More than 47,000 old electricity meters have now been replaced with new advanced meters, with Energy Minister Mike Nahan today announcing the completion of the project.
Visiting the Pilbara today, Dr Nahan said the new meters - which automatically read electricity consumption, resulting in more accurate and timely billing for customers - had been installed across Horizon Power's network on budget and ahead of schedule.
"The Liberal National Government invested $34.1 million in this project to ensure the new advanced meters were provided and installed free of charge, allowing regional customers to be the first in Western Australia to enjoy the benefits of this new and exciting technology," he said.
"Previously, many customers were receiving estimated reads because of locked gates or dogs, but the new meters will mean estimated bills will largely be a thing of the past, except for some very remote customers.
"The new meters enable Horizon Power to reconnect or disconnect customers more quickly if they are moving house, and identify faults faster because they will be able to see whether the fault is inside the house or on the network.
"In the future, customers will also be able to access the data from the advanced meters to help them better manage their electricity use and ultimately their bills."
In Karratha, Dr Nahan also announced that work undergrounding the overhead electrical network had kicked off in Nickol, the last Karratha suburb to be part of the Pilbara Underground Power Project.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said an extra 1,159 lots had been undergrounded in the light industrial area, Bulgarra West and Pegs Creek, as well as the CBD and the remaining lots in Roebourne, since the project recommenced in November 2014, thanks to additional Royalties for Regions funding of $75 million.
"Underground networks experience fewer outages during cyclones, eliminate dangers associated with fallen power lines and improve the aesthetic appeal of towns," Mr Redman said.
"This is a significant investment by Royalties for Regions and it reflects the State Government's continued commitment to regional economic development."
Dr Nahan said the second phase of the project was ahead of schedule and on budget, and he expected all of Karratha, including the 1,000 remaining lots in the suburb of Nickol, to be completed by the end of 2017.
More than 47,000 old meters have now been replaced with new advanced meters
Karratha was the last of Horizon Power's service area to have the new meters installed
The project started in July 2015 and the final meters were installed in late September 2016
Customers can use Horizon Power's online My Account to arrange new connections or disconnections when moving in or out of a home
The Pilbara Underground Power Project has started in the Karratha suburb of Nickol
Underground works are also expected to start in Onslow in the coming months, subject to final funding arrangements with the Shire of Ashburton
Energy Minister's office - 6552 5700
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700