Estimating the Value of Undergrounding Electricity and Telecommunications Networks

13 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2010

See all articles by Ben J McNair

Ben J McNair

Post-doctoral fellow

Peter Abelson

Macquarie University

Date Written: November 30, 2010


Underground low-voltage electricity and telecommunications networks have a number of advantages over overhead networks, including reliability of supply, safety and improved visual amenity. This article investigates the value of these benefits to households by estimating the relationship between house prices and type of network service in three suburbs in Canberra, Australia. Holding other house and neighbourhood characteristics constant, we find that underground networks increase house prices by 2.9 per cent. Although the electricity network in Canberra has some unusual features, this approach can provide valuable information to policy-makers considering undergrounding programs in residential areas.

Suggested Citation

McNair, Ben J and Abelson, Peter, Estimating the Value of Undergrounding Electricity and Telecommunications Networks (November 30, 2010). Australian Economic Review, Vol. 43, Issue 4, pp. 376-388, 2010, Available at SSRN: or

Ben J McNair (Contact Author)

Post-doctoral fellow ( email )

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200


Peter Abelson

Macquarie University ( email )

North Ryde
Sydney, New South Wales 2109

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