Western Power is trialling an increase in rural supply allocations in parts of the South West and Wheatbelt regions between now and 31 March 2023.
The trial is being delivered following a review by Western Power to assess community needs and network capacity for regional and rural power supply allocations.
Homes and businesses in the Shires of Boyup Brook, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Collie, Donnybrook-Balingup, Nannup, West Arthur and Williams will be able to install a main switch circuit breaker of equal rating to those required in urban areas – 63 Amp.
This is an increase from the current 32 Amp supply allocation for single phase connections in regional and rural areas.
Western Power Executive Manager for Asset Management Gair Landsborough said the review had considered recent community and industry feedback on the updated WA Services and Installations Requirements, which was introduced in August 2021.
Under these Requirements, a safety main switch circuit breaker must be installed for all new connections to the grid, including when a new circuit is added to an existing connected premise.
“The circuit breaker requirement was critical to ensuring the safe management of the network and to align with the evolving renewable energy market, as well as Australian standards,” Mr Landsborough said.
“To ensure we’re meeting community needs, we launched a review of the regional and rural supply allocations.”
“With the accelerated roll-out of Advanced Metering Infrastructure, we were able to gather more detailed data and information than ever before – allowing us to model current and future regional network usage.”
“The data showed that the existing electrical infrastructure can support an increase in regional load, with network reinforcements to be implemented through our forward planning.”
“The trial will further support that the rural supply allocation is fit-for-purpose and we’re confident we’ll be able to standardise this, but we need to ensure this is managed in a safe and reliable way.”
“Main switch circuit breakers support the safety of the community and the network, as they’re designed to provide overload protection for a household if connection service capacity is exceeded, preventing significant outages and damage to equipment and appliances.”
“Additionally, they ensure safe and equitable access power supply for the whole community and support the growth of renewable energy and rooftop solar and battery storage systems,” he said.
Electrical contractors remain obligated to assess household demand requirements when adding new circuits for property owners and apply for an upgraded supply allocation where necessary.
Homeowners are responsible for managing their electrical load and should seek electrical contractor advice when adding or replacing larger appliances or equipment.