Striving to ensure the best connectivity for our 2.3 million customers, we are conducting a trial in selected shires in WA’s South West and Wheatbelt to confirm whether a standardised approach for single connections across the South West Interconnected System can be managed in a safe and reliable way.
The 24 week trial means homes and businesses within these shires are now able to install a 63 Amps (240 volt) main switch circuit breaker, an increase from the current standard 32 Amps (240 volt) for all new connections and electrical installation alterations until 31 March 2023.
Announced on 19 October 2022, the trial follows Western Power’s assessment of the rural standard supply allocation in-line with community needs and network capacity. The review considered community and industry feedback on the updated WA Services and Installations Requirements, which was introduced in August 2021.
The trial involves about 13,000 homes and businesses in the Shires of Boyup Brook, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Collie, Donnybrook-Balingup, Nannup, West Arthur, and Williams; whose available capacity now aligns with the metropolitan supply - 63 Amps for single phase connections.
The seven shires represent a diverse range of rural customers with different energy needs, including recent solar and battery uptake.
Existing standard capacity supply allocations for electrical installations located outside the trial area continues, for the moment unchanged. The trial does not alter the 32 Amps three-phase supply allocation, as this will remain the same for all areas where three-phase network is available.
Main switch circuit breakers are critical in providing overload protection for a dwelling if their capacity is exceeded to prevent significant outages and damage to equipment and appliances, ensuring safe and equitable power supply access for the whole community.
Installation of a main switch circuit breaker remains for all new connections and alterations to existing installations, as stipulated in the updated Western Australian Service and Installation Requirements in but not limited to clauses 7.6, 184.108.40.206, and 15.4.4.
Electrical contractors continue to have an obligation when connecting new homes or businesses or installing a new generation source, storage, or load device, to assess and confirm the demand requirements for each property in line with Australian Standards and network connection service requirements. If the requested demand exceeds what is offered for a standard network connection or is likely to be exceed the existing service connection capacity, then an application for an upgrade will be required.