Electricity

In South Australia, both renewable and non-renewable sources are used to generate electricity. The generated electricity is sold through the National Electricity Market (managed by the independent Australian Energy Market Operator) to electricity retailers, who then sell it to households and businesses.

In times of high demand, the Murraylink (Riverland) and Heywood (Limestone Coast) electricity interconnectors can import electricity into South Australia from the eastern states. The electricity is transported from power stations via transmission and distribution networks, where it is then sold to end users by retailers.

Our changing electricity system

With new technologies such as rooftop solar systems, batteries, electric vehicles, smart meters and smart appliances, our electricity grid is changing from the traditional one-way system delivering electricity to homes and businesses, to one where people can now consume, generate, export and trade energy in a modern two-way system.

But our electricity grid was not designed to make best use of these new technologies and it is experiencing many challenges, including technical issues like frequency and voltage fluctuations, minimum operational demand, and system strength concerns.

There is also currently a mismatch between when the growing amount of rooftop solar provides electricity (which peaks during the middle of the day) and our traditional daily demand (which peaks around 6:00 am to 10:00 am and 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm). Better matching our electricity demand with times of cheaper abundant supply will significantly help to reduce these technical issues, as well as prices.

Find out more about South Australia's electricity supply and market

Remote areas

In remote areas not connected to the National Electricity Market, the South Australian government has contracted Cowell Electric Supply to maintain and operate the power stations and electricity distribution networks, and to provide meter readings and retail services.

Find out more about the Remote Areas Energy Supplies scheme.

Gas

South Australia’s gas is sourced from the Cooper Basin, which is located in both South Australia and Queensland, from other parts of Queensland, and Victoria.

The majority (approximately 60%) of natural gas is used to generate electricity, and the rest is piped to households and businesses through the distribution network.

Wholesale gas is sold directly by gas producers to gas retailers under private contracts and through the Short Term Trading Market (managed by the independent Australian Energy Market Operator). The gas retailers then sell the gas to households and businesses.

Find out more about South Australia's gas supply and market.

Energy legislation

Sale and supply of electricity in South Australia is regulated through the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF), which is implemented under a number of national rules, acts and regulations. The NECF applies to all South Australian retail energy customers, and energy distributors and retailers operating in South Australia, except for those not connected to the national energy networks.

Find out more about energy legislation in South Australia.

Related information

South Australia's energy plan