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Understanding the WA energy market

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In this Canstar Blue guide we look at electricity providers in WA, including electricity and gas providers in Perth and surrounding areas.

Western Australia does things a little differently to the rest of the country when it comes to energy. There’s a mountain of regulation regarding which retailers can supply gas and electricity and where it can be serviced.

There’s a lot to take in – that’s why Canstar Blue has made this guide to help WA and Perth residents better understand their energy options.

What energy networks operate in WA?

There are five energy networks in Western Australia: the South West Interconnected System, South Region, North Region, Gascyone/Mid-West and the North West Interconnected System. Most customers on these networks will be restricted in their choice of energy supplier, with the exception of those on the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

The SWIS is operated by Western Power. It covers the most populated area of Western Australia, from the south-west coast to as far north as Kalbarri. Only customers on this network may have the option to select their electricity retailer.

Can I choose my electricity provider in WA?

Western Australian energy customers fall into two categories: contestable and non-contestable. Contestable customers can choose their retailer, while non-contestable customers are supplied by Synergy.

Customers are non-contestable if they are within the SWIS and use less than 50 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity each year. As the average household only consumes around 6MWh per year, virtually all residential electricity customers and the majority of small business customers in the SWIS area are non-contestable.

A business which uses more than 50 MWh of electricity and operates on the SWIS is contestable and will have a choice of electricity retailers, including:

  • Advanced Energy Resources Retail
  • Alinta Energy
  • Amanda Energy
  • A-Star Electricity
  • Change Energy
  • Clear Energy
  • Delorean Corporation Energy Retail Division
  • Kleenheat
  • Perdaman Energy
  • Perth Energy
  • Synergy

Horizon Power is the only retailer that supplies electricity (both business and residential) in most regional areas outside of the SWIS area.

WA and Perth electricity plans and prices

Electricity prices are government regulated for households and small businesses, as well as some large businesses. This means a government body sets the price for electricity and not the retailers. The government has upheld a uniform tariff policy for many years, meaning electricity usage and supply charges are the same across the state, regardless of location. While that’s good for regional customers where electricity is more expensive to supply, it pushes up the price of electricity for South-West customers.

The majority of non-contestable customers are connected by Synergy. The retailer offers three residential products: Home Plan, Midday Saver and Home Business Plan. The Home Plan has a flat rate tariff, the Midday Saver has a time of use tariff, and the Home Business Plan has a block rate tariff.

Synergy electricity prices

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Product Usage rate (incl. GST) Supply charge (incl. GST)
Home Plan (A1) 30.8120c/per unit 110.4600c/day
Midday Saver
  • Off-peak rate: 22.5500c/unit
  • Peak rate: 51.2500c/unit
  • Super off-peak rate: 8.2000c/unit
Home Business Plan (K1)
  • First 20 units per day: 32.1886c/unit
  • Next 20 (1,650 units) per day: 30.3335c/unit
  • Over 1,650 units per day: 34.1999c/unit

Prices sourced from Synergy website, April 2024.

Keep in mind that you’ll need a smart meter to sign up to Synergy’s Midday Saver. Businesses customers will need to contact Synergy directly to receive a quoted price. You can learn more about Synergy electricity tariffs and find the right option for your household here. A dedicated EV charging tariff may also be available to eligible customers.

Horizon Power is the only choice of electricity retailer for the majority of Western Australians who live outside the South-West area. Horizon Power has two residential products:

  • A2 – Standard residential
  • K2 – Part residential & part business

Horizon Power residential electricity prices

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Product Usage rate (Incl GST) Supply charge (Incl GST)
A2 – Residential Tariff 30.8120c/kWh $1.1046/day
K2 – Combined Use Tariff
  • First 20 kWh per day: 32.1886c/kWh
  • Next 21-1,650kWh per day: 30.3335c/kWh
  • Over 1,650kWh per day: 34.1999c/kWh

Prices sourced from Horizon Power website, April 2024.

Customers on the Horizon Power network also have access to a Prepaid Power option. This allows households to pre-purchase their electricity through the Horizon Power app and keep track of usage. Bill-payers can also share power costs with others in the household or even among other households with this option.

Attentive readers will notice that Synergy and Horizon Power rates are very similar. Again, that’s because Western Australian electricity prices are set by the government. The only difference between the two energy companies is that residential customers outside the SWIS network won’t have access to a time-of-use tariff (Midday Saver).

Horizon Power offers a range of business products with various rates and tariffs. As an example, a charitable organisation is charged lower rates than a small business, while a small business is charged lower rates than a large business. You can see Horizon Power’s business products on its website.

