Update on Western Power’s Main Switch Requirement - Rural trial

In response to considerable industry feedback about the requirement to install a circuit breaker as a main switch for all new connections and any altered connection arrangements, Western Power has started a trial in parts of the South-West and Wheatbelt where the supply available to premises will be equal to that of metropolitan areas.

Shire ofSuburbs
Boyup BrookBoyup Brook, Benjinup, Chowerup, Dinninup, Kulikup, Mayanup, McAlinden, Scotts Brook, Tonebridge, Wilga
Bridgetown-GreenbushesBridgetown, Catterick, Glenlynn, Greenbushes, Hester, Hester Brook, Kangaroo Gully, Kingston, Maranup, North Greenbushes, Sunnyside, Winnejup, Wandillup, Yornup
CollieCollie, Allanson, Buckingham, Collie Burn, Collie Cardiff, Harris River, Lyalls Mill, Muja, Mungalup, Palmer, Preston Settlement, Shotts, Worsley, Yourdamung Lake
Donnybrook-BalingupDonnybrook, Argyle, Balingup, Beelerup, Brazier, Brookhampton, Charlie Creek, Glen Mervyn, Grimwade, Kirup, Lowden, Mullalyup, Mumballup, Newlands, Noggerup, Paynedale, Queenwood, Southampton, Thomson Brook, Upper Capel, Wilga West, Yabberup
NannupNannup, Biddelia, Carlotta, Cundinup, Darradup, Donnelly River (Wheatley), East Nannup, Jalbarragup, Lake Jasper, Peerabeelup, Scott River East
West ArthurDarkan, Arthur River, Bokal, Boolading, Bowelling, Cordering, Duranillin, Moodiarrup, Trigwell
WilliamsWilliams, Boraning, Congelin, Culbin, Narrakine, Quindanning

Trial areas were chosen based on network combinations and configurations, the mixture of customer profiles and the area’s ability to proactively monitor and valuate outcomes via smart metering.  

The trial will assist to confirm that a standard supply allocation across the state can be managed in a safe way.

During the trial, which has already commenced and will operate until 31 March 2023, eligible homes and businesses in the trial areas will now be able to install a main switch circuit breaker of equal rating (63 Amp) to those required in metropolitan areas for all single-phase connections to the grid or when adding a new circuit to the existing connected premise.

Zone type1 Phase3 PhaseSplit-phase
Metro and regional centres63 Amps (240 volts)32 Amps (415 volts)Not applicable
Rural (trial area – refer to the trial area map)63 Amps (240 volts)32 Amps (415 volts)32 Amp, per phase (480 volts)
Rural (outside trial area)32 Amps (240 volts)32 Amps (415 volts)20 Amp, per phase (480 volts)

The trial does not alter the 32 Amps three-phase supply allocation, as this will remain the same for all areas where the three-phase network is available.

Western Power has indicated that they are confident that the network will be able to service the increased supply in the trial areas and hopes that following a successful trial, it will then be able to roll out equal supply allocations across the entire network. 

Contractors working in the trial regions are encouraged to provide Western Power with direct feedback on any supply issues that they may experience during the trial period.

For installations outside the trial regions, the existing Western Power rules will continue to apply. In short, if an installation is not in the trial area, a circuit breaker as a main switch is required for all new connections and any altered connection arrangements.

More information is available on Western Power’s website.