Western Power is a Western Australian State Government owned corporation with the purpose of connecting people with electricity in a way that is safe, reliable and affordable.
We build, maintain and operate the electricity network in the south west corner of Western Australia. The Western Power Network forms the vast majority of the South West Interconnected Network (SWIN), which together with all of the electricity generators, comprises the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).
We do not generate electricity (like Verve Energy for example), retail electricity (like Synergy for example) or operate in non-SWIS areas of Western Australia (Horizon Power).
Western Power is governed by an independent Board and reports to the Western Australian Minister for Energy as the owner’s representative.
We operate depots and offices throughout the SWIS region including our head office in Wellington Street, Perth.
Western Power’s purpose is connecting people with electricity.
The SWIN covers a very large area of 261,000 square kilometres. Unlike all other major urban areas of Australia which are covered by a series of interconnected networks known as the National Electricity Market (NEM), the SWIN is an isolated, self-contained network. This means that the electricity needs of consumers within the SWIS must at all times be delivered by the SWIS itself without any outside support or back up.
Even though the price paid by electricity consumers has risen significantly since 2009, this price is still well below the cost of supply. The full cost to supply electricity to consumers within the SWIS is made up of a number of different elements including generation, transmission, distribution and retail. Consumers pay only a proportion of this cost with the balance provided as a subsidy by the State Government.
In order to service the different needs of a large variety of customers more effectively, Western Power manages our customer base in seven major segments:
- Residential customers – 927,511*
- Business customers – 94,043*
- Major customers – 29,083*
- Land developers and designers
- Local Governments
- Generators (62* generators such as Verve Energy) and Retailers including Alinta, Alcoa, Blair Fox, Collgar Wind farm and Synergy.
*Figures accurate as of June 30 2013 .
In addition to these customer segments, we work closely with a range of major stakeholders including the:
- Minister for Energy
- Economic Regulation Authority (ERA)
- Independent Market Operator (IMO)
- relevant State Government agencies – the Public Utilities Office, and the Departments of Treasury, Finance, State Development and the Premier & Cabinet.
As the only electricity transmission and distribution utility within our region, Western Power is a natural monopoly. In place of competition to bring about economic efficiency, the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) oversees our economic performance. The basis for this oversight is the Access Arrangement which is our regulatory contract agreed with the ERA for a given period.