WA solar feed-in tariffs

The solar feed-in tariffs offered by Synergy and Horizon Power in WA are generally much lower than the maximum rates offered in other states and territories. In WA, residential customers can export unused solar energy under the Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS) if they have a solar system up to 5kW.

You can see the current minimum (off-peak) and maximum (peak) DEBS/feed-in tariff rates for most Synergy and Horizon Power customers below.

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Retailer Minimum Feed-in Tariff (kWh) Maximum Feed-in Tariff (kWh)
Synergy 2.25c (off-peak/shoulder times) 10c (peak times)
Horizon Power 3c (off-peak/shoulder times) 10c (peak times)

Source: Respective retailer and WA government websites, April 2024.

Can I choose my gas provider in WA?

The Western Australian retail gas market is fully contestable, meaning natural gas retailers are free to compete in an open gas market. However, the price of gas is regulated in some of the most populated areas of Western Australia, including Geraldton and surrounding areas, Carnamah, Albany, and the Perth metropolitan area extending north to Gingin and south to Busselton.

Gas prices are not regulated outside these areas, meaning gas retailers are free to set their own usage rate. In addition to regulated gas rates, retailers may charge additional fees which aren’t regulated by the government.

WA natural gas residential suppliers

There are a plenty of natural gas retailers for businesses: however, only six retailers currently supply gas to homes. These are:

These gas companies are all licensed to retail gas in the Perth metropolitan area. Alinta Energy also services the Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Albany areas. Perth Energy is also now authorised to sell gas in the Perth area, but is yet to launch a residential service.

Customers who use more than 0.18 terajoules (TJ) of gas annually can also buy gas from Synergy.

WA gas plans and prices

The state government has a residential gas price cap for small customers in WA. While all gas companies set their prices near this price cap, each retailer provides value offers through discounts to customers who pay their bill on time or pay using direct debit.

If you’re a customer in Perth, you can compare plans on the ATCO network in the table below.

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for WA. These estimated annual costs are based on the ATCO Network in Perth and yearly gas usage of 7,672 (units), but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table contains products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Customers in Albany and Kalgoorlie-Boulder are charged for their gas on a flat rate tariff, meaning the same gas usage rate is charged regardless of the time or amount used.

Standard contract maximum prices – Albany

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Usage rate Supply charge
19.63c/Unit 26.98c/day

Prices sourced from WA Government. Accurate as of April 2024.

Standard contract maximum prices – Kalgoorlie-Boulder

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Usage rate Supply charge
16.04c/Unit 56.22c/day

Prices sourced from WA Government. Accurate as of April 2024.

Will the energy market in WA change?

With around half a dozen natural gas retailers now operating in Western Australia, the market has certainly begun to heat up. We’ve already seen this increased competition create a price war that’s led to incumbent gas retailers upping their game to provide better value for customers. But what about electricity?

As it stands, there have been talks to deregulate electricity prices to open up competition, however nothing has been set in stone. It’s certainly a hot political topic in WA and the increase in gas retailers could be regarded as a sign that the state is gearing up for electricity competition. This might just be speculation at this point, but the signs all point toward electricity deregulation in the near future.

For now, if you’re a gas customer, then you need to take advantage of the state’s new-found competition. To find the best deal on gas, get started with Canstar Blue’s annual report on the best-rated gas suppliers in WA.

Best-Rated WA Gas Suppliers

Frequently asked questions about WA electricity providers

Eligible customers in WA can claim a number of rebates and concessions, including:

  • Household Electricity Credit
  • Energy Concession Extension Scheme
  • Energy Assistance Payment
  • Dependent Child Rebate
  • Air Conditioning Rebate

More information is available in Canstar Blue’s guide to energy rebates and concessions in Australia

Western Power is a government-owned distributor that operates the South West Interconnected System. It does not sell energy directly to customers, but manages the networks that energy retailers such as Synergy or Horizon Power use. 
Horizon Power is a government-owned electricity retailer that operates outside of the South West Interconnected System region.
Synergy is a government-owned electricity retailer that operates in the South West Interconnected System region. Although this area is open to competition, Synergy currently provides around 52% of the electricity sold to both homes and businesses in the SWIS. 
ATCO owns and operates several major gas distribution networks in WA, including the Mid-West and South-West Gas Distribution Systems, the Kalgoorlie Gas Distribution System, and the Albany Gas Distribution System. More than 80% of the Perth metropolitan area is currently serviced by the ATCO network. 
Kelseigh Wrigley
Energy Specialist
Kelseigh Wrigley was a content producer at Canstar Blue for three years until 2024, most recently as an Energy Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology.

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