As of 1 July 2022, community residents of Amata, Iwantja, Kalka, Kaltjiti, Kanpi, Mimili, Murputja, Nyapari, Pipalyatjara, Pukatja, Umuwa, Watinuma, Yunyarinyi, Yalata, Oak Valley, and associated homelands will be required to start paying for electricity. For reference, these customers will be called Community Prepayment Customers.

As with other remote communities throughout Australia, Community Prepayment Customers will pay for the electricity they use through a Prepayment Meter System. A regulation change was undertaken by the Department for Energy and Mining to require the Essential Services Commission of South Australia to reflect the licence requirements with the retailer for the area in question.

Details of this regulation change and associated consultation can be found in the Amendments to customer payment system section on the About RAES page.

MoneyMob Talkabout has been contracted by the South Australian Government to provide education and support to the affected community members before and after charging for electricity starts. More information about the education program can be found at:

Your retailer, Cowell Electric Supply, needs to supply you with information about what they legally need to do when selling you electricity. This information is set out in the Terms and conditions for sale or supply (PDF, 459.5 KB)

A Written Disclosure Statement (PDF, 159.5 KB) is a summary of the Connection and Supply Contract. A simplified version in Pitjantjatjara and English can be found below:

It is important that you understand this information and what is required of you as a customer. MoneyMob Talkabout will be visiting each household to make sure everyone has this information before they need to start paying for power.

To hear information about this in Pitjantjatjara, click which one you'd like to listen to and your browser will play the audio file.

If you have any questions about payment, contact Cowell Electric on 1800 485 788. If you do not believe they have been able to help, there are other people you can talk to. Further information is available in the Dispute resolution section on the Contact information page.

Community Prepayment Customers utilising the Prepayment Meter Card system have the following payment options through retailer Cowell Electric:

  • Local community store
  • Web portal
  • Centrelink Direct Payment (Centrepay)
  • Credit/Debit Card payment over the phone

To set up a Centrelink Direct Payment or Direct Debit payment call Cowell Electric on 1800 485 788

These are current Electricity Tariffs (PDF, 207.0 KB) for RAES Cowell Electric customers, which are reviewed by the Minister for Energy and Mining every year.

If you are having difficulty putting credit on your meter, or are having financial difficulty, please contact Cowell Electric as soon as possible on 1800 485 788.

If you hold an eligible card, receive an eligible Centrelink payment, or meet low-income provisions, you may be eligible for Government Concessions.

To find out if you meet the criteria go to the Concessions SA website.

The Energy Concession and Cost of Living Concession can assist households with electricity costs. As part of a special agreement with Concessions SA, all Community Prepayment Customers will not be required to go through an application process for the Energy Concession, this will be applied directly to the meter.

Customers experiencing financial hardship

The Energy Advisory Service provides free independent information on saving energy in your home, calculating appliance running costs and other general information.

By law, a Retailer that is selling electricity using the Prepayment system must look out for customers who might be having a hard time paying. The way they might find this is:

  • if the customer tells the retailer that they are having payment difficulties, or
  • when the Retailer’s prepayment management system identifies that a customer has self-disconnected three or more times in any three-month period for longer than 240 minutes on each occasion.

These customers might be experiencing financial difficulty and the Retailer needs to call them to find out.

Cowell Electric is the Retailer responsible for customers in the APY Lands, Yalata and Oak Valley.  With the smart meters, they can see on a computer the houses that are disconnecting a lot, or for a long time. That way they can get in contact with them and find out if they need help.

Details of these requirements are set out in the Prepayment Monitoring and Reporting Policy (PDF, 209.3 KB)

Special arrangements have been made for New to Payment (Community Prepayment) customers. Further information can be found in the New to Payment section below.

As of 1 July 2022, community residents of the APY Lands, Yalata and Oak Valley and associated homelands will need to start paying for electricity. These customers are referred to as Community Prepayment Customers and will use prepayment (meter cards) to pay for electricity.

As outlined in the Prepayment customer monitoring section above, close attention will be paid to customers who are disconnecting a lot or for a long period of time.

Additional help has been put in place to ensure that customers that are new to payment have the support they need to stay connected while getting used to paying for electricity. This can be seen in the Cowell Electric New to payment customer policy (PDF, 209.3 KB)

If the Retailer notices through the smart meter that a household has been disconnecting a lot, they will:

  • call the main contact of the household. If they can’t reach them,
  • call other people who are listed with the household. If they can’t reach them,
  • send a representative to the house.

They will ask questions to find out why the household has been disconnected and offer help such as:

  • education about how to pay for electricity
  • education about saving electricity
  • provide information about concessions that are available
  • offer referral to financial counselling support and additional assistance to get re-connected.

In the interest of customer protection, the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) requires that licenced retailers operating a pre-payment metering system establish a consultation group to allow retailers to share information with, and receive feedback from, pre-payment consumers and relevant consumer groups regarding the pre-payment metering system.

The Remote Area Energy Supply (RAES) Prepayment meter customer consultation group is administered by the Department for Energy and Mining on behalf of the RAES retailers, and includes representatives from each retailer, ESCOSA, interested community/consumer organisations and pre-payment customers.

Given the remoteness and disparity of the communities serviced by the RAES scheme, most of the group interaction is conducted via an online forum, with quarterly (online) meetings as required.

Customers or community/consumer groups that are interested in joining the Prepayment meter customer consultation group should contact their retailer or the Department for Energy and Mining for further details at DEM.RAES@sa.gov.au

MoneyMob have been asked to teach all community members about how to use the new smart meters. They are visiting each household in every community, and information has been put together to help everyone understand.

You can visit the Pawa Atunmankunytjaku website to find out more about the education program.

Here is some information about how to use smart meters:

There is also information about how to pay for electricity and how to use your meter card: