Electricity and Gas in Western Australia: Energy Providers, Rates, and Rebates
Western Australia is one of the Australian states outside of the National Electricity Market, meaning the Western Australian government manages and regulates its own energy market in the state. This can cause some confusion, as there are differences not only between Western Australia energy and energy within the NEM but also between natural gas and electricity in Western Australia itself. To find out more about the energy market in Western Australia, continue to read below.
Energy distribution zones in Western Australia
There are five energy distribution zones in Western Australia:
- South West Interconnected System (SWIS)
- South Region
- North Region
- North West Interconnected System
The majority of Western Australia residents live within the SWIS network, which stretches from Albany and the south-west coast to as far north as Kalbarri, and inland to Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Can I choose my energy provider in Western Australia?
Unlike other parts of the country, Western Australia does electricity and gas differently. While residents of the state have the ability to choose their gas provider, though prices are regulated by the government, electricity is non-contestable for virtually all residential customers in Western Australia.
Technically, those living within the South West Interconnected System could have the ability to choose their energy provider, if they use over 50mWh per year, but considering the average residential household in Western Australia uses approximately 6mWh per year it’s safe to say that all residents of Western Australia do not have the ability to choose their electricity provider.
Unlike electricity, natural gas is fully contestable in Western Australia, which gives gas providers the ability to freely compete in the gas market. Gas prices are, however, regulated for the majority of the population.
Electricity providers WA: Synergy and Horizon Power
There are two residential electricity providers in Western Australia; Synergy and Horizon Power. Those living within the SWIS network will most likely have their electricity provided to them by Synergy while Horizon Power is the only electricity provider to supply most of those living in regional and rural Western Australia outside of the SWIS.
Electricity prices in Western Australia are regulated by the government, so electricity rates don’t vary between Synergy and Horizon Power. In addition to the traditional single-rate tariff, residential customers with smart meters might be eligible for a time-of-use tariff.
|Electricity rates and charges|
|Daily supply charge||103.3263c / day|
|Usage rates||28.8229c / kWh|
|Additional home supply charge||41.0828c / day|
*Rates valid August 2020, based on single-rate tariff
Gas providers WA
Unlike electricity, natural gas in Western Australia is fully contestable, meaning customers can choose who their gas provider is. There are six residential gas retailers in the state, which all service the Perth Metropolitan and most populated regions. The natural gas providers in Western Australia are:
- Alinta Energy
- Origin Energy
- Perth Energy (not yet selling residential gas)
- Simply Energy
While fully contestable, the price of natural gas in Western Australia is regulated by the government in the most populated parts of the state. Gas prices in Western Australia are regulated in the Perth metropolitan area extending north to Gingin and south to Busselton, as well as in Geraldton and the surrounding areas, Carnamah, and Albany.
Outside of these areas, the price of gas is not regulated, meaning gas retailers can set their own usage rates. This does not mean all prices are the same, however, and gas providers will often offer steep pay on time or direct debit discounts.
Gas prices in Western Australia
Gas prices in Western Australia are some of the lowest in the country, thanks to the government's regulated price caps and gas providers offering steep and generous discounts.
In Western Australia there are three regulated gas price zones in the most populated parts of the state. Below are the government-set gas prices for the regulated distribution areas, which gas providers in Western Australia then use to set their own discounts off the usage and supply charges.
|Supply charge||21.98c / day|
|First 12 units* per day||15.18c / unit|
|Remaining units per day||13.69c / unit|
*A unit of gas | 3.6 Megajoules, equivalent to 1 kilowatt hour. Source: WA Goverment gas rates. Valid August 2020.
|Supply charge||49.43c / day|
|Usage rate||14.09c / unit|
|Supply charge||23.73c / day|
|Usage rate||17.26c / unit|
|Extra dwellings||11.86c / day|
Cheapest gas plans in Western Australia
Due to the nature of the natural gas market in Western Australia, prices are more or less consistent across the most populated areas of the state. Most gas providers in Western Australia offer a number of discounted plans, with the biggest discounts tending to be around 35% off the usage rates.
|Alinta Energy||Fair Go 35||35% off usage rates for one year|
|AGL||Set & Forget||36% off usage and supply charges when you pay by direct debit|
|Origin Energy||Max Saver Online Usage||35% off usage rates when you sign up online and pay by direct debit|
|Kleenheat||Monthly Energiser||35% off usage rates for two years when you pay by direct debit|
|Simply Energy||Simply Energy Saver||45% off usage rates when you pay on time|
Government concessions and rebates in Western Australia
Western Australia residents have a number of government concessions and rebates available to help with electricity and gas bills, especially for those with concession, pension, or health cards. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, and finding it difficult to keep up with your energy bills, it’s best to get in contact with your energy provider to discuss all your options for paying your electricity and gas bills.
- Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) Western Australia: $300 annually through Synergy or Horizon Power
- Energy Concession Extension Scheme Western Australia: Can include the Energy Assistance Payment ($305 annually), the Dependent Child Rebate ($302 annually + $84 for each additional child), and the Air Conditioning Rebate ($59.75 per month)
- Hardship Utility Grant Scheme (HUGS) Western Australia: Up to $580 or $960 annually
- Cost of Living Rebate Western Australia:
- Medical rebates for thermoregulatory dysfunction and life support equipment
Renewable energy in Western Australia
Historically, renewable energy in Western Australia has lagged behind other states in the country despite WA having some of the best solar and wind power resources available. In recent years however, thanks to the cost of rooftop solar PV decreasing, solar energy is becoming one of the largest electricity generator in the state.
According to the AEMO, 27% of households in Western Australia had solar PV installed on their rooftops in 2019 with over 950MW of total capacity and rooftop solar PV is predicted to reach 2,500MW by 2029. In addition, the WA Government has recently launched a $66.3 million package with a focus on renewable technologies to create jobs, reduce electricity costs, and bring Western Australia closer to its renewable energy goals.
Western Australia renewable energy targetWestern Australia does not have a set renewable energy target, but currently has an aspirational target of zero net emissions by 2050.