 2.7m in length, 1.5m wide and 1.75m high.

Why are new substations needed?

We are installing new kiosk substations to cater for the increasing demand for electricity and to replace equipment that is reaching the end of its service life.

Much of our network was built in the 1950s and 1960s.  Since then, the number of people that depend on our network to provide a safe and reliable electricity supply to their homes and businesses has more than doubled.  In Sydney alone the population has grown from 1.5 million in 1950 to 4.5 million in 2010.

Not only has the population grown, the amount of energy used in each home has also significantly increased.  In the 1950s the average energy usage per home was 2000kWh per annum, today it has more then tripled to more than 6,500kWh.

Increased usage is due to the growing number of electrical appliances that can be found in our homes, including computers, dishwashers, clothes dryers and air conditioners.  We estimate that around 58,000 air conditioners are installed in homes across our network each year.

To ensure we continue to deliver a safe and reliable supply of electricity to our 1.6 million customers, new kiosk substations are needed to increase the capacity of the low voltage network. This will enable us to meet the energy needs of our local community now and in coming decades.

Why are we installing a kiosk substation near your home/school/business?

There are more then 13,000 kiosk substations across our network and most of them are located on footpaths in residential areas. This is because kiosk substations need to be close to the homes and businesses that need the power they supply.

If substations are located too far away, they cannot operate effectively and we are not able to guarantee the quality and voltage of the electricity residents and businesses are supplied with.  

What is the process for selecting sites and contacting the community?

All investments made across our electricity network are carefully planned. When we identify an area that needs a new kiosk substation, thorough investigations are undertaken to find a suitable location.

We investigate multiple sites that are each assessed against a range of technical and environmental standards.  Where possible, we select sites that have a minimal impact to surrounding properties and community facilities. Once a preferred site is chosen, we notify local council as well as homes and businesses in the area. A 21 day community feedback period enables council and community members to comment on our proposal, as per the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure 2007).  We carefully consider all community feedback received in this period.  If alternative locations are suggested we will investigate to determine whether they are suitable.

We have dedicated Community Liaison Officers who are able to provide additional information and to answer any questions the local community may have about the kiosk substation proposal.

When a kiosk substation is needed to replace existing electrical equipment we try to install the new kiosk as close as possible to the original location.

Sometimes kiosk substations are installed on private property. This occurs when a commercial customer needs more electricity than is available in the local network. The customer requiring the electricity generally contributes towards the costs of the kiosk substation.

Are kiosk substations safe?

We operate our network to keep the public safe – this includes maintaining electric and magnetic fields well within national guidelines. Like any electrical equipment such as hair dryers, electric kettles, computers etc; kiosk substations produce a small level of EMF. The predicted level of magnetic field generated from kiosk substations is a small fraction of the national guideline for safe exposure.