Energy Minister Bill Johnston has released the independent review into the Christmas 2021 Power Outages by tabling it in State Parliament today.
The review, undertaken by Australian Energy Market Commissioner Michelle Shepherd, found the Christmas outages (starting Christmas Eve until December 28) impacted 107,000 Western Power customers in the Perth, Peel, South-West and Mid-West regions.
Western Australians endured record-breaking high temperatures over the four days, resulting in abnormally high-use of air conditioners and fans, which put pressure on the network.
The report noted these types of events, while historically rare, may occur more frequently due to the impacts of climate change.
The recommendations of the report include: improving Western Power's planning and forecasting, approach to fire risk management and operational response to extreme weather events.
It also recommended improvements to customer and community communications, and greater transparency of reliability issues.
The review found that the State Government approved all funding requests made by Western Power towards capital improvements to the distribution network over the past five years.
It states there was 'no evidence that investments were delayed or did not occur due to regulatory or governmental decisions'.
Further, the McGowan Government has permanently increased the extended outage payment from $80 to $120 for eligible Western Power and Horizon Power customers.
Residential and small business customers who consume less than 50 megawatt hours of electricity a year are eligible if they experience an outage longer than 12 hours.
Usually, a claim must be made within 60 days of an outage, but as part of the transition to the higher payment, customers have until 5pm Monday, August 29, 2022 to make a claim for any extended outage that has occurred from January 1, 2022.
Customers who have already made a claim for and been paid the existing $80 for an outage since 1 January 2022 will automatically be paid the additional $40 by April 30, 2022.
For more information, visit extended outages.