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If you’re connecting a new premise to the Western Power network or looking to alter an existing network connection (such as, install a solar system, EV charger, large electrical appliance or air conditioner), you’re required to install a main switch circuit breaker.

What’s a main switch circuit breaker?

A main switch circuit breaker is an electrical safety device, installed by an electrical contractor on your electrical switchboard (or meter box), to protect your electrical installation and the connection to Western Power’s network.

The circuit breaker trips off cutting the power when it detects a short circuit or overload, helping to ensure safety by preventing electric shocks, damage to electrical appliances and equipment and possibly resulting power outages. It ensures safe, reliable and equitable access to power for you and your neighbours.

It’s important to seek professional advice when adding or replacing larger electricity load to ensure you have the required service connection capacity.

Obligations of your electrical contractor

As part of your new connection or installation, your electrical contractor has an obligation to assess your electrical demand requirements in line with Australian Standards and Western Power requirements. If the requested demand is likely to exceed what is offered for a standard network connection service, then an application for an upgrade to your electrical connection may be required.

In August 2021, the WASIR (Western Australian Services and Installations Requirements) were updated by Western Power to ensure the technical requirements aligned with the evolving renewable energy needs of the community and state/national compliance frameworks. This update introduced the requirement for a main switch to be a circuit breaker for management of load from consumers.

Experiencing increased tripping?

Circuit breakers are designed to protect your property if your service connection capacity is exceeded. They’ll trip if this occurs. If you’ve recently had one installed and are experiencing increased disruptions to your electrical supply, you should contact an electrician to review your total load and if it exceeds your allocated capacity you can authorise them to apply for a supply upgrade (or apply yourself). 

Three-phase connections

Some houses have a three-phase connection (which require a linked three-phase circuit breaker).  Sometimes if all the electrical equipment or load is on one phase then this may trip the main switch,

in this case, you will need the electrician to come back and spread the electrical load evenly across the phases.

Powering the future

These changes help support and facilitate the growth of renewable energy and distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, battery storage and electric vehicles and electric vehicle chargers.

We’re working to facilitate more renewables as we transition to the modular grid.


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