As part of Western Power’s commitment to delivering the best possible power supply to the community, we’re reviewing the regional and rural standard supply allocations of 32 Amp for single phase (240V) connections to ensure they are fit for purpose.
Western Power’s Head of Grid Transformation, Ben Bristow, said the review followed the updating of technical manuals, standards and guidelines associated with both traditional and renewable energy connections, which was essential with the community’s drive towards decarbonisation.
“The supply allocation has not changed, however, following the August 2021 update to the Western Australian Services and Installations Requirements (WASIR), there are new connection requirements if customers wish to alter their connection arrangement or increase their usage,” he said.
“These updates are to ensure the safety management of the network and to align with the evolving renewable energy market and state/national compliance frameworks, as well as Australian Standards.”
“This has caused some confusion and concern in parts of the community, as such we’ve listened to feedback and have begun a review.”
“We’ll continue to engage with electrical contractor industry bodies and solar installers to assess the opportunities, risk and consequences of alternative options with the aim of providing an update by the end of the year.”
Mr Bristow said the update to the WASIR was needed to support and facilitate the growth of renewable energy and distributed energy resources - such as rooftop solar, battery storage, electric vehicles, and electric vehicle chargers.
“Western Power has around 2.3 million customers, that is 1.1 million connections, and we manage the grid effectively and efficiently by ensuring each connection can individually draw up to their agreed supply allocation,’ he said.
“Updated requirements for new connections is that the main switch must be a circuit breaker, designed to provide overload protection for a household if connection service capacity is exceeded to prevent tripping of upstream network protection.”
As before, electrical contractors have an obligation, when adding new circuits (i.e. additional load, electric vehicle charging, solar systems, air-conditioning, new electric stoves), to assess demand requirements for households in line with network connection service requirements and apply for upgrades if they are likely to be exceeded.
Households are responsible for managing their total electrical load and should seek electrical contractor advice when adding or replacing larger appliances and equipment to ensure they have the required service connection capacity.
Western Power manages, maintains and plans the electricity grid to accommodate the energy needs of West Australians, in line with its obligations under legislation and standards such as the WASIR. Western Power is supporting the decarbonisation efforts of West Australians by modernising the grid and responding to the needs of customers.