Understanding the WA Energy Market & Contestability
Western Australia’s Electricity Market operates differently to that of the east coast of Australia (NEM), instead operating under the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM).
The WEM Supplies electricity to the South West of Western Australia via the South West Interconnected System.
In Western Australia, customers that are ‘contestable customers’ are able to choose their electricity retailer.
You are a contestable customer and can choose Change Energy if:
- You use more than 50MWh (approximately 4,166 units per month or $15,000pa) of electricity per year; or
- Your distributor is not Western Power (eg. You do not live in the SWIS area).
If you use more than 50,000 kWh per year or your electricity bills are more than $1,000 per month (and you’re located within the South West Interconnected System) you could benefit from changing to Change Energy.
Due to WA government regulations, residential customers are currently not contestable so do not have a choice in their electricity supplier.
What is the WEM?
The Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) covers wholesale electricity sales in SWIS between sellers and buyers. The WEM facilitates competition and private investment allowing generators and retailers greater flexibility in how they sell their electricity. AEMO is responsible for operating the WEM.
Change Energy is a regulated electricity retailer within the SWIS, a network of systems including Kalbarri, Kalgoorlie to Albany and in between. The SWIS makes up approximately 94% of Western Australia’s power market. This network is maintained by Western Power, however, the electricity is supplied from retailers such as Change Energy.