Regional and Remote Customers

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The extensive area serviced by our network means 70% of the infrastructure delivers energy to 30% of customers. The average customer density per kilometre of distribution line in South Australia is the lowest among Australian distributors and there are customers at the edge of the grid who experience significantly lower service levels than customers closer to urban centres. Many of these customers are connected to the network by Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) lines.

The SWER line was developed in New Zealand in 1925 for cost effective rural and remote electrification. It is used all around the world and was first introduced in SA in the 1950’s for the electrification of farms. Today, SWER lines comprise around 29,000km of our network providing electricity to around 32,000 predominantly regional and remote customers in South Australia.

A Regional and Remote Customer Working Group has been established to better understand the technical and economic aspects of SWER lines, the unique role they play in the network and the challenges SWER customers face - ultimately to improve the service levels of regional and remote customers in South Australia.

The extensive area serviced by our network means 70% of the infrastructure delivers energy to 30% of customers. The average customer density per kilometre of distribution line in South Australia is the lowest among Australian distributors and there are customers at the edge of the grid who experience significantly lower service levels than customers closer to urban centres. Many of these customers are connected to the network by Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) lines.

The SWER line was developed in New Zealand in 1925 for cost effective rural and remote electrification. It is used all around the world and was first introduced in SA in the 1950’s for the electrification of farms. Today, SWER lines comprise around 29,000km of our network providing electricity to around 32,000 predominantly regional and remote customers in South Australia.

A Regional and Remote Customer Working Group has been established to better understand the technical and economic aspects of SWER lines, the unique role they play in the network and the challenges SWER customers face - ultimately to improve the service levels of regional and remote customers in South Australia.

  • SWER line customer focus groups

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    SA Power Networks has a Customer Consultative Panel (CCP) to ensure customer views are considered in our decision-making. Remote and regional customers and improving the reliability for those worst served customers is one of the focus areas of the current panel.

    A regional and remote customers sub-group was established to look at opportunities for worst served customers in the State in terms of reliability and electricity supply. One of the objectives of the group is to become better informed about the technical and economic aspects of Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) lines, the role they play in the network and the particular issues SWER customers on SWER lines face.

    To understand the particular issues or challenges SWER customers face, the sub-group propose to run a number of focus groups with SWER customers in late 2020 or early 2021. If you would like to participate in one of these discussions please contact Alexandra Lewis on 0428 695 173 or alex.lewis@sapowernetworks.com.au.

  • Some facts about SWER lines

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    A regional and remote customers sub-group has been established to look at opportunities for worst served customers in the State in terms of reliability and electricity supply. One of the objectives of the group is to become better informed about the technical and economic aspects of Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) lines, the role they play in the network and the particular issues SWER customers on SWER lines face.

    The extensive area serviced by our network means 70% of SA Power Networks' infrastructure delivers energy to 30% of customers. The average customer density per kilometre of distribution line in South Australia is the lowest among Australian distributors and there are customers at the edge of the grid who experience significantly lower service levels than customers closer to urban centres.

    Did you know?

    • 32,115 of our customers are served on 19kV SWER feeders, whereas 820,000 customers are serviced by 11kV lines
    • 29,119 km of our network is SWER lines
    • The average number of SWER customers per km of line is 1 customer per km. In comparison there is an average of 40 customers per km of 11kV line
    • The average SWER line length per customer is 0.9km
    • The average SWER feeder length is 65km vs 20 km for 11kV
    • The average restoration time following an outage for SWER customers is 5.8 hours vs 3.1 hours for 11kV line customers